KALAMAZOO, Mich. --- Eaton Corp. has introduced its next-generation VORAD safety system, which the company said will provide the trucking industry with several options to meet the individual safety demands of fleets and owner-operators. The new VORAD VS-400 is available on a limited quantity basis beginning in April 2007, with full production availability in June 2007. The system will offer customers the option to select and purchase any one or all of the safety-related VORAD offerings. The offerings include a standard collision warning system with forward-looking radar, BlindSpotter side sensor and SmartCruise adaptive cruise control. The extraction and real-time wireless transfer of data (such as following distance) is now available through a subscription to the safety package of Eaton's Fleet Resource Manager, powered by @Road, a web-based mobile resource management tool for the trucking industry. The launch also includes the introduction of a new 77-GHz radar and a new driver interface unit. "Our goal is to take VORAD, already one of the most effective driver safety systems in trucking, to a whole new level by making it an integral part of overall fleet safety," said Phil Warmbier, marketing manager for Eaton's Vehicle Solution Business Unit. "As part of the Fleet Resource Manager safety package, VORAD now becomes even more effective by giving fleets the ability to monitor, benchmark and proactively improve driver and fleet safety." Additional VORAD offerings --– including Smart Cruise adaptive cruise control, BlindSpotter side object detection system, and a standard collision warning system --– may be purchased separately or together as one package, and do not require a subscription to Fleet Resource Manager. The new 77-GHz radar, which is now approved for worldwide use, comes fully integrated with a collision warning system and adaptive cruise control. The new radar is 70 percent lighter and 60 percent smaller than the existing EVT-300 radar. It also replaces both the EVT-300 radar and CPU and reduces the amount of wires from 18 to 4 resulting in easier installation. The new driver interface unit is intuitive and user-friendly. It features visual and audio alerts, configurable left/right speaker capability, and is user-programmable with the capability to accept driver identification and up to four personal identification numbers (PIN). It will also support current lane departure warning systems and other technologies that follow defined protocol structure. The new VORAD in-vehicle device, which provides the foundation for accessing safety-related data, is fully compatible with all major cell and satellite network providers. The device captures vehicle and safety information and uses the Fleet Resource Manager system to produce reports that fleets can use to make real-time improvements to their operations. The basic VORAD package (without the Fleet Resource Manager safety package's data capture capability) is available through all North American OEMs as a factory-installed option, and through the aftermarket as a retrofit system. Pre-wiring systems, bumper designs and installation procedures may vary from one OEM to another. "Because no two fleets are exactly alike, we see no reason why any one of our customers should have to settle on one safety system," said Warmbier. "Everyone now has the option to go with a standard VORAD system, or tie into the ultimate safety package that we have now made available with our Fleet Resource Manager mobile resource management solution."

Originally posted on Fleet Financials