Street Smarts: MirrorEye sees another honor
By Steve Sturgess30 August 2021
Laurent Borne was named winner of the Automotive Hall of Fame Industry Influencers Award in July 2021 for his participation in launching the MirrorEye, an innovative rear vision system that can replace conventional glass mirrors on the exterior of a truck.
The president and chief technical officer of Michigan-headquartered Stoneridge Inc. was recognized for his leadership and entrepreneurial vision with the company. Stoneridge is a pioneer of digital camera “mirror” systems for heavy trucks where rear-facing cameras located high on each side of the cab display images on tall monitors located in the cab on the A pillars set either side of the windshield.
MirrorEye is the first camera monitor system to receive a federal exemption from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), allowing MirrorEye-equipped trucks to operate on the road with an integrated system of cameras and digital displays as an alternative to conventional mirrors.
An important feature of this exemption is the option for fleets to run without conventional mirrors to gauge the full benefits of mirrorless systems and experience and realize the fuel savings possible when external mirrors are removed.
MirrorEye’s driver vision enhancement
Experience by some of the nation’s leading fleets that are driven by safety show MirrorEye makes the roads safer through driver vision enhancement.
The system significantly improves safety by reducing blind spots, making the driver more aware of dangers around the vehicle, and providing enhanced vision in operating environments where it is difficult to see with traditional mirrors.
The design and operation of the system enhances operating efficiency through improved maneuverability and economy.
Equipped with self-cleaning and defrosting functions, the system eliminates issues related to rain, dirt and ice. An advanced image rendering system also blocks sunlight reflections, and infrared-enhanced color night vision improves the range of low-light performance.
I have driven trucks equipped with mirrorless vision systems and can say that after a relatively brief familiarization, I can understand why drivers in the test fleets are highly reluctant to give up these systems. The familiarization has less to do with the images on the monitors.
When driving a heavy truck, the tendency is to continually peek at the external mirrors to assess changing situations as drivers go down the road. But when you go to look in the mirror, there’s nothing there and you have to redirect your attention to the monitors in the truck with you.
No blind spot
And that is a safety-plus feature as there’s no blind spot from the mirror housings of conventional mirrors, however well they are designed. Also, since there’s no glass to obscure, the images during inclement weather – especially rain – are beautifully sharp and unobscured.
Another big plus is that the cameras automatically track the rear of the trailer, making sharp corners easy to track and avoid kerbing or side-swiping other vehicles. Infra-red technology produces daylight-quality images at night, too.
The Industry Influencers Award reflects the Automotive Hall of Fame’s commitment to the future of the motor vehicle industry and honors individuals who are influencing and leading through their actions, innovation and visible positions on issues surrounding the automotive industry and its future.
Borne joined Stoneridge in 2018 as chief technology officer and was appointed president of the Electronics Division in January 2019. According to the announcement, he has transformed Stoneridge’s strategic direction, product portfolio and engineering organization to develop systems-based solutions and platforms that make commercial vehicles safer and more efficient. Borne led the launch and subsequent roll-out of the MirrorEye systems in North and South America and In Europe.
He was selected as one of six winners by a panel of judges and will join a lifelong community of esteemed Automotive Hall of Fame members.
Borne said, “I joined Stoneridge during a pivotal growth period. Our renewed focus on data-driven solutions is advancing vehicle electronics that improve safety, efficiency, emissions control and intelligence.
“Thank you to the Stoneridge leadership team and Electronics Division who also deserve recognition for their part in driving this innovation.”
This story first appeared in the August issue of Diesel Progress. For a free print or digital subscription, click here.