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MAN awarded 2009 ADAC “Yellow Angel” prize for safety innovation in road traffic

The prize was awarded by the largest automobile club in Europe for the electronic turning assistant for trucks. This system can prevent accidents at intersections.

The jury gave 2nd prize to the electronic turning assistant for trucks in the “Innovation and environment” category. The prize honours outstanding innovations in traffic safety or environmental protection in road traffic. ADAC president, Peter Meyer, presented the prize to Eberhard Hipp, head of pre-development for the MAN Nutzfahrzeuge Group, at a ceremony held on 15 January with 400 invited guests. The expert jury made up of representatives of the ADAC executive committee and the presidents of the VDA, VDIK and ZDK felt that the MAN safety system made a decisive contribution to increasing active traffic safety when making turns in the city.

Eberhard Hipp appeared very pleased about the prize: “Many well-known companies from the automotive industry competed for the “Yellow Angel”. Of course, I am particularly proud that we, as a commercial vehicle manufacturer, were awarded this coveted prize by the largest automobile club in Europe.” The MAN turning assistant was selected from more than 50 nominated submissions for the prize.

Accident focus on right turns

With the electronic turning assistant, MAN Nutzfahrzeuge has developed an assistance system for trucks that supports the driver in often hectic traffic situations in city centres. The assistant helps make traffic situations prone to accidents less dangerous: right turns at intersections.

How does the turning assistant work?

When turning right, the turning assistant warns the driver if there are pedestrians or bicyclists in the dangerous area in front of or next to the cab that is difficult to see. To do this, the truck records the distance of the people via ultrasound sensors that are distributed across the front of the vehicle and the right side of the cab. It thus monitors the particularly dangerous zone where the most accidents occur when turning right.

The electronic system records the immediate proximity up to approximately 2 m around the cab when the truck stops and saves the distances to pedestrians or bicyclists. If people get closer to the stopped vehicle or if, for example, a cyclist appears, an visual signal notifies the driver. An alarm signal is also triggered by the assistant if people are still in the danger zone when the truck moves off.

The system has already left pre-development and has been rigorously tested in road traffic in the last few months. Over the next few years, MAN will gradually introduce the turning assistant into its series trucks.