Collision avoidance today and tomorrow

An expert from Via Technologies details the safety and technology implications of collision avoidance software, hardware and techniques

BUSRide recently spoke with Ciaran Mac Neill, senior sales director at Via Technologies, about the past, present and future of collision avoidance systems.

How does your product go above and beyond in averting collisions?

Until recently, SVS (Surround View System) also known as AVM (Around View Monitor) features were only found on luxury automobiles mainly due to the expense of developing these sophisticated monitoring systems. More and more, these features are now being offered and adopted by new car buyers on the more mainstream models.

The secondary transportation markets such as buses, trucks, construction, industrial, agriculture, and forestry have a huge variety of vehicles with different sizes and are sold in much smaller volumes. This makes it hard for the manufacturers of these vehicles to bear the cost of developing surround view systems and getting a return on their investment even though these vehicles have more of a requirement for safety enhancement features due to the extra damage and harm they can inflict.

VIA has developed a real-time Surround View System that can be installed and calibrated cost-effectively on a multitude of vehicle types and sizes.Our VIA Mobile360 solution utilizes state-of-the art 2D and 3D 360° HD video capture and stitching technology to provide drivers with a comprehensive view of their immediate environment, helping to prevent blind spots and improve bus maneuverability in dense urban environments. It also has our E-Track remote vehicle tracking features that enable managers to track the vehicle status and respond quickly if an emergency happens to occur.

To help the police and the insurance company determine the causes, every such incident is automatically recorded by the system. Managers can also monitor driver behavior remotely and in real-time using our ADAS Event Triggers and Computer Vision technology.

What, if anything, is triggering new collision avoidance product development?

There are a number of key technology trends that are triggering the development of new collision avoidance solutions like VIA Mobile360. These include the proliferation of more powerful and more affordable camera and location sensors; high speed 4G and 5G wireless broadband for remote connectivity and monitoring; improved image capture, stitching and processing software; and cloud, big data, and Artificial Intelligence technologies that facilitate the real-time analysis of on-road conditions, driver behavior, and other items. All these technologies are coming together in a “perfect storm” to create a new generation of autonomous vehicles that will be safer and more efficient in operation. Already in some cities in the world we are starting to see driverless buses appear on the streets. This is set to be a huge trend over the next ten years and bus operators need to start preparing for it.

At VIA, we are working to provide buses with a real-time 360 Surround View System of the bus surroundings and an Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) solution using camera vision and Millimeter Wave Radar technology to continuously monitor distances between vehicles and to alert drivers to maintain safe distances while on the road. Our E-Track also tracks a driver’s driving hours, speed, emergency braking, and even dozingand provides analytics of their behavior behind the wheel on a weekly or monthly basis.

Please describe where you believe collision avoidance technology will be like in the near-future?

Current solutions on the market rely mostly on camera vision alone. However, in low light and poor weather conditions, the accuracy of camera vision alone is limited. Over the next two years, the addition of millimeter wave radar to complement cameras will be a key trend, leading to increased distance and accuracy in ADAS.

Hardware processing power and camera resolution will double during the same period, providing better image quality, more precise object detection, and faster response time.

Machine learning will also play a much significant role in preventing collisions by allowing the more accurate detection of a wider range of objects such as humans, animals, trees, vehicles, and other potential obstacles that may be encountered on the road.

Five years from now, the rapid adoption and development of autonomous driving technologies should greatly reduce the number of accidents caused by human error and perhaps even eliminate them. Greater connectivity and higher mobile bandwidth will not only make remote real-time vehicle tracking and monitoring an integral part of bus fleet management but will also lead to dramatic improvements in operational safety and efficiency.

Ciaran Mac Neill is a technology industry veteran with over 20 years’ experience of working with customers on the development and implementation of highly-sophisticated system solutions for mission-critical applications. He is head of sales for VIA Technologies’s Embedded Division in the Americas, and had been with the company for over eight years. 

VIA Technologies, Inc is a global leader in the development of highly-integrated embedded platform and system solutions for smart transportation, smart city, IoT, and industrial automation applications. Headquartered in Taipei, Taiwan, the company employs over 250 software engineers and operates a global R&D and customer service network, including a facility in Fremont, CA. More information about VIA’s Smart Transportation solutions is available at