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French life-saver comes to the UK

French life-saver comes to the UK

Technology developed by French Research Institute the Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique (CEA) is about to be introduced to to UK warehouses.

An intelligent camera system, Blaxtair, from Arcure - currently used on tunnelling projects such as Crossrail in London to reduce the risk of accidents involving vehicles and workers - distinguishes pedestrians from other objects.

When a person is in a position of danger, an alarm is sounded to alert the driver who can then check the in-cab screen or act on visual/audible alarms.

Workplace injuries due to collisions with moving vehicles are among the most common. In 2012/2013 there were over 1,500 such injuries in the UK including four fatalities in construction.

According to CNAMTS, France’s National Health Insurance Fund for Salaried Workers, the financial cost of these accidents averages over €350,000.

As well as reducing the number of accidents, Blaxtair is likely to increase productivity, as it prevents false or unwanted alarms due to the fact it recognises human form. The system consists of the sensor head, processing unit and a 7-inch screen together with visual/audible alarms.

“Based on 3D stereoscopic technology, it is the only technology that can pick out the human form stationary or moving," says Ken Dawson, the UK representative for the Blaxtair system. "The stereoscopic camera, mounted on the back of a vehicle, has a wide viewing area and a configurable detection area, especially crucial and beneficial in confined areas. It recognises human form using a combination of video recognition algorithms and image processing technologies.

"Objects can also be detected if required based on a selectable, configurable feature. Should a pedestrian enter the selected danger zone they will be detected in milliseconds and the driver will receive an alarm.
The driver can view the hazard on the in-cab monitor or simply have visual/audible alarms to alert him to the danger."

Historically other forms of detection have been implemented - RFID or radar are typically two of the most common technologies used to prevent collisions. However, in certain circumstances, these technologies can be unreliable in terms of false alarms or control/slowing of the vehicle when no danger exists.

This can result in the driver having a lack of confidence in the alarms and also reduced productivity. They do not specifically detect the person or differentiate between a person and an object.

"Blaxtair addresses this issue whilst also providing a greater degree of confidence and productivity," says Ken Dawson. "It continuously scans the designated area, all aspects of the area are analysed in a fraction of a second and classified as a pedestrian or object."

Technology developed by French Research Institute the Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique (CEA) is now being employed on projects to reduce the risk of accidents involving vehicles and workers.

Paris-based Arcure, was set up in 2009 and has been supplying the technology to companies in France, South Africa and Canada. Applications include surface mining, factories, construction sites and more recently tunnelling projects. Over 400 units have been sold to date.

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