Hindsight Is 20-20

"Rear vision" camera systems have become a misnomer. In fact, many of the safety engineers in solid waste firms know that the rear vision systems are no longer limited to preventingback up accidents.

With today's multi-camera vision systems, drivers can view all of a truck's angles, including the right "blind side," the vehicle's top and interior, as well as inside the waste hopper. In addition, the driver now can view more than one camera view at a time.

As many as four cameras may be integrated into a system and displayed on a single monitor. The operator can summon any combination of those four views on one monitor by using special video effects such as a single or dual picture-in-picture, quad split and automated sequencing.

While this type of technology was available 20 years ago in television studios for as much as $20,000, today they are one-tenth that price.

Currently, some video systems incorporate multiple cameras routed through a micro-processor which locks the non-synchronous video signals, enabling the manipulation of video images on a single monitor.

The microprocessor also can switch the individual video signals on the vertical interval with a simple switch closure by pre-programming on the video microprocessor to display only those images important to the driver.

Other systems offer electronic on-screen markers, for distance judgements.

* 3M Personal Safety Products.

Manufactures of reflective graphic materials, including logos, for increased visibility. Contact: Susan Haider, 3M Center, Bldg. 225-14N-14, St. Paul, Minn. 55114-1000. (800) 328-7098, Ext. 2. Fax: (612) 736-2298. E-Mail: WWW.3M.COM.SCOTCHLITE

* Clarion Sales Corp. Back up cameras and monitors. Contact: Brant Clark, 661 West Redondo Beach Blvd., Gardena, Calif. 90247. (310) 327-9100.

* INTEC Video Systems Inc. Car vision safety and two-way audio systems. Contact: David Nama, 23301 Vista Grande Dr., Laguna Hills, Calif. 92653. (800) 468-3254. Fax: (714) 859-3178.

* KG Rear Vision, a division of Kanematsu USA Inc. Automotive collision avoidance products. Contact: Ron Silc, 543 West Algonquin Rd., Arlington Heights, Ill. 60005. (800) KG EYE-12. Fax: (847) 981-6764. E-Mail: rsilc@ kg-chicago.com

* Omni Industries Inc. Distributors of Sony rear vision equipment. Contact: Jason Smith, 11931 Wickchester, Ste. 201, Houston, Texas 77043. (713) 597-8088. Fax: (713) 597-9718.

* Safety Vision Inc. Distributor for Clarion Rear Vision back up cameras. Contact: Bruce Smith, 11767 Katy Freeway, Ste. 900, Houston, Texas 77079. (800) 880-8855. Fax: (713) 589-7432.