Direct Vision concept LR

Loughborough University has unveiled a new design of truck it claims could save the lives of hundreds of cyclists and pedestrians.

The Direct Vision concept, based on a previous design from the University of Aachen (FKA), features a cab 80cm longer than normal trucks with a rounded nose, smaller dashboard, expanded glazed areas and a 230mm lower driving position, all of which is said to increase the driver’s field of view of the front and side by 50% compared to the best current vehicles.

The design concept was jointly commissioned and funded by Transport for London (TfL) and campaign group Transport & Environment (T&E).

Project lead at the university, Dr Steve Summerskill, said the unveiling of the concept was “a key moment in the definition of truck design legislation at European level”.

T&E senior policy officer William Todts added: “It is incomprehensible that we allow huge 40-tonne mammoths on our roads without making sure the people behind the wheel can actually see what’s going on. After decades of tinkering with mirrors, we need to take this once-in-a-generation opportunity and make direct vision compulsory for new lorry designs.”

T&E has now called on the EU to push through existing EC proposals to allow longer trucks without delay and suggested that it go further and mandate all the safety improvements incorporated in the Direct Vision concept for all new vehicles.

A spokesman for TfL said the Direct Vision concept would help get the proposed changes to EU regulations through. “This is evidence this can work and shows the tangible benefits you can get from allowing longer vehicles,” he said.