The safety back-up device is a UK initiative, developed in partnership with Renault’s engineering team in Lyon and with a major fleet operator. It works by activating the park brake if the driver’s door is opened at speeds of up to 3kph (1.8mph).
“Despite advances in technology, vehicle runaway situations remain too common,” says Nigel Butler, commercial director for Renault Trucks. “Drivers can get distracted when the truck is idling and simply forget to activate the park brake when they leave the vehicle to uncouple the trailer or sign a document.
“It only takes a slight incline for 44 tonnes to start rolling, which becomes a very serious problem, very quickly. Our Anti-RAPB solution helps reduce the consequence of human error, preventing the problem before it arises.”
The system can operate in two scenarios at speeds below 3kph. Scenario one is when the truck is in neutral, the park brake is not applied and the driver’s door is opened. Here, the ‘door open’ buzzer will sound momentarily, followed by the application of the park brake and the message ‘Park Brake Applied’ (pictured). In this case, upon closing the door and selecting drive, the park brake will auto release when pulling away.
The second is when the vehicle is in gear, the park brake is not applied and the driver’s door is opened. The door open buzzer will activate, followed by the application of the park brake, with the message ‘Door open. Select Neutral position before leaving vehicle’. If this message is ignored, when the door is closed the park brake will not auto release when pulling away, so the driver must either select neutral and return to drive, or manually release the park brake.
Butler adds: “This device will provide a critical safety intervention in the event of an emergency, with the added interlock of speed ensuring that no action is taken if doors open above 3kph. Addressing the risk of runaways will also bring the additional benefit of minimising downtime and reducing repair and insurance costs caused by these incidents.”
To see the Anti-RAPD in action, click the link below.