Lewes MP Norman Baker meets the ‘blind spot’ boffins

LEWES MP and transport minister Norman Baker visited the town’s ASL Vision - a company of particular interest to him in view of state-of-the-art technological solutions and products it has developed directly for the transport industry.

ASL Vision is part of the ASL network of companies in Lewes. ASL was established in 1989 and now has two sites in the county town, employing leading scientists, engineers and experts in their fields.

More than half of its employees have post graduate qualifications; a third doctorates. Such brainpower allows them to deliver highly innovative, refined, state of the art products and applications. ASL Vision also works with a number of UK universities and is a growing employer in the region.

The visit began with a tour of the Railway Lane site, ASL Vision, followed by a demonstration of ASL360 Surround View camera system. This offers the latest technological advancements in driver assistance and could have a significant impact on road safety by tackling the very real and dangerous hazards “blind spots” pose.

With the installation of the system and its use of high tech video stitching, the driver of any vehicle is able to visualise dangers 360 degrees around the perimeter of a vehicle.

Many bodies and lobbyists such as the London Cycling Campaign have been campaigning for some time for authorities to treat the blaming of a “blind spot” for an accident as an admission of guilt. The logic being they are preventable with the installation of camera systems such as ASL360SV.

The cost to society of the loss of human lives as a result of “blind spots” is huge. In one guidance document, the DfT estimates the financial cost to society for any road fatality as over £1.6 million.

Overall the main discussions were around safety issues and solutions across the transport sector. Ian Saward, MOD of ASL Vision, said: “We are delighted to have Mr Baker here today. It shows an acknowledgement of all our efforts in the field of transport. We feel we have made some significant breakthroughs in this area and it’s very encouraging to get some recognition and profile.”

Mr Baker commented: “Technology can play an important role in transport, whether by improving safety, cutting carbon emissions or increasing the information available for passengers. I was pleased to learn more about the work of ASL Vision in this fascinating field.”