How good are the trades at reversing and parking?
This is what Peugeot decided to investigate by inviting six tradesmen to go head-to-head in a unique challenge to test their driving capabilities and also the safety-boosting technology on the new Peugeot Partner van.
Plumbers, electricians and carpenters used the van’s Surround Rear Vision to navigate a specially designed obstacle course made up of building site materials in reverse. Although drivers were timed as they navigated the course, the emphasis was on precision and not speed, as every mistake cost drivers an extra 20 seconds in penalties.
Dodging bricks, pallets and woodpiles, and executing difficult parking manoeuvres, the electricians came out on top, after safely navigating the course in the quickest time of 4m 49s after penalty deductions.
The Surround Rear Vision technology has been developed to increase all round visibility to reduce parking and reversing accidents. Using cameras to monitor the van’s surroundings, with a video feed displayed to the driver, the technology gives drivers a wider field of vision compared to standard side-mirrors.
Research from the Department for Transport shows reversing and parking remains an on-going issue for van drivers, with 1,152 parking and reversing accidents reported in 2017. This is 10 per cent of all van accidents for the year.
David Peel, MD of Peugeot UK, said: “Today was about having a little fun with our all-new Partner van and its technology, but also highlighting a crucial safety innovation.
“More than three vans a day are involved in a parking or reversing accident, costing businesses time and money. Our Surround Rear Vision technology will undoubtedly reduce that figure as drivers have a far better view of their surroundings.”
The Surround Rear Vision system features two cameras, one located at the base of the passenger side door mirror and the other at the top of the rear panel doors. Footage is relayed to a digital screen that replaces the conventional rear view mirror, giving drivers the best possible exterior visibility from inside the vehicle.
AJ Cookson, from the winning team of electricians, said: “A reversing or parking prang can easily cause damage to our vehicles and disruption to our businesses. This not only means we’re unable to use the van for work while it is off road for repairs, but also hits our insurance premiums. Scruffy looking vehicles also project a poor image to our customers – we want our vans to look as good as the job we’re there to do.
“The Surround Rear Vision system takes a lot of the stress away when reversing, especially in our blind spots. With panel vans, we have no rear view mirror to use, so technology like Surround Rear Vision is a huge benefit.”