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King's Award for Innovation

Radar System Revolutionises Detection Technology for Commercial Vehicles

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Aspoeck's radar system improves safety

A commercial vehicle safety system developed on a kitchen table has now been adopted by one of the UK’s largest supermarket chains, and is currently being rolled-out to a 12,500 trucking fleet across Europe.


King’s Award winner Aspöck is a leading manufacturer of lighting and electrical systems for commercial vehicles. Founded in Austria, the UK arm of the family business won a King’s Award for Innovation for their radar distance control system.


Developed by the UK’s Sales Manager Mark Toghill, it is designed to improve safety and cut the time drivers take to enter loading bays by alerting drivers of commercial vehicles to potential collisions either with loading bays, other vehicles or unseen obstacles.

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Mark Toghill, Aspoeck's UK sales manager, developed  the radar system

RADC 1.0 uses a radar sensor mounted on the vehicle’s trailer to detect hazards and a key advantage is its ability to function in all weather conditions. Because it uses radar technology it doesn't matter if the sensors get dirty or covered with snow.


Mark Toghill, the developer of RADC 1.0, has emphasised the importance of the system in improving road safety.


He said: “By providing drivers with advanced warning of potential collisions, we hope to make the roads safer for everyone."


This commitment to safety is evident in the design and development of RADC 1.0, which has been hailed as a game-changing technology in the commercial vehicle industry.


Mark added: “Previously I worked for a company which supplied braking systems to the commercial vehicle market. A large supermarket chain wanted a reversing sensor system for their trailers, similar to what is on cars, but what was on the market did not provide the width of coverage needed for a trailer.


“There was also the need for extra wiring, and the reliability of ultrasonic detectors is affected by adverse weather conditions.”


Research showed that the answer was a radar-based system unaffected by road dirt and rain, and by experimenting with a prototype developed on his kitchen table, Mark was able to link his system to a commercial vehicle braking system.


The company, which is based in Austria and has production facilities in Poland and Portugal, supplies 80% of the European trailer market with lighting kits, and is now manufacturing the radar systems in the UK.


Mark said: “Customers rely on us as a design and advisory service - basically a one-stop shop. In discussions with customers, it was clear that lighting and rear-end damage to vehicles was a major problem.


“Ultrasonics systems, in addition to their other limitations, will only measure to about a meter, and won’t work with overhanging container trailers.


“The particular design of our largest fleet customers loading bay system also meant that ultrasonic systems could not work, but the Aspöck system fitted the bill, and they are now rolling it out to their entire European fleet of 12,500 trailers.”

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