The conventional Elite cab was given the highest score in Transport for London’s ground-breaking Direct Vision Standard assessment, rating it the best on the UK’s roads.
But while the fantastic vision it offers drivers has not changed, a few other features make the cab even safer.
The switch from diesel-power to high voltage electric power in the eCollect is accompanied by an essential new approach to cab safety.
Many people will not be familiar with safe practices when working with or around electric vehicles so we have developed detailed processes and training courses covering the safe production, operation, repair and maintenance of the vehicle which address these. These will be unveiled shortly.
But cab safety starts with the design of the RCV and a fundamental principle: there is no high voltage electricity supply going to or from the eCollect cab.
Instead, instruments are powered by a much safer low voltage supply. The fully electric heater and air conditioning systems are also run from a low voltage supply.
The switches and indicators in the vehicle are similar to the conventional vehicle but the standard instrument cluster includes features that are only optional on the diesel vehicle, including parking and seatbelt warnings as well as handbrake and ‘leaving the cab’ warnings.
Additional instrumentation relating to the electric drive system include a light to indicate when the vehicle is recovering energy and instead of the fuel gauge in a conventional vehicle, the eCollect has a State of Charge gauge and an additional warning light to alert the driver if the charge reaches the Reserve level. There is also an economy gauge to show how well the vehicle is being driven.
The driver has better control of the reverse audible warning which is muted between 11pm and 7am – one switch does it all – and the same applies to the beacon lights too.
The interface with the body and bin lift are the same but some of the information on the body screen is also reported in front of the driver. And for the European model there is additional information relating to the ride-on step.
A significant additional safety feature is the new factory-fitted 5 Camera DVR Recording System which provides unrivalled protection for crews, public and operators by seeing and recording everything happening around the vehicle. Images are displayed on an additional screen in the cab and the system is fully supported too.
All this data will be available in real time to the operator’s back office team too through DE-Connect which is fitted and functioning on every eCollect before it leaves the factory.
As for the driving, the vehicle is just like an automatic with drive, neutral and reverse gears and brake and accelerator pedals.
In operational trials, drivers tell us they love it. But we recommend you find out for yourself.