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Spartan Emergency Response Unveils Intelligent Backup Camera System with Video Processing and Unmatched Product Features

INDIANAPOLIS, April 23, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Spartan Emergency Response ("Spartan"), a business unit of Spartan Motors, Inc. (Nasdaq:SPAR), will feature its new Intelligent Backup Camera System ("IBCS") during the 2015 Fire Department Instructors Conference (FDIC) April 23-25 in booths #2409 & 2423 in Indianapolis, Indiana. This system is differentiated by the ability to read, interpret and display digital data. The system's video processing enables an unmatched feature-set including distance estimation, object detection and active guidance. Availability of the Intelligent Backup Camera System from Spartan Emergency Response begins in August 2015.

Competing systems are based on image reproduction or ultrasonic technologies and often require additional sensors and cameras. Exclusively from Spartan ER, the Intelligent Backup Camera resets the standard for protection of both life and property.

"Spartan is excited to take the traditional backup camera and bring to market new features not previously found in the emergency response industry," said Dan Slater, President of Spartan Emergency Response. "Firefighters can maneuver their apparatus with confidence due to distance estimation, object detection and active guidance capabilities in our system. With the NHTSA requiring all passenger automobiles to be manufactured with backup camera systems beginning in 2016, we felt the need to bring to the industry a product which exceeds the capabilities of those currently found in a firefighter's personal vehicle."

By using a video processing unit, the Intelligent Backup Camera System designed by Spartan is capable of taking a single camera input and adding in multiple features, which enhance the situational awareness of the driver.

Of the revolutionary functions found on the Intelligent Backup Camera System, the largest addition is object detection. The Intelligent Backup Camera System can detect objects and tag them with an icon to alert the driver. When a fire truck is in reverse, the system can tag and track the closest object. This system provides a reliable method of detecting moving objects, such as people, even while the vehicle is stationary. When the rig is moving, the system is capable of distinguishing moving from stationary objects. The system can also detect when the apparatus is in close proximity to a wall, another truck, or a person.

Use of the vision detection technology establishes this system as best in class. Conventional systems use ultrasonic sensors for detection. This method can only detect when an object is present and the general distance. A vision processing system can actually tag the exact object, saving precious time spent searching for the detected object and allowing for earlier braking action and improved safety.

Also differentiating the Intelligent Backup Camera System is distance estimation, which goes hand-in-hand with object detection. When the IBCS detects an object, it computes the distance from the vehicle and provides a color code - green, yellow or red. Objects further from the vehicle are tagged green while objects that are dangerously close are red. This detection also produces an audible warning that changes as the object becomes closer.

The third differentiating technology is active guidance. The IBCS reads the position of the steering wheel and provides grid lines on screen which accurately represent the vehicle's path.

The Intelligent Backup Camera System from Spartan Emergency Response Features:

  • Best in class technology: competitive analysis* validates unique technologies/features and product differentiation - a powerful new system
    • Object Detection: detect and track objects in the path of the apparatus, keeping the driver more aware of what is going on behind the vehicle
    • Distance Estimation: once an object is detected, the system can determine the distance to an object; providing visual and audio indications
    • Active Guidance: system produces accurate backup lines to guide the driver while in reverse
    • Single High Performance Camera: system utilizes innovative LVDS camera technology for maximum object detection accuracy. The IBCS requires only one camera, instead of a multiple cameras and/or sensors.

* Research conducted by Spartan and the supplier partner.

About Spartan Emergency Response

Drawing on more than 130 years of excellence in fire truck manufacturing, Spartan Emergency Response is a world-class leader in the design, engineering and flexible production of the most powerful and reliable emergency response apparatus, cabs and chassis on the market. Spartan Emergency Response manufactures a full line of pumpers, tankers, rescues, aerials, quick-attack/urban interface vehicles and other emergency-rescue vehicles on both custom and commercial chassis from its facilities in Michigan, Pennsylvania and South Dakota. For more information, visit www.spartaner.com.

About Spartan Motors

Spartan Motors, Inc. designs, engineers and manufactures specialty chassis, specialty vehicles, truck bodies and aftermarket parts for the recreational vehicle (RV), emergency response, government services, defense, and delivery and service markets. The Company's brand names – Spartan™, Spartan Chassis™, Spartan Emergency Response™ and Utilimaster® – are known for quality, performance, service and first-to-market innovation. The Company employs approximately 1,700 associates at facilities in Michigan, Pennsylvania, South Dakota and Indiana. Spartan reported sales of $507 million in 2014 and is focused on becoming a global leader in the design, engineering and manufacture of specialty vehicles and chassis. Visit Spartan Motors at www.spartanmotors.com.

CONTACT: Russell T. Chick Corporate Director of Marketing Spartan Motors, Inc. 517.997.3852Source:Spartan Motors, Inc.