Eaton Vorad Operators Manual
Eaton VORAD Always Alert
Eaton VORAD SmartCruise
Eaton VORAD BlindSpotter
Driver Instructions VODR-0035 February 2005
VORAD = Vehicle Onboard RADar
For the most current information, visit
Warnings and Cautions
Warnings and Cautions
Read the entire Driver Instruction Manual before operating a vehicle with
the VORAD system. Pay particular attention to the safety messages below.
Limitations of Collision Warning Systems
The Eaton VORAD system is intended solely as an aid for an alert and conscientious driver. The system should be used in conjunction with side-view mirrors and other instrumentation to maintain safe operation. A vehicle equipped
with the VORAD system should be operated in the same safe manner as if the
VORAD system were not installed. The system is not a substitute for normal
safe driving procedures.
The Eaton VORAD system may provide little or no warning for some hazards,
such as pedestrians, animals, oncoming vehicles, and cross traffic.
The system will not sense objects if the sensor view is obstructed. Therefore, do not place objects in front of the system sensors. Remove heavy
buildups of mud, dirt, ice, and other materials.
Proper radar antenna alignment is critical to correct operation of the system.
Table of Contents
Safety Information ................................................................................. i
Product Overview.................................................................................. 1
System Features.................................................................................... 2
Components.......................................................................................... 3
Control and Indicator Overview ............................................................. 4
System Tracking ................................................................................. 11
In Case of an Accident......................................................................... 14
Maintenance / Diagnostic .................................................................... 15
Federal Communications Commission
This device is sold under a waiver of FCC (Federal Communications Commission) rules. Operation is subject to the following two conditions: (1) this
device may not cause harmful interference and (2) this device must be able to
accept any interference received, including interference that may cause
undesired operation. Any interference that may be caused should be reported
to the local FCC field office or to the Federal Communications Commission;
Field Operation Bureau; 1919 M Street, N.W.; Room 73, Mail Stop 1500;
Washington, D.C. 20554-0001.
Any changes or modifications made by the user to this equipment that are not
expressly approved by Eaton Corporation could void the user’s authority to
operate the equipment.
Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of all information in this
brochure. However, Eaton Corporation makes no expressed or implied warranty or representation based on the enclosed information. Errors or omission
should be reported to: Technical Services, Eaton Corporation, 13100 E. Michigan Ave., Galesburg, MI 49053, 1-886-RV-VORAD (788-6723).
Product Overview
The Eaton VORAD system is a sophisticated, computerized device that uses
forward-looking radar and optional side-looking radar to constantly monitor
vehicles ahead and in the blind spot area, respectively.
Always Alert
The radar signals determine the distance and relative speed between the vehicle and objects in front. This information is used to warn the driver of potentially dangerous situations through visual and audible alerts. The system can
perform in adverse conditions, but objects must be within the field of view of
the radar beam and must provide a surface that can reflect the radar beam
back for detection.
The optional Side Sensor is a radar transmitter and receiver mounted on the
side of the vehicle to detect objects from one (1) to twelve (12) feet from the
side of the vehicle. The Side Sensor can detect vehicles or objects unseen by
the driver, moving or stationary, provided the vehicle or object is in the radar
coverage area adjacent to the vehicle.
The VORAD system also has the ability to operate in a mode called “SmartCruise”. SmartCruise is an optional feature offered as a convenience to the
driver in conjunction with the standard vehicle cruise control. The SmartCruise feature automatically maintains a preset following distance to traffic
SmartCruise cannot replace a driver and will not be able to ensure safe following distances under all road conditions. The driver must stay alert at all
times and use the vehicle brakes when required to avoid an accident.
System Features
Always Alert
Collision Warning - Audible and visual warnings when the potential
for a collision is detected even in rain, snow, fog, smoke, sun glare,
or total darkness.
Tail Gating - Audible alerts when within one half (1/2) second of
another vehicle.
Slow Moving Vehicle - Audible and visual alerts issued.
Fog Mode - Visual display indicating when objects are detected
within 500 feet in front of the vehicle.
Distance and Sensitivity Control - Sets forward object detection distance.
Proximity Alerts - Audible and visual alerts issued below 5 mph.
Display Intensity Adjustment - Display light intensity adjusts according to light conditions.
Object Tracking - Simultaneously tracks up to 20 moving or stationary objects within its range.
Accident Reconstruction - Stores vehicle accident data.
System Problems - Notifies the driver when a failure is indicated.
Self-Troubleshooting - Onboard fault codes.
Lane Change Assistance - Reduces lane change and merge collisions.
Visual Display - Display inside vehicle visually indicates whether an
object is in the detection area.
Audible Alert - Sounds when turn indicator is activated indicating an
object is in the detection area.
Following Speed - Electronically communicates with electronic diesel
engines to match following speed with traffic flow.
Following Interval Control - Sets the desired following distance.
Engine Retarder - Engages automatically when engine braking is
required to maintain safe following distances.
Set Speed - Returns to set speed automatically when traffic clears.
Component Description
The Eaton VORAD system is comprised of four main components: the
Antenna Assembly, Central Processing Unit, Driver Display, and the Interconnecting Harness. The Side Sensor(s) and the Side Sensor Display(s), are
optional components. Each of the components are shown in their approximate
location on a vehicle (see Figure 1 below).
Side Sensor Display
Side Sensor
Antenna Assembly
Driver Display
Central Processing Unit
Figure 1
Note: Additional side sensors may be added to the vehicle to provide
enhanced detection zones.
Indicator Overview
Control and Indicator Overview
All controls for the VORAD system are located on the Driver Display.
Range Control/
Accident Recorder
Volume Control
Power ON/OFF
Green, SmartCruise
Power ON
Red, System
Warning Level
Light Sensor
Figure 2
Volume Control
and Power On/
Power can be turned on or off by pushing in the control knob.
Volume level can be adjusted by rotating the control knob.
Activates “Failure Display Mode” when the knob is pressed in
and held for five (5) seconds and then released. (See Figure 2)
Range Control
and Accident
The control knob provides distance adjustment of the Always
Alert warnings. When SmartCruise is active, rotation of the
knob will also change the following interval from 3 to 2 seconds. Accident data is stored by pushing and holding this
knob for 5 seconds thereby freezing the most recent event
data in half of the allocated memory.
System Fault
Illuminates when a problem has been detected in the
forward-looking radar system. A pattern of flashes blink
out the faults that are stored in memory when activated
by holding in the volume control knob for five seconds.
(See page 15.)
Green light comes on when SmartCruise is actively controlling
the vehicle speed.
Always Alert
Always Alert
Warnings are received only on a vehicle in your lane.
Range is reduced on curved roads.
Warnings are disabled in sharp turns.
As you approach a slower vehicle ahead:
If within 350 ft. to the vehicle and immediate braking is required to
avoid a collision, all three lights will illuminate and a continuous
warning tone will sound until the danger no longer exists.
At approximately 3 seconds to the vehicle ahead, the yellow indicator
At approximately 2 seconds to the vehicle ahead, the orange indicator lights.
At approximately 1 second to the vehicle ahead, the red indicator
Less than 1 second to the vehicle ahead, the continuous double beep
indicates a tail gating situation.
Proximity Alert
If your vehicle rolls very slowly toward any stationary object, the yellow indicator lights and a warning double beep sounds.
Stationary Object
If a stopped vehicle is within 220 feet, a warning tone sounds and all three
lights illuminate when less than 3 seconds away.
Fog Mode
Rotating the range knob to the full clockwise position will place the Always
Alert system into Fog Mode. The yellow light will illuminate and track vehicles
up to 500 feet ahead. In poor visibility conditions, this can provide the driver
with additional warning time.
Object Detected
Indicator Light
Light Sensor
No Object Detected
Indicator Light
Figure 3
Red/Triple Tone Indicator light illuminates after objects have been
detected by the Side Sensor(s). When the turn signal is
activated and the Side Sensor detects an object, a single
warning tone will be issue.
Power indicator light stays on when no objects are
detected by the Side Sensor(s).
Red and Yellow Indicates the Side Sensor is performing a start-up selftest or there is a failure in the Side Sensor system.
SmartCruise is an optional enhancement to the Eaton VORAD system. SmartCruise will maintain a selected following interval between the host vehicle and
the vehicle ahead. SmartCruise is activated whenever the vehicle’s standard
cruise control system is activated, the system is turned on, and a vehicle is
detected within 3 seconds ahead in the lane of travel of the host vehicle. When
SmartCruise begins to actively adjust the host vehicle speed, the green “S/C”
(SmartCruise) light on the Driver Display will illuminate.
SmartCruise will not react to stationary objects and it does not have the
capability to bring the vehicle to a stop.
SmartCruise may operate the engine brake without warning. Do not operate
this feature in slippery or wet conditions where sudden braking could cause
loss of control.
Note the warning below in your vehicle. It is there to remind you of the safe
use of SmartCruise.
Vehicle is equipped with an Eaton VORAD SmartCruise system which operates
when Cruise Control is on.
Improper use of SmartCruise can lead to a serious accident.
Do not use SmartCruise in:
* slippery conditions (wet, snow, ice, mud) or fog.
* stop-and-go traffic.
* winding roads.
* any situation where your vehicle manual advises against using Cruise Control.
SmartCruise does not replace an alert driver!
The “RANGE” control knob (see Figure 2, page 4), adjusts the SmartCruise
“following distance”.
Listed below are descriptions of the most common situations encountered
while using SmartCruise.
Cruise On and No Vehicle Detected
If no vehicle is present within the range of the VORAD radar,
SmartCruise is not active and normal cruise control performance is maintained.
Cruise On and Vehicle Detected - SmartCruise becomes active
As the VORAD-equipped vehicle approaches a slower moving
vehicle in the same lane, the VORAD-equipped vehicle will slow
to the speed of the other vehicle and speed match to maintain
the set following interval. The speed reduction may be accomplished by the engine ECM (Engine Control Module) issuing a
command to reduce fuel and engaging the engine retarder, if
necessary. The driver can adjust the SmartCruise following
interval from 2 to 3 seconds by using the range / distance knob.
SmartCruise does not replace an alert driver. SmartCruise will not react to
stationary objects and cannot bring the vehicle to a complete stop. The
driver still needs to use good driving practices to avoid an accident.
If the host vehicle speed and the target vehicle speed are drastically different, the driver may need to apply brakes to maintain a safe distance. As
with cruise control, SmartCruise must be reset after brakes have been
Vehicle Cut In and Out
If another vehicle in an adjacent lane cuts in front and continues to the opposite adjacent lane, SmartCruise is programmed to maintain the host vehicle
speed. If the speed of the target vehicle is faster than that of the host vehicle,
the host will continue to maintain its speed. However, if the speed of the target
vehicle is less than the host’s speed, the engine ECM will issue a command to
reduce fuel and may also engage the engine retarder. Once the target vehicle
moves out of the host’s lane, the host will restore the cruise control speed or
resume the following interval if another target vehicle is in the lane. Again, the
driver may need to apply the brakes to maintain a safe distance. The driver
may depress the brakes or accelerator pedal at any time to override SmartCruise.
Cut in and Stay
If a target vehicle in an adjacent lane cuts in front of the host vehicle and
remains there, the system will respond by slowing the host to restore the set
following interval to the target vehicle. The engine ECM will reduce fuel and, in
some cases, SmartCruise may also engage the engine retarder to accomplish
this. Again, the driver may need to apply the brake to maintain a safe distance.
Vehicle Ahead Changes Lane
When maintaining a following interval to a target vehicle in front, and that
vehicle moves into an adjacent lane, the system will respond as follows. If
there is no other vehicle ahead (or within the range of the system), the host
will accelerate to the set cruise speed. If there is another vehicle ahead, the
host vehicle will restore the following interval to that vehicle. Again, the driver
may need to apply the brake to maintain a safe distance.
SmartCruise and Eaton Automated Transmissions
Under any situation that causes the system to slow the vehicle, and the engine
rpm reaches a preset minimum, the transmission will automatically downshift. Similarly, any situation that causes the vehicle to accelerate and a preset
maximum engine rpm is reached, the transmission will upshift.
Note: This feature is not currently available with Allison Transmissions.
SmartCruise and Manual Transmissions
Under any situation that causes the system to slow the vehicle, and the engine
rpm reaches a preset minimum, the engine ECM will disengage cruise control
and the driver may need to manually downshift the transmission. If this happens, the vehicle cruise control will need to be re-engaged (Resume or Set)
before SmartCruise will be operational again.
Road Curves and SmartCruise
Gentle Curves
SmartCruise will continue to maintain a set following interval in
a gentle curve as long as the turn is greater than 750 feet radius.
Sharp Curves
When maintaining a set following interval, the system may not
be able to track the target vehicle in front. If this happens, the
host vehicle will maintain its current speed. When the target
vehicle in front is again within the view of the radar, SmartCruise
will restore the set following interval. Refer to “System Tracking”
on page 11. Under these conditions it is recommended that
SmartCruise be turned off. SmartCruise can be turned off by
disengaging vehicle cruise control. If the driver would like to
maintain the use of cruise control but temporarily disengage
SmartCruise, this is accomplished by depressing the volume
control momentarily. Be aware that this mode will also disable
all collision type alerts.
Note: The previous paragraphs do not address all the possible driving situations that the vehicle and driver may encounter while in SmartCruise.
Typical System Tracking
System Tracking
Straight Ahead Same Lane Tracking (Figure 4)
The system’s same-lane target discrimination capability eliminates warnings
for nuisance objects in adjacent lanes.
Detected but not alerted
Critical Target
Detected but not alerted
Figure 4
Curved Same Lane Tracking (Figure 5)
While driving on curved roads, the same lane target discrimination is maintained using host vehicle turn rate information and vehicle azimuth. Due to
limitations on the radar’s field of view, maximum range is limited in sharp
Detected but not alerted
Critical Target
Figure 5
Typical System Tracking
Detecting Objects Alongside an Approaching Curve (Figure 6)
When approaching a curve, warnings may sound and indicators may illuminate due to objects, such as a parked car, on the side of a curved portion of
the road in direct line with the radar beam, until the vehicle is actually starting
into the turn.
Critical Target
Figure 6
Detecting Elevated Obstacles (Figure 7)
Some unusual road elevation angles may cause the system to detect overhead
signs or overpasses.
Figure 7
Typical System Tracking
Side Sensor Coverage (Figure 8)
Note that the optional Side Sensor(s) only detects objects within its field of
view. This view includes the 1 to 12 feet next to the vehicle.
Note: Vehicles outside of the field of view will not be detected.
Figure 8
Note: Longer vehicles may benefit from additional side sensors located on
each side of the vehicle to increase the coverage area as indicated in
Figure 8.
In Case of an Accident
In Case of an Accident
The Accident Recorder can store two segments of system data in the system’s
non-volatile memory. The first of the two segments may be stored by pushing
and holding the “RANGE” knob on the Driver Display for approximately five
(5) seconds. Within six (6) seconds, the green “S/C” light will blink eight
times, confirming storage of the data (see Figure 9). Subsequent pushing of
the “RANGE” knob will cause the system to respond with a “FAIL” tone indicating the data storage area is full. The second segment runs continuously
recording system data until the system is powered down.
The system’s Central Processing Unit must be returned to Eaton Corporation
to download and interpret the recorded data in the non-volatile memory.
Before shipping the unit contact the Eaton VORAD Accident Reconstruction
Specialist at 269-342-3556. After confirmation, ship the Central Processor
Unit to Eaton Corporation, Attn: Accident Reconstruction Specialist, 13100 E.
Michigan Ave., Galesburg, MI 49053.
Warning Level
Figure 9
Maintenance / Diagnostic
The only maintenance required should be to keep the Antenna Assembly and
Side Sensor(s) clean of heavy buildups of mud, dirt, ice, and other materials
that could reduce the range of the system. Antenna alignment should also be
checked if any occurrence might have caused it to be physically knocked out
of alignment.
The system will not sense objects if sensor view is obstructed. Therefore,
do not place objects in front of the system sensors. Remove heavy buildups
of mud, dirt, ice, and other materials.
Proper alignment is critical to correct operation of the system.
Diagnostic Features
Upon start up, the system automatically performs a self-test. If a failure
occurs within the front radar system, the red “FAIL” light on the Driver Display
will illuminate continuously as long as the failure is active, and the associated
failure code is stored in the Central Processing Unit memory.
If the “FAIL” light remains on after start up:
Set the range knob to the minimum level.
Note: Inactive faults are displayed if the range knob is in the 1/2 to full range
Depress the volume knob for six seconds.
In a few seconds the error codes will begin to flash on the Driver Display via the fail light. The format of these codes is two digits, with a
two second pause between digits and a longer six second pause
between fault codes. Record these codes and repeat the process to
ensure that the codes have been properly identified.
Diagnostic Codes
Code Description
CPU Internal Failure
Replace CPU
Memory Card or Card
Replace Card or CPU
Wiring or Driver Display
Test Wiring First/Replace Component
Wiring or Antenna Assembly
Test Wiring First/Replace Component
Wiring or Right Side Sensor Test Wiring First/Replace Component
Wiring or Left Side Sensor
Test Wiring First/Replace Component
No Right Turn Signal Input
Check Turn Signal Wires
No Left Turn Signal Input
Check Turn Signal Wires
No Brake Signal Input
Check Brake Wires
No / Bad Speed Signal
Check Speed Signal Wires
Unrecognized Engine
S/C Not Available; Update Engine
Engine not Programmed for
Engine Needs to be Programed for
S/C (See Engine Dealer)
Less than Desired Retarder
Manually Downshift Allison Transmission
J1587 Link Failure
Test Wiring
J1939 Link Failure
Test Wiring and Circuit Resistance
Internal VBUS Failure
Replace CPU
No Communication to Display
Test Wiring First/Replace Component
No Communication to
Test Wiring First/Replace Component
Last Fault Code / No Codes
AlwaysAlert Helps Avoid Accidents
Significantly reduces rear-end collisions.
Helps drivers maintain safe following distances.
Audible/visual alerts to dangerous
obstacles ahead in rain, snow, fog
and night conditions.
Continuous undistracted road monitoring
up to 500-feet ahead and around curves.
BlindSpotter - "Sees" what you can't.
Reduces lane change/merge collisions.
Warns driver of obstacles in their blind spot.
Driver had constant visual alert when an object
is detected in the blind spot.
Audible and visual alerts activated with turn signal.
SmartCruise Reduces Driver Fatigue
Uses radar to automatically maintain a safe
cruise control following distance.
Electronically communicates with diesel engines
to match following speed with traffic flow.
Automatically engages the engine retarder when
engine braking is required to maintain safe
following distances.
Automatically returns to cruise set speed when
traffic clears.
Copyright Eaton VORAD, 2003. EATON VORAD hereby grants its customers, vendors, or distributors permission to freely copy,
reproduce and/or distribute this document in printed format. THIS INFORMATION IS NOT INTENDED FOR SALE OR RE-SALE,
For spec'ing or service assistance, call 1-866-RV-VORAD (788-6723). Or visit our web site at:
Printed in USA
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