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Prime Mover Magazine


Technology study focuses on heavy vehicle safety

Minister for Urban Infrastructure and Cities, Paul Fletcher, has launched a study aimed at improving safety for heavy vehicle operators, featuring world-leading fatigue prevention and driver monitoring technology.

The $6.5 million Advanced Safe Truck Concept, an Australian Government Cooperative Research Centre Project, aims to reduce fatal truck crashes by developing new vehicle technologies, achieved by studying driver behaviour and better understanding the impact of driver fatigue and distraction. The partnership is headed by Canberra-based company Seeing Machines and includes Monash University Accident Research Centre (MUARC) and Ron Finemore Transport Services.

“On behalf of the Australian Government I am pleased to be launching this important study which aims to help make our roads safer for all users,” said Fletcher. “I congratulate Seeing Machines and all the partners here today for their important work and I look forward to following the study’s progress.”

The study is reportedly the first of its kind in the world to be done linking in-cab driver monitoring technology with the external traffic and roadway in real-time. The Seeing Machines technology is fitted to a number of vehicles from the Ron Finemore Transport Services fleet.

The two-phase program builds on the Seeing Machines’ Guardian technology platform that actively monitors for and alerts drivers to fatigue and distraction.  Ron Finemore Transport already uses Seeing Machines Guardian technology in all its prime movers across its entire fleet and is pleased to be participating in the project.

Phase one of the project has seen the testing of truck drivers in MUARC’s Advanced Driving Simulator, the first time a truck simulator has been used for research in Australia. Drivers are tested in a rested and a fatigued state so a better understanding of fatigue on truck safety can be achieved.

MUARC Director, Professor Judith Charlton, said the research could make a profound impact in reducing fatalities in the freight industry.

“We pride ourselves on translating evidence-based research into real-world solutions and by working alongside our industry partners and with the support of the federal government, this project has the capacity to prevent injuries and save lives,” said Charlton.

General Manager of Ron Finemore Transport Services, Darren Wood, said that “by participating in this study we are helping to make Australian roads safer for not only our drivers but all users of our roads. At RFT we are committed to world’s best practice in driver and fleet safety. As end users, we have the opportunity to influence the technology so it best addresses the needs of the freight industry”.

The full project is expected to be completed at the end of 2019.

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