NHVR launches heavy vehicle technology blueprint

The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) has released a blueprint to support manufacturers and operators to incorporate the latest safety technology into new and existing heavy vehicles.

Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport, Scott Buchholz, said the Vehicle Safety and Environmental Technology Update Plan (SETUP) outlined five work packages to give Australia’s heavy vehicle industry certainty when installing new safety technology.

“Heavy vehicle manufacturers are designing technology, both here locally and overseas, to improve safety and get drivers home safely,” said Buchholz.

“This technology is available and I want to clear the way to encourage the use of that technology and make sure there are no regulatory barriers when it comes to manufacturers identifying and installing new systems.

“For example, lane departure warning, autonomous emergency braking systems and pedestrian and cyclist detection systems are all available, so let’s see them on more new vehicles.”

The NHVR’s Vehicle SETUP Plan was developed following a survey of manufacturers in 2018, and is designed to meet the targets set out in the Federal Government’s National Road Safety Action Plan 2018-2020.

NHVR CEO, Sal Petroccitto, said the plan would be delivered over five work packages, including better harmonisation of Australian vehicle standards, better access to the latest vehicle technologies, ensuring appropriate in-service requirements, and industry education about new and emerging technology.

“When we surveyed manufacturers, we saw that there was very little consistency when it comes to installing newer types of safety technology,” said Petroccitto.

“For example, stability control was included on 78 per cent of new vehicles, but fatigue monitoring systems were used on less than one in five, while lane keep assist featured on one in four new vehicles.”

The Truck Industry Council CEO, Tony McMullan, welcomed the plan and said manufacturers supported steps to remove barriers.

“By removing barriers and aligning standards such as width and mass, manufacturers will have access to more trucks, meaning more options and lower costs for operators,” he said.

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