NHVR Launch Tool To Compare Heavy Vehicle Performance

New Freight PASS tool unveiled by NHVR aims to improve the speed, accuracy and consistency when making decisions about using safer and more productive vehicles

The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) this week launched a new interactive tool – Freight PASS – to help industry and road managers make more informed safety, productivity and sustainability decisions about the benefits of heavy vehicle combinations on the road network.

NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto says Freight PASS uses more than one million registration data records to assess a range of performance factors for conventional and Performance Based Standards (PBS) vehicles, including crash likelihood, trip numbers and travel time, and fuel consumption.

It also utilises freight commodity data from CSIRO, safety statistics from Austroads, NTI, CILTA and BITRE, and environmental and economics statistics from BITRE.

“The Freight PASS will improve the speed, accuracy and consistency when making decisions about using safer and more productive vehicles, to meet Australia’s growing freight task and zero emission targets,” he says.

“The tool has been developed by linking datasets across governments, industry, research agencies and the NHVR to produce a robust and reliable information source for use by industry and road managers.

“We want the tool to support industry by enabling the estimation of transport time and cost savings associated with shorter routes and arming road managers with the information and confidence to grant access to higher performance vehicles.”

The platform allows the user to input scenario data including the type of vehicle, trip length, average speed, and commodity to estimate time, crash rate, fuel consumption, carbon emissions, and estimate costs or savings from longer or shorter routes.

For example, the tool shows that a 30m PBS A-double will complete a nominated freight task more safely, in half the time, with almost half the fuel consumption and carbon emissions than a 19m conventional semi-trailer.

“Freight PASS dispels the notion that larger vehicles are more dangerous and polluting, by improving the understanding of heavy vehicle performance via a platform that is visual and interactive,” Petroccitto says.

“We encourage users to take advantage of this dynamic tool to ensure they balance and consider the long-term effects of road freight activity on productivity, safety and sustainability.”

HVIA Chief Technical Officer Adam Ritzinger applauds the NHVR for developing the Freight PASS tool and delivering on one of the goals of its 2020-2025 Heavy Vehicle Productivity Plan.

“NHVR’s new interactive tool that will enable road managers to understand the comparative benefits of different types and sizes of heavy vehicles, enabling nationally consistent, evidence-based and efficient decision-making,” he says.

“The tool expands upon and replaces previous efforts to demonstrate the productivity and safety benefits of longer and heavier combinations. Its development was guided specifically by road manager feedback on the need to have been numerical data on heavy vehicle impacts.”

The NHVR is encouraging those with an interest in Freight PASS to provide feedback on the tool. Details on how to provide feedback as well as information on a series of webinars to support the use of Freight PASS will be released shortly.

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