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,” Mr Buchholz said.

“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,” Mr Petroccitto said.

“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.”

HVIA Chief Executive Todd Hacking says road safety is too often framed in the context of just the heavy vehicle operators.

“Road safety is all of our responsibilities—we all have a role to play,” Mr Hacking said.

“HVIA has always supported efforts to improve the uptake of safety technology in Australia’s heavy vehicle fleet.

“The NHVR’s Vehicle SETUP plan will allow industry and government to work together to understand and overcome some of the barriers we’re currently restrained by (via weight incentives, access incentives, regulatory reform).

“HVIA is excited to commence this conversation and to work with the Federal Government, NHVR and all stakeholders to achieve improved safety outcomes.”

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