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Advanced safety features mandated for heavy vehicles

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Employers will have to fit more innovative motion inhibitors to reduce the risk of workplace accidents.

New road-registered heavy vehicles must be able to detect likely forward collisions, warn drivers and automatically brake if the driver fails to respond. They must also recognise a potential rollover or divergent course, and automatically decrease speed or take corrective action if necessary.

The new Australian Vehicle Standard Australian Design Rule 97/00 makes advanced emergency braking (AEB) and electronic stability control (ESC) mandatory for all new heavy goods vehicles with gross vehicle masses exceeding 3.5 tonnes. AEB and ESC systems must be installed before 1 November 2023 for all new models.

LSM Technologies is already helping mining companies make the transition through one of the world’s first Sentinel vehicle safety systems, RadarSense proximity detection and AEB mitigation technology.

The vehicle safety system’s in-cabin display has a human machine interface “smart” monitor that shows graphical information, audible alerts and visual notifications. There are also touch screen interactions for the driver to swipe and gain more detailed information without feeling overwhelmed or distracted.

The system’s central logics controller is powered by a high-speed processor with RS323, Bluetooth, wireless, CANBus, and digital input and output capabilities. It also interfaces with many “plug and play” vehicle occupational health and safety (OH&S) mitigation controls for collecting, storing and transferring data. The controller can also be remotely diagnosed and updated from anywhere in the world.

RadarSense can be integrated into the FSM fleet safety and tracking manager’s remote telematics and web-based system for alerts, reports, event analyses and meeting OH&S compliance requirements.

“Smart” radar proximity detection technology is promised to have the following capabilities:

  • programmable detection zones
  • adjustable distance from up to 100 metres
  • built-in GPS tracking for speed and location
  • emergency braking in selected detection zones
  • customisable or programmable detection patterns
  • adjustable detection angle to ignore interfering structures
  • override to move closer to objects in controlled conditions
  • distance and height detection for moving and stationary objects
  • plug and play into the Sentinel vehicle safety system’s central logic controller
  • turn off radars in military zones and other restricted or sensitive areas
  • record event data and relay to FSM fleet safety or tracking manager telematics systems
  • ‘daisy-chaining’ multiple sensors via cable or Bluetooth for 360-degree detection or ‘drop and hook’ when used with trailers.

The Federal Government predicts the new rules will prevent up to 2300 serious injuries and save as many as 100 lives during the next 40 years. This is based on estimates ESC can reduce loss of control and rollover crashes by up to 30 per cent. AEB systems are touted to decrease heavy vehicle pile-ups by up to 57 per cent.

“We have listened and we have acted on the calls by road safety advocates, the states and territories and Australians directly affected by these types of heavy vehicle crashes, to mandate this technology to prevent tragic outcomes,” Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister Kevin Hogan said in a public statement.

“Crashes involving heavy vehicles can be particularly severe due to the size, loads and trips these types of vehicles are taking … [so these changes will be] saving lives and giving a bit of extra peace of mind to our hard-working heavy vehicle operators and their families.”

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AMSJ April 2022