NHVR blueprint for vehicle technology acceleration

Five-step process to incentivise and harmonise industry uptake

NHVR blueprint for vehicle technology acceleration
The Vehicle SETUP cover


The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) has unveiled a program to support manufacturers and operators incorporate safety and environmental technology into new and existing heavy vehicles.

The Vehicle Safety and Environmental Technology Update Plan (SETUP) 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 notes.

The plan comprises 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.

These include:

  1. Advocate for the increased: harmonisation of Australian vehicle standards to allow for the latest designs from origin markets; and fitment of safety and environmental technology from those major market designs
  2. Relax access and use limits for vehicles fitted with the latest environmental and vehicle safety technology
  3. Ensure in-service requirements maximise the benefits of mandated technology
  4. Empower industry to make informed purchasing decisions
  5. Educate industry about vehicle safety and environmental technology.

"When we surveyed manufacturers, we saw that there was very little consistency when it comes to installing newer types of safety technology," NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto says.

"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."

How the NHVR recently marked 10,000 PBS combinations on the road

Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport Scott Buchholz says SETUP will 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," Buchholz says.

"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 blueprint has the backing of the Truck Industry Council (TIC), Australia's peak industry body for truck manufacturers, importers and major component suppliers.

"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," TIC CEO Tony McMullan says.

The Vehicle SETUP document is available here


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