Victoria’s roads authority, VicRoads, has announced today that it will soon install advanced automatic reverse braking technology on vehicles in its road maintenance fleet.
The addition of the radar-based system follows the completion of a successful six-month trial, which VicRoads says is the first of its kind in Australia.
The system, tested with and supplied by Victorian company Reverse Smart, is used to automatically detect an object at the rear of a vehicle while reversing and immediately apply the brakes.
“Safety in the workplace is of the utmost importance and this technology will significantly improve safe working conditions for VicRoads employees. The safety of our people and members of the public is paramount and the autonomous braking system will make a difference,” VicRoads CEO, John Merritt, said.
The technology will initially be installed on 38 existing heavy vehicles on the VicRoads road maintenance fleet, with more to be added in the future.
Importantly, VicRoads will share the data of its trial with private companies across the maintenance and construction industries to grow awareness of the technology’s capabilities.
“We believe this technology will significantly reduce worksite risks and we hope it will become standard across the industry. Our dedication to workplace safety never ends and VicRoads will continue to consider any new technology which may save lives,” Merritt said.
Data supplied by WorkSafe Australia shows that between 2003 and 2012, 18 workers were killed in workplace incidents involving reversing trucks.
In the passenger vehicle world, the local arm of global technology company Bosch has recently previewed a system called Back Over Avoidance, which works in a similar way to detect obstacles – such as a child in the driveway – and automatically apply the brakes.
The company says it is in talks with a number of carmakers to have the technology featured in future models, with hopes of a market introduction to occur in the next two years.