Heavy vehicles working on the first stage of the Mickleham Road Upgrade in Victoria will be the first in Australia to benefit from new safety technology.
The new MAX-SAFE technology has been installed in some heavy vehicles being used on the road project – with trials of the audible and flashing light alert system to help reduce the likelihood of injuries and deaths associated with heavy vehicle movements.
Automatic detection systems have been installed inside these heavy vehicles to alert the operator within the cabin that a vulnerable road user, such as a pedestrian, cyclist or scooter rider is in the vicinity – in particular during left-hand turning manoeuvres.
Powered by an artificial intelligence based smart camera, this Side View technology as part of the MAX-SAFE system is specialised in detecting specific vulnerable road users, and not other objects or obstructions.
Electronic flashing lights and alarms will initiate inside and outside the vehicle, providing the crews who are operating heavy vehicles and machinery the advanced warning they need to assist with avoiding an unexpected collision with a vulnerable road user. It also acts to alert those outside of the vehicle.
Without intervention, pedestrians, cyclists and scooter riders could be at a heightened risk of entering a heavy vehicle operator’s blind spot. Instead this system aims to negate this risk and maintain a form of visibility, especially during left hand turns.
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The ground-breaking system trial is the result of collaboration between Major Road Projects Victoria, construction partner BMD and SGESCO-MAX, to find new ways to reduce the likelihood of safety incidents with members of the public during construction. Success of the new technology will be closely monitored and evaluated.
Major Road Projects Victoria Area Safety Manager Kelvin Doyle said the technology would help to reduce the likelihood of incidents around heavy equipment on site.
“Through close collaboration with our construction partner BMD, we’ve developed this trial of the MaxSafe technology – providing the critical audio and visual warnings to not only the operator within the cabin, but also those vulnerable road users outside of the heavy vehicle,” Doyle said.
The safety trial is part of Stage One of the Mickleham Road Upgrade, which is building extra lanes in each direction on Mickleham Road between Somerton Road and Dellamore Boulevard, along with new traffic lights, intersection upgrades, and better walking and cycling connections.
The Mickleham Road between Somerton Road and Dellamore Boulevard is used by more than 25,000 vehicles each day and is a key arterial route for Melbourne’s growing north-west.
The Victorian and Australian governments have invested $222 million for the Mickleham Road Upgrade. Stage One of the project is expected to be complete in mid-2025.