Industry and government invest in driver training technology

Virtual reality meets South Australian road safety with simulator HVSim

Industry and government invest in driver training technology
The simulator will provide safe training for difficult routes such as the South Eastern Freeway


Heavy vehicle drivers will soon take trucks down Adelaide’s South Eastern Freeway virtually in a new training simulator designed to improve road safety in South Australia.

The Australian and South Australian governments have partnered with South Australian Road Transport Association (SARTA) to buy the HVSim and software package, worth $450,000.

The simulator will be used to help existing and learner heavy vehicle (HV) drivers navigate challenging and sometimes dangerous routes, such as the South Eastern Freeway descent, with a focus on improving safety behind the wheel.

SARTA president Sharon Middleton notes this HVSim project will be the first in the country used by the industry for training on specific high-risk routes in the state and interstate.

"The HVSim will enable us to conduct training of heavy vehicle drivers in Defensive Driving, avoiding rollovers on sharp bends, and in improving skills in areas such as reversing trucks with multiple trailers," Middleton says.

"SARTA will also use the simulator in work with academic institutions to undertake research in critical areas such as fatigue management.

"We welcome the commitment of the federal and SA governments to this important and innovative safety project which we could not undertake without their combined $450,000 in grants.

"The industry has committed a further $100,000 to the project to fund additional simulations and a purpose-built trailer to enable us to take make the HVSim available to drivers and operators around the state and interstate.

"SARTA and our industry have always been committed to safety, for all road users as well as our HV drivers and this exciting project will play a key role in advancing that objective."

Read about the successful HVSI Round 5 recipients, here

The simulator also has potential to assist research into driver behaviours. The Centre for Automotive Safety Research (CASR) and the will have access to the simulator to conduct testing on proposed road designs.

"Truck drivers will undergo training and assessments in the simulator and there is scope for expanding the program to cover other high-risk routes in South Australia and across the country," federal transport minister Michael McCormack says.

The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator’s (HVNR) Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative (HVSI) 2020 Grant program allocated $350,000 for the technology.

"Twenty-six recipients from across Australia were supported this year to deliver programs targeting heavy vehicle safety NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto says.

"The outcomes from this initiative will contribute to improved safety and sustainability of the road transport industry both in South Australia and across the country.

"The NHVR is proud to partner with the Commonwealth, state jurisdictions and industry associations in delivering these important safety initiatives."

South Australia is to contribute a further $100,000 for the simulator to ensure heavy vehicle drivers were well prepared.

"The simulator is a safe way for heavy vehicle operators of all experience levels to learn or brush up on their descent skills," state road safety minister Vincent Tarzia says.

"About 660,000 heavy vehicles descend from Crafers to Glen Osmond per annum. In recent years, tragic incidents have occurred at the bottom of the South Eastern Freeway.

"This technology can help prevent further lives lost on our roads."


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