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Used truck imports a safety risk, says technology body

Intelligent Transport Systems Australia warns against allowing used vehicle and parallel new vehicle imports.


A peak transport technology body is urging the Federal Government not to allow used vehicle and parallel new vehicle imports.

The group warns any such move could lead to imports of vehicles lacking in advanced wireless collision avoidance technologies capable of functioning in Australia.

Parallel imports are when a genuine product is imported without the authorisation of the product’s official distributor.

Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) Australia says it is a not-for-profit organisation representing ITS suppliers, government authorities, academia and transport businesses and users.

The body’s warning is part of its submission to the Federal Government’s review of the Motor Vehicle Standards Act.

ITS Australia CEO Susan Harris says reducing barriers to used and parallel imported vehicles could have “significant unintended consequences” for the safety and efficiency of Australian transport.

“Advanced technologies, such as cooperative intelligent transport systems (C-ITS), make vehicles safer,” Harris says.

“C-ITS is one of the few technologies effective at preventing dangerous vehicle to vehicle side impact crashes.

“C-ITS wireless communication technology enables vehicles and surrounding infrastructure to exchange information about precise location, speed and direction. These systems are the next major step forward in reducing road trauma.”

Harris says C-ITS can alert drivers converging at a blind intersection that they are on a collision course. She says this can also work across different transport modes, such as trucks and trains communicating as they approach level crossings.

“Used and parallel import vehicles brought into Australia will have C-ITS equipment that meets specifications for a different region, not Australia,” she says.

“The C-ITS in such vehicles will not work in Australia. Drivers and purchasers of these vehicles may be unaware that they are missing out on this life saving technology.”

Harris says that ITS Australia expects that within a decade the majority of new vehicles of all classes will come equipped with C-ITS.

“The safety benefit of this technology is intrinsically linked to the ability for two or more vehicles to exchange information wirelessly. The more vehicles that are fitted with this technology, the safer our roads will be,” she says.

“The USA, Europe and Japan each have differences in their spectrum allocations. Vehicle manufacturers can readily adjust for this at the factory to ensure C-ITS specifications match the region where the vehicle will be sold. 

“However, this well planned C-ITS safety net will break down if vehicles end up in regions other than those for which they were made.” 

Photography: Cohda Wireless

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