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EMPLOYMENT AND OUTPUT CHANGES On a global scale, the advent of auto- mated trucking will inevitably transform the industry and require new approaches to training and fleet resource allocation. Clearly the role of the ‘truck driver’ will change toward that of a professional freight operator with the potential to extend the working life of current driv- ers, to improve the quality of work, and to attract new workers to the industry. But this change won’t happen over-

night. In the same way as the introduc- tion of automated driving features in standard passenger vehicles has been a staggered process, changes within the trucking industry will be gradual as various levels and applications of auto- mation are introduced and become inte- grated as industry standard. As adoption of fully automated tech-

nology increases and safety and eco- nomic benefits begin to flow, freight companies will have greater opportuni- ties to invest in higher standard vehi- cles, maintenance, customer service and freight asset management. Automated vehicles will enable us to

work smarter. Leaders in the trucking industry will be able to focus on finding sustainable and efficient ways of work- ing. They will be able to gradually reduce the stresses and health problems associ- ated with truck driving, and re-channel skills into more strategic areas of the supply chain.

IMPROVED ROAD SAFETY While there are industry-specific gains to be had, society as a whole stands to benefit from automated trucking as the technology will augment the skills of professional drivers and improve road safety for all road users. While fully driverless vehicles are a

huge step forward, it’s easy to forget that many of the vehicles already on our roads today have integrated various types of automated vehicle technology. For exam- ple, many newer trucks are equipped with Advanced Driver Assistance Sys- tems (ADAS) such as advanced lane


assist, automatic emergency braking, blind spot detection and adaptive cruise control. These technologies can make trucks safer by helping professional driv- ers react quicker to other unpredictable

“Automated vehicles will enable us to work smarter. Leaders in the trucking industry will be able to focus on finding sustainable and efficient ways of working”

road users and assist in imminent crash scenarios when a driver is unable to react in time. These systems also help warn drivers about signs of fatigue and prevent crashes otherwise caused by fatigue. The Australian Road Research Board

(ARRB Group) has been instrumental in introducing the importance of the Safe System approach to governments and road authorities in Australia and New Zealand. Underpinning this approach is an

understanding of the risks of driver error and a commitment to developing effec-


tive ways of protecting road users from these risks, including designing safer road infrastructure such as barriers and rum- ble strips, and adopting safety features in vehicles, such as lane-keeping assist and automatic braking. A safer truck fleet operating on our

road network provides safety benefits for all road users. Coupled with connectivity, such as vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle- to-infrastructure technology, automated technologies will support a safer interac- tion of heavy and light vehicles on our vast road network.

FEWER EMISSIONS, LESS CONGESTION Platooning is one of the key automation strategies for improving the safety of trucks. Platooning occurs when multiple trucks travel in a wirelessly connected convoy, with the lead truck feeding infor- mation about speed, following distance and, in some instances, steering to the following automated trucks. Because the trucks can travel closer

together than traditional convoys, the trucks face less air resistance, saving up to 15 per cent in fuel consumption. The vehi- cles also take up less room on motorways, reducing congestion. This means that as a whole, platooning

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