High Productivity, Driver Licensing and Autonomous Truck

Getting the Wheel End Right

High productivity, driver licensing and autonomous truck have been in the news this week, alongside platooning and underpaying employees.


The Victorian High Productivity Freight Vehicle network is being developed with a focus on providing access to primary freight routes connecting with Victorian Ports, interstate links and key industries.


VicRoads is progressively assessing more freight routes to continue to expand the HPFV network. The A-Double maps and details of Victoria’s A-Double HPFV network are available on VicRoads website.


High Productivity, Driver Licensing and Autonomous Truck


Last week’s Transport and Infrastructure Council meeting agreed to a series of reform initiatives over the next 24 months designed to facilitate increased testing and trialling of more automated vehicles.


“Inconsistent rules, regulations and application procedures for automated vehicles are potential obstacles to deploying this disruptive technology in the future,” said Paul Retter, National Transport Commission CEO. “Our goal is to identify and remove regulatory barriers, and avoid a patchwork of conflicting requirements in different states and territories.”


These initiatives are outlined in a policy paper titled ‘Regulatory reforms for automated road vehicles’ released by the NTC. 


Over recent years there has been an ongoing trend across the country for the licencing of heavy vehicle drivers to be crammed into shorter and shorter timeframes. This has resulted in many from across industry voicing concerns of the dubious quality of licenced drivers emerging from such programs.


“We have listened to industry and in collaboration with a number of key players have designed a program in consultation with industry called Superior Heavy Vehicle Licencing that addresses their key concerns,” said Mark Dixon, CEO of DECA and Wodonga TAFE. “Most importantly this program sees the licence holders trained on the actual equipment they will be operating, with a minimum of 30 hours behind the steering wheel before venturing onto public roads on their own. Two critical elements that industry has told us they want.”


US autonomous technology company, Peloton Technology, has announced its participation in the Next-Generation Energy Technologies for Connected and Autonomous On-Road Vehicles (NEXTCAR) program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy. The project will apply next-generation truck platooning technology and concepts for smart, cloud-connected power trains to achieve 20 per cent fuel savings for semi trailers.


Shelly Removals and Storage has been forced to pay $9,000 to a Sri Lankan asylum seeker it underpaid for work over three months. He had only been paid for 38 to 40 hours a week but regularly worked 50.


It was the man’s first job since arriving in Australia, gained after answering an advertisement placed by the company on a noticeboard at an Australian Migrant English Service centre. He was employed as a casual truck driver and removalist between October 2015 and January 2016 and was paid at the flat rate including on weekends and public holidays.