Pioneering role for Australian smart truck scheme

High productivity vehicles developed under the Australian Performance Based Standards (PBS) scheme are some of the safest and most productive trucks in the world, according to a report from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the International Transport Forum’s Joint Transport Research Centre.

The ‘Moving Freight With Better Trucks’ report advocates a performance-based approach to regulations surrounding heavy vehicle design, such as those within the Australian PBS scheme, to address the safety and environmental concerns of road freight transport.

The OECD working group selected vehicle safety measures employed by the NTC’s Performance Based Standards (PBS) scheme to benchmark the safety and productivity performance of trucks from around the world, via a computer simulation.

This included regular ‘workhorse’ trucks and higher capacity vehicles such as the Australian B-triple. “The report concluded that many higher capacity vehicles (HCVs) have a safety performance that is as good as or better than some of the common trucks we see on the roads today – which is the case with those under the Australian PBS scheme,” says NTC CEO, Nick Dimopoulos.

“The analysis found that HCVs also perform equally if not better than regular trucks in terms of fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions.” 

The report identifies potential improvements to government regulation to address the growing amount of road freight in many countries around the world and the associated safety, environmental and economic impacts.

Mr Dimopoulos says that the results of this report, developed by a group of international heavy vehicle experts and subject to independent expert review, confirm that Australia is leading the world in developing best-practice heavy vehicle regulations.

“Many of the directions for heavy vehicle regulation which are identified in the report, are already being pursued in Australia,” said Mr Dimopoulos. “These include the chain of responsibility concept, utilising new technologies to manage compliance, pricing reforms to manage the use of infrastructure more effectively and performance based standards.

NTC Project Director, Dr Jeff Potter and Senior Policy Analyst, Matthieu Bereni are both members of the working group established by the OECD/International Transport Forum’s Joint Transport Research Centre and have contributed to the report.

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