Colas trials groundbreaking autonomous protection vehicle

18/08/2017
Highways Reporters

A partnership between Colas and two US companies is seeking to save roadworker lives with what is thought to be the world’s first Autonomous Impact Protection Vehicle (AIPV).



One of the greatest advantages the highways sector is hoping to derive from automation is improved safety for both workers and drivers. Although a number of industry initiatives have cut roadworker deaths in recent years, they have not been completely eliminated. A major step forward on this path appears to have been achieved this August when an AIPV was used live onsite in Colorado.


The idea behind it is to increase worker safety by removing the need for a driver in what is effectively a mobile crash barrier, protecting workers and equipment from errant vehicles on busy roads.


Lee Rushbrooke, CEO of Colas, said:  ‘We are dedicated to advancing health and safety issues and will continue to invest in cutting-edge research and development projects to benefit our employees, clients and the wider industry.  We are extremely excited about this new technology and are looking forward to giving this a global reach to save lives of road workers, across the world.’


Colas’s two partners in the project are Royal Truck and Equipment (RT&E), a leading manufacturer of truck mounted attenuator and safety trucks in the US, and Micro Systems Inc (MSI) a subsidiary of Kratos Defense & Security Solutions.


Having initially been developed for the US military, the technology used by the vehicle has been tailored by RT&E and MSI for use in the highways industry.


The unmanned AIPV is fitted with an electro-mechanical applique kit and fully integrated sensor suite and utilises a leader/follower capability that enables it to follow a driver-operated leader vehicle.


Navigation data including vehicle speed and heading is transmitted from the leader vehicle to the follower vehicle. This enables the follower vehicle to keep to the exact path and speed of the leader vehicle at each point along the route.


Highways England has a number of targets under its five-year health and safety plan, including a cut in the accident frequency rate (AFR) – injury rate per 100,000 hours worked – for its supply chain. The baseline is measured from 2014/15, when the AFR was 0.15. The target is to cut this 0.05 by 2020. The most recent measurement from 2016/17 is 0.11.


In an update to the plan in May, the Government-owned company said it needed to increase the speed at which the AFR is improving to meet its aspirations.


Mike Wilson, Highways England’s executive director for safety, engineering and standards said: ‘We welcome this innovative work by Colas, which through the use of connected and autonomous vehicle technology, has the potential to help the sector address the risks road workers face on a daily basis.


‘Our number one imperative is safety and we believe no one should be harmed when travelling or working on our road network.’


Colas said its engineers and colleagues from RT&E and MSI have worked constantly together to develop, monitor and trial the system to ensure the highest possible performance.  Over 200 hours of rigorous and successful testing and training were completed prior to the vehicle being declared ready for use on live work sites in the US.


RT&E president Robb Roy said: ‘Colas’ innovative approach to health and safety is precisely why we are delighted to be working with them on this cutting-edge project in Europe. There is no doubt that this technology has the potential to change the way the industry operates forever.’


Currently UK legislation does not allow an unmanned autonomous vehicle to be on the roads. Colorado have made that policy change already, which allowed these trials to take place.

Highways jobs

Highways Estimator

Ringway
Competitive Salary
As the Highways Estimator you will join a busy environment and become an integral part of the team. Hounslow (London Borough), London (Greater)
Recuriter: Ringway

County Highways Manager

Lincolnshire County Council
£55,503 - £60,578
Seeking a highly motivated leader and an excellent communicator, who has a proven ability to build relationships and trust, leading by example. Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council

Local Highways Manager (East) - Lincolnshire County Council

Lincolnshire County Council
G12 £43,662 - £50,430
Seeking someone who combines excellent technical knowledge with a dedication to the customer. Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council

Assistant Director (Planning, Regeneration & Transport)

Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council
£87,791 per annum  
This is an exciting time to join Rotherham and make a real difference. We are looking for an outstanding Assistant Director who will bring... Rotherham, South Yorkshire
Recuriter: Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council

Corporate Director

Islington London Borough Council
Up to £135k
You will share our values and be passionate about helping us shape the Islington of the future. Islington, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Islington London Borough Council

Assistant Engineer

Cambridgeshire County Council
£21,074 - £30,756
Looking for strong team players interested in working with a variety of professional and community partners across Cambridgeshire. Cambridgeshire
Recuriter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Junior Energy Manager Apprentice

Brent Council
£15,000 p.a. inc.
The right person for this job will be pro-active and innovative in finding a way forward. Wembley, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

Career Grade Drainage Engineer

Swindon Borough Council
£19,092 to £40,680 p.a
Working in the asset management team, you’ll support the work of the Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA) and Highways Authority. Swindon, Wiltshire
Recuriter: Swindon Borough Council

Highway Construction Project Manager

Brent Council
£50,442 - £53,526 p.a. inc.
We are looking for an accomplished highway construction project manager to support the delivery of two high priority highway schemes. Brent, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

Traffic Signals & UTMC Manager

Bristol City Council
£42,683 - £45,591
Looking for someone with proven management experience, enthusiasm, creativity, vision and good communication skills. City of Bristol
Recuriter: Bristol City Council

Principal Highways Project Engineer

Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council
£34,106 - £35,229 per annum
The post holder will be responsible for project managing the delivery of two highway projects on the Key Route Network. Knowsley (Metropolitan borough), Merseyside
Recuriter: Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council

Traffic Schemes Officer

Oxfordshire County Council
£22,021 - £29,636 per annum
An exciting opportunity has arisen to play a central role with the Traffic Team in the maintenance of the highway network... Kidlington, Oxfordshire
Recuriter: Oxfordshire County Council

Traffic Engineer

Telford & Wrekin Council
£29,055 to £30,756
This is an exciting opportunity to join Telford & Wrekin Council’s Traffic Management Team! Telford, Shropshire
Recuriter: Telford & Wrekin Council

Assistant Engineer – Traffic Regulation

Telford & Wrekin Council
£23,866 to £25,463
This is an exciting opportunity to join Telford & Wrekin Council’s Traffic Management Team. Telford, Shropshire
Recuriter: Telford & Wrekin Council

Environment Officer

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£29,909 – £32,233 Grade 11 - £33,136 - £35,229
All Environment Officers lead, project manage and/or co-ordinate large environmental projects... Huddersfield, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Highways Quantity Surveyor

Leicester City Council
£30,756 - £33,136 pro-rata per annum
Working in the Highways Maintenance Group, you will be responsible for the operational highway maintenance activities Leicester, Leicestershire
Recuriter: Leicester City Council

Highways Engineer/Inspector

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£22956 - £32637 per annum
Highways Engineer/Inspector - PermanentThere are plenty of reasons to take a closer look at Royal Greenwich.Royal Greenwich is undergoing a huge trans England, London, Woolwich
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Engineer - Bridges

Cambridgeshire County Council
£32,825 - £35,401
We have a vacancy for a Structures Engineer working within the Bridge’s team! Cambridgeshire
Recuriter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Engineer

Cambridgeshire County Council
£32,825 - £35,401
You will be required to lead the delivery of a wide range of highway improvements and maintenance projects... Cambridgeshire
Recuriter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Assistant Director, Highways Operations

Hertfordshire County Council
Competitive Salary
Ensuring the transport infrastructure reflects the pace of our developments and growth agenda... Hertford, Hertfordshire
Recuriter: Hertfordshire County Council

Download your Highways App

Google App Apple App

Highways on Fridays

Latest Issue

latest magazine issue

Includes:

  • The view from the regions
  • Essential Brexit analysis
  • Traffex and Parkex preview
View the latest issue

Latest Video