Drones used to monitor ‘high risk’ heavy vehicles


NHVR-sanctioned drones will soon be patrolling highways to help the regulator monitor ‘high risk’ truck movements within its jurisdictions.

In a tender posted last week, the NHVR called for bids from suppliers who can provide ‘target or  reconnaissance’ drones, and other Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) camera technology  to “facilitate the monitoring and interception of high-risk heavy vehicles, operators and journeys”.

In the tender outline, the NHVR said the mobile technology is to be used on a trial basis to complement the fixed National Safety Camera Network (NSCN).

A spokesperson told us that the NHVR anticipates these cameras will be rolled out by mid-2021 for an initial trial period of three months. Further information will be made available following the trial.

Although Queensland regions are mentioned in the tender overview, the NHVR tells us the technology definitely won’t be used there as heavy vehicle compliance is still the under the purview of Transport and Main Roads.

The tender was released via QTender, the Queensland Government’s tender program, as per NHVR current business practises, but is open to tenderers nationwide.

The initial trial will include two trailer-mounted cameras, two vehicle-mounted cameras and one drone camera, across the NHVR’s Southern Operations region – including the ACT, South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria, added the spokesperson.

“These cameras will assist NHVR’s officers in undertaking an intelligence-led and risk-based approach to safety by ensuring enforcement efforts target the greatest safety risks.

“Smarter camera technology will also assist in identifying operators who are doing the right thing, who can then expect to be less regularly intercepted by the NHVR.”

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