Sweden is the latest EU country to look into telematics in a big way. It’s seen the success of Australia’s Intelligent Access Program and wants in, with a pilot scheme of the truck tracking software kicking off in the next few weeks.
Australia’s IAP program hasn’t been around for long, but already it’s making a name for itself. The system uses satellites to track enrolled vehicles, recording information like date, time and position of the vehicle. The driver can also make what’s described as “self declarations,” to add more information and context to the data. The idea behind it was to show drivers the best routes to take for heavy load driving, as well as all the usual benefits behind telematics, like: improved fuel economy, safer drivers and more efficient fleet management.
However Australia has made the tech mandatory for many large classes of vehicles to improve the safety of other road users too. It does this by routing potentially problematic traffic like livestock carrying lorries and other vehicles onto particular roads. Similarly super-large machinery is only allowed on certain highways, making them less likely to injure anyone should something go wrong. The IAP system also gives vehicles access to certain roadways which would be otherwise inaccessible, thereby speeding up their cargo transfer.
“It enables road transport reforms by managing infrastructure risks and compliance, providing governments with the highest levels of assurance that the right truck is on the right road at the right time, and if required, to ensure the vehicle does not exceed gross speed thresholds,” says Transport Certification Australia Chief Executive Officer, Chris Koniditsiotis.
In Sweden the scheme is being pushed by Transtech Driven, Volvo and Scania, however the Australian TCA is working in cooperation with the Swedish Transport Administration (STA) to make it happen. The TCA has already approved several service providers for distributing the tech within Australia and beyond, with Transtech Driven being the first to push its technology in a different country – one on the other side of the world no less.
The scheme is expected to launch in the next few weeks, with the first vehicles already going through certification and having the telematics hardware and software installed.
Anders Berndtsson, Chief Strategist at Trafikverket, says: “We see IAP and similar systems as possible instruments for better risk management, enabling us to open up a substantial part of the road network for new vehicle combinations.
“This will help us utilise our road network while reducing climate impact from road transports,” he concluded.
All of this was only possible because of the memorandum signed by Sweden and Australia back in 2012 – that’s how long this scheme has been in the works. However finally it looks set to get off the ground, with the benefits to Swedish drivers and consumers expected to be as high as those in Australia were with the original introduction of the IAP.