In October last year, Australian road-safety technology provider Arrowes launched a new innovation called the Automated Cone Truck (ACT), the first commercially available truck in the world that automatically places and retrieves traffic cones.
A six-week trial run was recently completed the Victorian Government on its $518m upgrade of the M80 between Sydney Road and Edgars Road.
Initial results from the trial showed that the ACT can efficiently place and retrieve traffic cones, eliminating the interface between live traffic and workers when setting up temporary traffic management.
The truck is being tested off road before being moved into live traffic conditions where it will be trialled during night work.
“The safety of our people and the community is at the forefront of everything we do, so we’re excited to be the first to trial this innovative new technology on the M80 Upgrade,” MRPV program director Eric Shegog said.
Lane closures often require a combination of hard barriers and traffic cones to protect users and road workers while works take place. Manual deployment and collection of the cones can expose road workers to some of the highest risk zones on a road worksite.
Using the ACT reduces the need for workers to come close to live traffic conditions, which can be dangerous. It also reduces the risk of long-term injury from the lifting of the cones, which are heavy and require repetitive movement, and eliminates the risk of fatigue.
The Automated Cone Truck has been four years in the making, with Arrowes’ engineers dedicating more than 30,000 hours to the design and development of the prototype.
It is believed to be the first commercially available automated cone truck in Australia – and possibly the world.