Automated AI cone truck marks new era for road construction safety

Paul Eyers
By Paul Eyers
4 Min Read

Australian roadwork safety technology is driving into a new era thanks to the introduction of an automated cone truck, set to become a construction safety game-changer.

The Australian first innovation is currently in its testing phase, with road safety experts saying it has the potential to “redefine” road construction and maintenance nationwide.

Introduced by KPI Construction Services in partnership with Arrowes Roading Safety, the truck is more than just another logistical asset, reflecting the scale of rapid technological advancements permeating the construction industry.

Designed with intricate sensor systems, integrated AI software, and a sophisticated algorithm, the truck can place and pick up traffic cones along various roadway types.

This technology ensures the truck adjusts to varying road terrains, traffic conditions, and environmental factors to ensure its reliability in numerous construction scenarios.

Costing jobs but saving lives

KPI Construction General Manager Wayne Wright told Build-it shifting from manual processes to a technology-driven solution provides a safer, faster and more efficient solution for most road construction operations.

“The biggest benefit is to our staff. It ensures they aren’t hanging out behind trucks all night on the freeway and mitigates many risk factors,” he said.

“It’s helping ensure all our staff come home at night.”

The revolutionary technology is undergoing rigorous tests on the southern section of the Victorian North East Link Project, which has become associated with demonstrating new technologies.

The project aims to bridge gaps in Melbourne’s freeway network with its southern section, known for its unique traffic patterns and road challenges.

But Mr Wright says those challenges make the North East Link Project the perfect testing ground to gauge the truck’s capabilities.

“Because this project is taking place on such a high-speed road, we can really put the truck through its paces and introduce it to many different scenarios,” he told Build-it.

“The North East Link trial isn’t just another project for us at KPI Construction Services. It represents our commitment to continuous improvement, thorough testing, and delivering unparalleled quality.”

“This trial underscores the importance of getting things right from the outset, ensuring that the communities we serve benefit from infrastructure that’s both robust and sustainable.”

How automated cone trucks could change construction:

Less Manual Interactions – automated placement reduces risks associated with manual operations, especially in heavy traffic.

Consistency – Mitigates potential human error by providing uniformity through predefined safety protocols and precision.

Monitoring – An immediate tracking and feedback system swiftly detects and resolves challenges, safeguarding the workforce and the public.

Jobs – Like with any artificial intelligence technology, the automation of large-scale tasks would mean less workers are needed to complete each job.

Mr Wright exclusively told Build-it that KPI construction hopes to roll out “many more” of the automated trucks in the near future.

“It’s just about getting contractors on board and proving to them how well the concept actually works.”

“The Automated Cone Truck is not just a piece of machinery; it’s a glimpse into the future of construction and road safety – As we continue to evolve and innovate, this technology will redefine efficiency and set new standards for our industry.”

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Paul Eyers has worked as a journalist for a range of media publishers including News Corp and Network Ten. He has also worked outside of Australia, including time spent with ABS-CBN in the Philippines. Stepping away from the media, Paul spent five years sharpening his tools in construction - building his skill set and expertise within the trade industry. His diverse experiences and unique journey have equipped him with an insider view of Australia’s construction game to dig deep into the big stories.