Shell Bitumen and DHL set a new standard in transport safety

Shell Bitumen has retrofitted an innovative collision avoidance technology into its HGV fleet to improve transport safety with the support of DHL, its long-term transport and logistics partner.

“The team decided to look into available aftermarket technology, which is becoming widely available for the car market. Although these systems had not been used on HGVs, we were determined to find a solution that would provide the alert functions to help improve driver reaction times and attentiveness,” said John Doyle, Distribution Manager at Shell Bitumen.

Thirty-six HGV ‘tractors’ within the Shell Bitumen fleet are being retrofitted with Mobileye, a technology that will visually and audibly warn Shell Bitumen drivers in time to make necessary corrections to avoid potential collisions or lessen the damage.

Shell Bitumen had run two pilot initiatives with DHL, which operates its fleet - first on a Scania tractor, followed by a Volvo tractor, over eight weeks. These were carried out by instructors on its driver training trucks to put the technology through its paces.

The installation took place across all older tractors, which do not feature the latest generation AEBS (Automatic Electronic Braking Systems). All new tractors coming into the fleet have AEBS as standard, which negates the need for the collision avoidance technology.

In November 2016, the first of the 36 tractors were retrofitted with this collision avoidance technology. In June 2017, the final Shell Bitumen tractor will be fitted with the technology.

“All through the programme and installation across the fleet we have had very positive feedback from our drivers, which has helped us to fine tune the system. And while technology can never be a complete solution nor a substitute for AEBS, it is providing a major step forward in our continuous journey in road transport safety,” added John.

Phil Roe, Managing Director, Transport, Engineering & Manufacturing, Energy & Chemicals, DHL Supply Chain added: “The Shell / DHL fleet covers in excess of 6 million kilometres per year and, with UK roads becoming inceasingly congested, there are more and more potential distractions. We are always looking for innovative ways to make every journey as safe as possible for our drivers, other vehicles and vulnerable road users. Mobileye is another step in the right direction on our joint safety journey.”

Shell Bitumen operates a large fleet of tractors through DHL to distribute bitumen throughout the UK. At any one time, Shell Bitumen has a flexible fleet of up to 75 HGVs on the UK road network.

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