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World’s First Self-Driving Construction Vehicle

Nearly two years ago, details about an autonomous, self-driving construction vehicle were revealed. It would be the first of its kind in the United States. Now, thanks to a collaboration between its developer, Royal Truck and Equipment, and the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), that vehicle is preparing to hit the American streets.


Also known as the Autonomous Truck Mounted Attenuator, the Autonomous Impact Protection Vehicle (AIPV) is an innovative creation that operates using a leader-follower system. Traditional Truck Mounted Attenuator Trucks are designed to protect the lead vehicle from other trucks that could collide with them. The leader vehicles move more slowly, as they are frequently responsible for handling construction barrels and carrying out pavement striping operations. The main problem with this situation is that a driver is manning the vehicle designed to be hit with the impact.

The Colorado Department of Transportation Executive Director stated in a press release that in the last four years, there have been 26 instances where public vehicles struck an impact protection truck.

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“That’s almost seven per year,” she said.

The CDOT executive director said that this number was dangerously high when, in some cases, an employee is driving the vehicle that was hit. By using self-driving construction vehicles, drivers can be removed from harm’s way while roadside workers remain protected.

How does it work?

Allowing self-driving vehicles to weather impact is a logical step, but how does it work? The autonomous follower vehicles use a system of computers, a compass, GPS receivers, and a transceiver to automatically adjust direction and speed to keep up and remain a safe distance from the leader vehicle, which is human-operated.

In conjunction with UK infrastructure company Colas, Royal Truck and Equipment and the Colorado DOT recently sent the ATMA truck into an actual work zone. Video footage of the self-driving construction vehicle in action can be viewed online.

Specialists in Construction Insurance


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