Colas and Volvo Construction Equipment have been working to collaborate on a project that has seen the company develop and test a range of concepts and prototypes that contribute towards improved work site safety.
As part of the “Safer@Work” research project, the concept uses Artificial Intelligence to alert the operator when a person is detected in the vicinity of the machine. It incorporates different warning systems, both for the operator and for people in the area surrounding the machine.
Volvo CE has tested a people detection system at two Colas sites, an asphalt plant and a quarry in Switzerland.
Colas says Volvo CE engineers were already developing the integrated AI algorithm and it was further improved during the Safer@Work project.
The prototype is one of three operator assist concepts that Volvo CE and Colas have been collaborating since 2016. Currently this work is part of a research project to prove the technology is viable for the industry. Plans for industrialisation are under investigation.
“We wanted to partner with a construction equipment manufacturer and create an innovative safety system that would reduce the number of accidents involving people on construction sites,” said Philippe Simarik, Prevention, Health and Safety Director at Colas. “Given that we share core values, especially safety, Volvo CE was the ideal choice. We are working together to develop and test various new ideas. The most mature of those ideas is the people detection concept, and we hope to equip our machines with this system in the future. Our collaboration with Volvo CE has been extremely positive, together we have come up with a solution that will improve work site safety.”