Colas, RT&E and MSI develop world’s first AIPV for highways


UK-based Colas has partnered with American companies Royal Truck and Equipment (RT&E) and Micro Systems (MSI) to develop the world’s first autonomous impact protection vehicle (AIPV) in order to improve the safety of highway workers.

Equipped with an electromechanical applique kit and a fully integrated sensor suite, the new AIPV is being used at an onsite location in Colorado, US.

A leader/follower technology used by the AIPV enables it to follow a driver-operated leader vehicle.

“Colas’ innovative approach to health and safety is precisely why we are delighted to be working with them on this cutting-edge project in Europe.”

The unmanned AIPV vehicle utilises navigation data such as speed and path of the drive-operated vehicle, as well as follows the leader vehicle along the route.

The technology was initially used by the US Military for its drones and tailored by RT&E and MSI for applications in the highway industry.

The objective of introducing autonomous technology in an IPV is to eliminate the need for a driver in a vehicle, which is currently being used as a mobile crash barrier for protecting road workers and equipment from errant vehicles.

Colas CEO Lee Rushbrooke said: “We are dedicated to advancing health and safety issues and will continue to invest in cutting-edge research and development projects to benefit our employees, clients and the wider industry.”

Engineers from Colas, RT&E and MSI have worked together to develop, monitor and trial the system to deliver highest possible performance.

The AIPV is reported to have completed more than 200h of testing and training, prior to being declared ready for use on live worksites in the US.

RT&E president Robb Roy said: “Colas’ innovative approach to health and safety is precisely why we are delighted to be working with them on this cutting-edge project in Europe.”


Image: Colas partnered with RT&E and MSI to develop world’s first AIPV. Photo: courtesy of Colas.