Enhancing the Safety of Quiet Road Transport Vehicles (QRTV): Crash reduction benefits of the fitment of Acoustic Vehicle Alerting Systems (AVAS) in Australia

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned ReportResearch


In October 2018 the Monash University Accident Research Centre (MUARC) reported that Quiet Road Transport Vehicles (QRTVs) have significant negative impacts for pedestrian safety, particularly those who are blind or have low vision (Liu at al., 2018). These negative impacts relate to crash and near-crash experiences, as well as the impact on perceived safety and the associated harms to mental health and impacts on community participation. This was related to the inability of pedestrians to detect the presence of QRTVs.

A principal recommendation of the MUARC report was that Australia adopt UN Regulation No. 138-01 as an Australian Design Rule. This would require fitment of an Acoustic Vehicle Alerting System (AVAS) on all hybrid and electric vehicles, activated when travelling at low speed, in order to be sold in the Australian market.

The present research study titled, Quiet Road Transport Vehicles: Crash reduction benefits of the fitment of Acoustic Vehicle Alerting Systems in Australia was commissioned by the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development. The objective of the research was to estimate the potential
pedestrian-involved crash reduction benefits of fitting AVAS to hybrid and electric vehicles in Australia.

A focus of the assessment was defining the crash applicability of AVAS to the pedestrian-involved crash population. In doing so, the assessment considers the acoustic characteristics of AVAS, the current and projected number of QRTVs in the Australian vehicle fleet, the differential crash risk of a pedestrian crash
given QRTV involvement, and the effectiveness of AVAS in enhancing aural detection of QRTVs. The analysis incorporated a crash reduction benefit associated with Auto Emergency Braking Systems (AEBS), as per UN
Regulation 152 that was adopted in early 2020. The outcomes of this Report provide inputs for use in the conduct of a future cost-benefit calculation of AVAS in the Australian context.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationMelbourne Vic Australia
Commissioning bodyDepartment of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts (Australia)
Number of pages55
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020


  • electric vehicles
  • acoustic vehicle alerting system
  • United Nations regulation
  • safety
  • blind or low vision
  • pedestrian
  • vulnerable road user
  • cyclist

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