Keeping a wide load convoy with supporting vehicles together through a series of signal junctions
How do you move Airbus A400M wings—6 metres (20 feet) by 30 metres (98 feet)—from a manufacturing plant in Filton to the Portbury docks in Avonmouth? It might only be a 15 minute drive for most people, but it’s a lot more complicated with the considerable length of the transport vehicles and the security requirements around the very high value loads. The large convoy had to remain moving and together at all times through a significant number of traffic signal intersections, which would require very long green signal times.
We took an innovative approach from the start, using lidar scanning to map the route and identify required infrastructure changes. We worked with the client and local authority to understand each stakeholder’s needs before developing a specification, and we collaborated with the technology supplier to develop the preferred solution. That solution? Active RFID tags in each of the vehicles in the convoy which connected to smart roadside sensors to hold the green light until all convoy vehicles had passed through.
Between the RFID tags and our operational protocols for the haulage team, we helped ensure that the plan would get the convey where it needed to go efficiently and securely. We produced a detailed design package and functional specification, and we were involved in tweaking the solution onsite to calibrate the desktop study findings.
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