Interface Design for Haul Truck Proximity System

Australian Coal Association research program

Haul trucks are large heavy vehicles with inherent blind spots for the driver. There have been incidents at surface mines in Australia and abroad in which these trucks have collided with smaller support vehicles or other obstacles leading, in some cases, to fatalities. The minerals industry approached UQ staff to help develop the next generation of proximity warning devices. As one might expect in the 21st century, haul trucks are equipped with warning devices but current systems are hampered by a tendency to produce too many, non-specific warnings that led to driver overload and distrust/disinterest. What was required was a system that could provide a more targeted and informative overview of the vehicles surrounding the operator.


In two stages the UQ team developed and validated a next-generation proximity detection device for surface mine vehicles in which a bird’s eye view informed the drivers of where potential hazards lay and their nature (truck vs light vehicle, heading and speed).

The project ran for five years and included a partnership with the simulator company (5DT) to help develop a bespoke haul truck simulator for conducting basic research in Prof Wallis’s HMNS lab.

Research Team

Professor Robin Burgess-Limerick, Professor Guy Wallis

Funding Source

Australian Coal Association Research Program grants

Output and Outcome
  • The team produced an official report on various design options and evidence derived from hours of operator performance in the haul truck simulator.
  • The design principles were then adopted by Glencore in their tendering process for a planned refit of their fleet comprising over 3500 trucks.

Project members

HMNS Researchers

Professor Guy Wallis

Professor & Director of Research
School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences