Monthly newsletters from the Vice Presidents of the HVTT Forum.

June 2023 Newsletter

Dear HVTT subscriber,

I start this month’s newsletter on a somber note. On June 16, 2023, a crash between a tractor-semitrailer and a 25-passenger bus claimed the lives of 16 people. The crash occurred at an at-grade intersection of the Trans Canada Highway and a two-lane undivided rural road, west of Winnipeg, Manitoba. As the tragic details of the crash emerge, may we as a community of professionals involved in heavy vehicle transport be reminded to prioritize safety in all we do.


Inspired by Karel Kural’s approach to last month’s newsletter, which featured developments from across Europe, this month’s newsletter highlights input provided by a few truck-enthused researchers in Canada—from east to west.

  • New Brunswick: Dr. Julien Lépine, Université Laval and the HVTT Forum’s current Secretary, noted that province’s recent involvement in a pilot project that allows 60.5-ft (18.4-m) semi-trailers as part of a tractor semi-trailer combination, rather than the conventional 53-ft (16.2-m) semi-trailer. By doing so, New Brunswick joins the other Maritime provinces and Ontario in allowing a configuration designed for hauling high-cube commodities. Québec, which is geographically situated between New Brunswick and Ontario, is currently studying the issue.
  • Québec: Dr. Lépine also noted Québec’s recent move to harmonize its regulations with national requirements regarding the use of electronic logging devices (ELDs) for tracking duty status and times for commercial vehicle drivers. The national regulations came into effect on January 1, 2023.
  • Ontario: Dr. Peter Park, York University, highlighted two recent publications focused on truck platooning. The first examines the appropriate acceleration lane length for operating truck platoons on freeway merge areas. The second considers operational impacts of truck platoons on urban arterials. Staying in Ontario, Dr. Matthew Roorda, University of Toronto, pointed out two major freight-related research initiatives: the Smart Freight Centre and the City Logistics for the Urban Economy (CLUE) project.
  • Manitoba: My colleague at the University of Manitoba, Dr. Babak Mehran, and I continue working on research funded by the National Research Council’s Artificial Intelligence for Logistics Program. In May, I had the opportunity to hear research updates on the many projects underway across Canada that are funded by the program. Although not exclusively truck-related, one take-away for me was a presentation on the responsible use of AI (check out this link for some Canadian resources). It is fascinating to see nations grapple with how best to regulate this space, and the parallels these challenges have with the regulation of truck transportation. In particular, the government identifies five guiding principles for the effective and ethical use of AI, namely: (1) understanding and measuring impacts; (2) transparency; (3) providing meaningful explanations; (4) being open about codes and data, while protecting privacy; and (5) providing sufficient training. These principles seem fitting in the regulation of heavy vehicle transport.

Before closing, a reminder and encouragement to register for our upcoming conference, scheduled for November 6 to 10 in Brisbane, Australia. The joint event hosted by the HVTT Forum and the International Society for Weigh-in-Motion (ISWIM) has been appropriately themed: Technology Convergence 2023 – Setting the wheels in motion – Reimagining the future of heavy vehicles, roads and freight. Early-bird registration closes October 1, 2023.

From Winnipeg (where we experienced 12 days with highs exceeding +30⁰C before the summer solstice),

Jonathan Regehr

HVTT Vice President, North America