CLIENT: Cleanaway

Cleanaway is Australia's largest waste management company, offering an unrivalled capacity to collect, treat, recycle or safely dispose of a variety of waste streams.

MAX-SAFE Side View Solution provided superior VRU detection to standard side mirrors and cameras and was most beneficial to the drivers involved in the trial.

Matthew Wentman, National Fleet Manager, Cleanaway Waste Management


Cleanaway has become the first Australian waste management company to trial a new AI safety solution to mitigate vehicle blind spots for turning vehicles.

Developed in 2023, MAX-SAFE Side View is an advanced AI Camera solution that provides VRU alert and protection for when heavy vehicles move lanes or turn corners.

With their fleet sharing the road with more VRUs – people often unaware of heavy vehicle blind spots – and a commitment to safety, Cleanaway was keen to explore the suitability of new AI-based safety solutions for left-hand turning vehicles – where blinds spots are more prominent.”

Read on for details on:

  • The business overview
  • The safety challenge
  • A new type of solution
  • The trial
  • Findings / outcomes
  • Future plans
  • Key benefits


As Australia's largest waste management company, Cleanaway has a fleet of more than 6100 vehicles.

The company’s foundations are safety and the environment, with the aim of mitigating any impact to its people and the environment in which they operate.

With more vehicles and Vulnerable Road Users (VRUs) sharing roads across Australia’s suburbs and CBDs, this commitment to safety requires constant focus and advancement, including the adoption of technology to improve safety.



In Brisbane, as in other major centres, rear load vehicles operate in and around the city and CBD on busy narrow streets, reversing and turning frequently to collect waste from the street, roadside and complexes. Every day these vehicles have many interactions with VRUs who are often unaware of the blind spots, risks and limitations associated with such vehicles, said National Fleet Manager, Cleanaway Waste Management, Matthew Wentman.

Waste collection vehicles are common heavy vehicles in metropolitan areas. Because of this, some pedestrians and cyclists are increasingly familiar, distracted, and unconcerned about being close to heavy vehicles. This elevates the risk to both VRUs and heavy vehicles drivers.

“Cleanaway’s HSE (Health, Safety and Environment) department identifies and incorporates health, safety and environmental innovations and improvements at all levels within Cleanaway. Specifically, the HSE team works to prioritise and resource the regular review of new, suitable, safety measures and to verify their efficacy through field trials,” said Matthew.

“With our safety cultural imperative, Cleanaway was keen to explore the suitability of new AI-based safety solutions for left-hand turning vehicles – where blinds spots are more prominent.”


Through a long-standing partnership with SGESCO-MAX, developers of innovative heavy vehicle safety solutions, Cleanaway learned of the new MAX-SAFE Side View Solution, which uses advanced camera technology to assist drivers turning or pulling across to the left (or right).

The camera, which is mounted on a side mirror or part of the cab, scans the incoming image of the side of the vehicle to determine if there is a person – moving or stationary – within the defined potential danger zone. It does this by using in-built AI (Artificial Intelligence) technology that has been enhanced through Machine Learning (ML). In this way, the smart solution detects anyone, including a small person, that may be in a vehicle’s blind spot and unseen in sideview mirrors.

Importantly, the MAX-SAFE Side View Solution can also determine if the vehicle is turning via the indicator signal and / or the steering-angle. Either will activate other safety measures, namely an audible (spoken) alert to the driver inside the vehicle and to the VRU outside the vehicle.


In August 2023, Cleanaway installed the MAX-SAFE Side View Solution on one of their rear loader vehicles that operates around Brisbane CBD. This was part of a three-month trial that involved various drivers. Overseeing the trial was Matthew Wentman.

The MAX-SAFE Side View Solution was set up to be a passive solution that would alert both the driver and a VRU – by way of verbal spoken alert and flashing light – ONLY when a VRU entered the programmed monitoring zone on the left-hand side of the vehicle.

With this built-in conditional logic, the smart warning solution was deemed superior to a typical one which would have operated on constant alert whenever the left-hand indicator was activated – but not provide any notification to the driver of VRUs. Additionally, Cleanaway was mindful of not causing unnecessary noise disturbance to the public.


The MAX-SAFE Side View Solution provided superior VRU detection to standard side mirrors and cameras.

According to Matthew, the solution was most beneficial to the drivers involved in the trial as they were only made aware of a person in their left-hand side blind spots when they needed to be. This meant it didn’t complicate their working environment nor was it an ongoing noise that they had to contend with.

At the same time, VRUs were made aware of the heavy vehicle turning left and could avoid interaction and respond by moving away from the turning vehicle.

“This kept busy commuters safe when they may have been too close to a heavy vehicle when turning,” said Matthew.

“What we particularly valued, was the addition of the steering angle sensor that overcame any instances where a left-hand indicator wasn’t operational. This gave us an additional level of reassurance in the capability of the system to warn and protect VRUs,” said Matthew.

“We believe that the public would have appreciated the fact that the solution didn’t sound the alarm constantly.”

“For us, it means drivers can operate more comfortably and effectively when driving around busy areas which involve a high rate of VRUs because operators are made aware of a VRU on the left-hand side of the vehicle.”

Rear Lift 1



Final decisions on implementation are still to be made, said Matthew, however, they welcomed the Australian availability of this advanced and highly accurate camera and sensor-based safety solution that provides better protection for VRUs and specific alerts to drivers for a prevalent risk.

“Adopting smart, practical and affordable solutions that provide greater protection for VRUs around waste management vehicles is the future for us and our industry,” said Matthew.

“Given the extent of our government and commercial service contracts across Australia, we appreciate that MAX-SAFE solutions can be installed, calibrated and supported by SGESCO-MAX’s national dealer network, ensuring a consistent and reliable solution,” he said.


of the MAX-SAFE Side View Solution

  • Provides assistance to the driver
  • Safeguards the side of the vehicle
  • Protects Vulnerable Road User – pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists, scooters
  • High accuracy – detects people stationary and moving
  • More affordable than sensor systems
  • Suitable for most ANZ climatic / environmental conditions
  • Provides alerts and audible warnings
  • State of the art European technology
  • Greater safety and peace of mind for drivers and fleet managers