Liebherr lands top award for active personnel detection


The German Association of Construction, Environmental and Mechanical Engineering (VDBUM) has awarded Liebherr with a VDBUM award for its active personnel detection.

Active personnel detection is an intelligent assistance system developed by Liebherr for the group’s wheel loaders. Dr Manuel Bös, head of emerging technologies at Liebherr, accepted the prestigious award in person at the 50th VDBUM grand seminar in Willingen.

In July, the expert jury awarded active personnel detection in the category Developments from Industry. Active personnel detection uses sensors and artificial intelligence to automatically distinguish between persons and objects in order to specifically warn the machine operator of an accident that may result in personal injury. If a person moves into the rear area of the wheel loader, the system alerts the operator at a greater distance than for static objects such as walls or columns. This intelligent classification reduces the number of unnecessary warning signals to make the machine operator’s work easier.

In addition to the targeted warning signals, the brake assistant and the incident map are further functions of the active personnel detection system that help to prevent accidents. As soon as the sensors detect a potential danger, the brake assistant automatically slows down the wheel loader. This eliminates the human reaction time required for conventional braking. This shortens the stopping distance by potentially crucial metres, further reducing the frequency and severity of accidents.

With each warning signal, the assistance system transmits a GPS signal to Liebherr’s LiDAT data transmission and positioning system. Based on this, Liebherr provides the incident map, a visualisation of risk zones and potential accident sources on the plant site, for every operator of a wheel loader with active personnel detection in LiDAT. This allows the plant operator to take action to prevent accidents and thus increase safety.


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Saul Wordsworth is deputy editor of the iVT brand - which includes digital and print editions of a quarterly magazine and Off-Highway Annual, as well as He is a keen cyclist and lives in north London.

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