'Best in Class' at the 2018 Good Design Awards

Victoria, Australia is recognised as a world leader in road safety initiatives, especially mobile alcohol & drug testing. This is the legacy of the revolutionary second-generation Alcohol & Drug Testing Vehicle (ADT), designed by Cobalt and winner of a 2004 Good Design Award. The challenge for Cobalt was to raise the bar again, making the third-generation ADT the flagship vehicle of police operations and ideals. It also needed to advance safety standards as a workplace for officers as well as public and road users.

The brief was simple — the Victorian Police needed a new vehicle to embody their role as both enforcer and protector; firmly projecting the ADT’s purpose to the public through its design language.

By observing current work practices and public road conditions, Cobalt proposed separating setup procedures from the dangers of passing traffic.

The breakthrough solution being front/rear storage ‘drawers,’ allowing officers to access equipment and set up a testing area while keeping clear of passing cars.

Careful consideration was also given to the interior to maximise space and accessibility, including private interview rooms, a transformable crew amenities area, as well as a secure stowage of specialised blood testing and emergency response equipment. The low floors of the bus allow easy access throughout the vehicle and its various exits.

Every year, hundreds of preventable deaths and injuries occur on our roads due to drunk or drug-impaired drivers. The ADT’s strong visual language reflects Victoria’s tough stance on drink/drug driving, allowing officers to effectively serve their community and drive the death toll on our roads towards zero.


  • Improve workflow relative to the second generation ADT
  • Improve safety features for Police officers
  • Provide a break area for officers
  • Ability to deploy in emergency response situations
  • Embody Victoria Police’s role as both enforcer and protector


  • Forward facing passenger seats swivel to convert into a break area for the crew, complete with a fold-out table
  • Separate interview rooms maximise privacy
  • Larger-width coach-class seats accommodate a full crew of 17 officers, fully equipped with patrol-gear
  • Multiple exterior scene & emergency lights programmable for different set-ups and situations


  • Automotive Styling
  • A-Class Surface Modelling CAD
  • Design Concepts
  • Interior layout design
  • Prototype scale models
  • Australian Standards and Design Rules compliance checking
  • Final output for manufacture
  • Mark Matthews-Frederick
  • Jack Magree
  • Graeme Marshall
  • Adam Dean Smith
  • Bernie Walsh
  • Warrack Leach

Building off a legacy

Since Cobalt designed the previous testing vehicles, we distilled over 14 years of user-insights to take the new ADT to a new level. Knowing the kind of power and endurance the bus would require, the ADT is built on a proven Iveco Metro chassis featuring a fuel efficient Cummins diesel engine, automatic 6 speed transmission with modern driving safety systems and interior controls.

Safety was considered throughout every aspect of the ADT, such as the continuous plane floors of the bus providing officers and civilians clear and unobstructed exits in case of an emergency. The low-floor layout allows officers to mobilise quickly and professionally while accessing emergency equipment from unobtrusive storage compartments.

The vehicle is fully compliant with all applicable Australian Standards and Australian Design Rules, ensuring safety and adaptability.

Many new features exist in this iteration of the ADT, including a programmable LED screen on the back of the vehicle, which can alert drivers of changed conditions and prepare them to slow down and stop for testing. Also appearing for the first time is the roof mounted electro-pneumatic mast light, which rises & pivots to a height of 9m to illuminate the entire testing zone, whilst minimising glare for approaching traffic.

The ADT has been designed to be transformable, converting into a mobile command post during major incidents and emergency situations. Interior spaces and communications equipment/technology were specified to provide versatility in the vehicle’s  functionality

Related projects