Revolutionary technology to reduce driver fatigue
11 April 2014
Revolutionary technology to reduce driver fatigue may soon be available in New Zealand
Reduces fatigue and distraction incidents by 80 per cent
Fleetsafe NZ is working with AIM-listed technology company, Seeing Machines to bring its revolutionary Driver Safety System (DSS) to New Zealand’s roads to help reduce fatigue crash statistics that in 2012 resulted in 46 deaths with a social cost of $281 million.
DSS is based on patented eye-tracking technology that can detect if a driver is distracted or falling asleep at the wheel. Using sensor equipment mounted on a vehicle’s dash to observe the driver’s face, the system tracks head alignment for potential driver distraction while simultaneously tracking and analysing eye behaviour to detect micro sleeps. The system provides warnings in the form of in-cab alarms and alerts to an organisation’s central dispatch.
Dim Ramsteijn, CEO of Fleetsafe NZ, is delighted to be in discussions with Seeing Machines about bringing the technology to New Zealand.
“Driver fatigue is a serious issue in New Zealand. Ministry of Transport statistics indicate that in 2012 fatigue was identified as a contributing factor in 36 fatal crashes (resulting in 46 deaths), 106 serious injury crashes and 410 minor injury crashes.
“That’s 46 people who didn’t come home from work in 2012 because they fell asleep at the wheel and frankly it’s not good enough,” says Ramsteijn.
After forming a global alliance with Caterpillar resulting in worldwide availability of the technology via Caterpillar authorised dealers in the mining industry, and an announcement that 110 BHP Billiton mining trucks would be equipped with the eye-tracking technology, Seeing Machines is now working with Fleetsafe NZ to identify opportunities to implement the technology in the New Zealand transport industry.
Steve Hosking, Seeing Machines General Manager, says his company’s technology has been proven to reduce fatigue-related incidents by as much as 80 per cent.
“What we offer is a robust piece of technology that, in conjunction with a fatigue management programme and other supportive driver health and safety policies, can help to deliver a sustainable reduction in driver fatigue and distraction events of 80 per cent.
“Following our success in the mining industry, we have modified the technology and are now focused on the transport sector.
“We see Fleetsafe as a potential partner in Zealand, not only because we share the same values around driver safety, but because Fleetsafe has established relationships with a number of organisations that we think would benefit from the technology,” he adds.
FleetSafe, a New Zealand company, exists to reduce the social, economic and environmental impact of driving. It is well known that getting behind the wheel of a vehicle is one the most dangerous activities an employee will undertake in the workplace. Employers have a duty of care under the Health and Safety in Employment Act to take all reasonable steps to protect employees from unnecessary risk or harm. FleetSafe has been providing measurable value to its customers by delivering focused online and practical driver risk evaluation, education, training and monitoring programmes. These programmes significantly reduce financial risks and improve adherence to health, safety and energy efficiency objectives over long-term operations.
Seeing Machines, (AIM:SEE), is an AIM-listed technology company that specialises in visual computing systems that track faces, eye and facial features in real time. Its software and engineering services are used in products and applications that range from devices that detect eye disease to prevent loss of sight, to those that improve driver safety and save lives. Seeing Machines technology is used worldwide across the automotive, mining, gaming, transport and aviation industries; as well as many of the leading academic research groups, transportation authorities, and Defence Departments. Seeing Machines is based in Canberra, Australia, and Tucson, Arizona and counts Caterpillar, BHP Billiton, Toyota, Nissan and Motorola among its customers.