Early Warning System to Warn Sleepy Kiwis to Hit the Brakes

Soon drivers in New Zealand will be a little safer from tired truck driving on their highways.

As the number of fatal crashes involving truck drivers increased, one company began developing an AI tool to help prevent accidents.  A small camera in the truck’s cab could be a lifesaver. The AI device scans the driver’s eyes to detect signs of fatigue and distraction, and if a driver’s eyelids close for one and a half seconds, an alarm sounds and the driver’s seat vibrates. A camera also records the moment.

“What this technology is about is keeping the driver focussed on the road, and alerting them for any reason if their attention is drawn away,” said Charles Dawson, the chief executive of Autosense.

Z Energy’s technology, which is already on 70 of its tankers, may prevent fatal crashes resulting from fatigue. The number of fatalities involving truck drivers has jumped from 49 in 2013 to 71 in 2017, with 25 of those crashes put down to diverted attention or fatigue.

“If you haven’t had six hours of undisturbed sleep in a night, essentially the stats show you are four times over the legal limit of alcohol,” said Mr Dawson.

The camera, alarm and vibrating seat system may already be saving Z Energy drivers’ lives, but at the same time the Ministry of Transport has recognized the a major issue around truck driver fatigue and is working on a whole new road safety strategy.

read more at newshub.co.nz