Safer Trucking – Driver Monitoring Proves Itself at ATS

by Julius Grafton

Australia’s largest entertainment logistics firm ATS have introduced a fleet-wide driver monitoring system called Guardian Seeing Eye that has already saved one driver within weeks of implementation. The driver-facing camera feeds a control face-and-gaze-tracking algorithm that measures the driver’s head position and eye closure and, when safety parameters are exceeded, audio alarms and seat vibration are immediately activated. Guardian also features a forward-facing camera which captures critical information about road conditions at the time of the event.

ATS boss Phil Duncan showed CX some downloaded footage of various driver distractions, which result in a driver discussion. When first installed, Phil says some drivers were resistant, until the major incident where the driver can be seen nodding off. The front camera shows the truck tracking off the road, until the seat shaker and alarm quickly woke the driver who safely corrected.

When these fatigue or distraction events are detected, data and footage are immediately relayed to the 24/7 Guardian Centre, which then alerts fleet management and allows them to respond in real time to the developing situation in the cab. Phil says he had an incident where the driver distractions happened with a driver over one day, and in discussions, although the driver had just come off a rest weekend, his sleep was inadequate.

Commenting on the cost of the system, Phil says his promoter clients appreciate risk mitigation, for while ATS operate wholly within driver legal driving limits, the time-sensitive nature of touring means arriving on time is everything. ‘It has saved one life potentially already, so the cost is irrelevant’.

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