A Virtual Mate in the Cab – Preventing Fatigue Disaster

What is the most important thing in your life?

At a recent transport industry seminar, 350 drivers were asked just that, and the first response every time was “family”. Tragically, 31 Australian truck drivers lost their lives in 2020 (Source: 2021 NTI Major Accident Report).

Driver fatigue is not just a safety compliance check box – its potentially life destroying for drivers and their families, which is why Connect Source are passionate about getting everyone home safely, every night.

Truck drivers have always been the backbone of Australia, and now they are literally carrying the weight of the nation with the pressure turned up by Covid-19, supply chain issues and flood damage to rail networks. The stress and demand are higher than ever.

Hats off to every driver, you’re doing an amazing job and we need to help you stay safe.

Connect Source want every driver to have access to a life-saving fatigue & distraction management technology, which is like having a mate in the cab. An extra set of eyes, looking out for danger and keeping you awake.

Driving needs 100% of your concentration, which can really take it out of you, and when distraction or fatigue creeps in, the consequences could be catastrophic. That’s where Guardian comes in.

A Best Friend in the Cab

Guardian by Seeing Machines is an Artificial Intelligence (AI) system, trusted world-wide to watch the road and drivers, in real-time, to help avert disasters caused by driver fatigue and distraction.

Where it differs from a surveillance system is in its purpose to purely look for signs of fatigue and distraction, which trigger an alert process. The system is solely designed to buddy the driver.

Guardian can collect a range of information from cameras and monitors in the cab, including driver fitness, sleep and heart rate, as well as engine telemetry, location and light. It uses face and eye-tracking technology, to detect if a driver is experiencing fatigue.

If it sees danger, the system triggers into action by setting off the in-cab alerts - audio alarms and powerful seat vibrations (designed in off-road environments like mining), to wake the driver up. These alerts are lifesaving.

Immediately, data and footage are relayed to the 24/7 Guardian Centre, which then alerts your fleet manager, so changes or adjustments can be made in real-time, if the driver needs support.

Guardian’s system has been formed by billions of kilometres of real-world data points including a vast range of human behaviours.

It has proven to reduce fatigue events by more than 90% and assist drivers to change behaviours and lifestyle habits over time to improve their own safety.

Guardian has now intervened in more than 240,700 fatigue events in the last 12 months and detected more than 11 million distraction events to date.

AI technology is changing the game, being used by leading transport and logistics companies worldwide.

One of the companies using Guardian by Seeing machines is Toll. Since introducing the system, David McGregor, National Contractor Manager for Linehaul, reported a “…significant reduction in fatigue-related serious safety incidents.”

The Myth Holding Drivers Back

One of the beliefs that holds many companies or independent truckies back from using this technology is a major misconception – ‘drivers can tell if they’re getting tired or fatigued’.

Unfortunately, findings made possible by Guardian show many drivers don’t recognise when they start fatiguing and are surprised to learn they have experienced a microsleep event.

In 2020, the largest cause of truck driver deaths was fatigue at a staggering 60%. Inattention and distraction were 20% and inappropriate speed made up the balance (Source: NTI Major Accident Investigation 2021).

Micro-sleeps and drowsy driving impair ability to concentrate on the road and distraction has become a serious problem with the temptation of mobile phones.

These tragedies are avoidable. As drivers and as employers, we need to be doing everything possible to improve road safety. As more companies continue to invest in driver safety technology, lives will be saved and families protected.


How Connect Source Can Help

Connect Source has experts in monitoring driver fatigue available to run an assessment on your driving operations.

At Connect Source, Guardian by Seeing Machines, is supported by a larger platform ‘Momentum’, which fully integrates your existing business systems and data sources to bring them together in one place.

Momentum uses a suite of business intelligence tools to unlock the true value of your data in ways that make sense to your individual business – it can deliver insights that go beyond the possibilities of individual systems to make it a powerful asset for any logistics business.

To get an assessment on driver safety and find out how you can protect driver’s lives, speak with experts at Connect Source today.