Working in the Coal Mine
Seeing Machines’ Driver Safety System uses a dashboard-mounted driver-facing camera to detect if the person behind the wheel is paying attention or falling asleep.
Tracking software builds a 3-D model of the operator’s head using infrared lighting, then measures and analyzes changes in head position as well as eye closure rate. If the system doesn’t like what it sees, visual and audible cues, as well as seat vibration, alert the driver.
The product is already in use worldwide in partnership with Caterpillar, and in mining operations in Australia. It’s also being tested on several buses operated by Royal Beuk, a large European tourist carrier.
If the current trial is a success, the system will be installed on the entire Royal Beuk fleet by the end of 2014. Availability in non-commercial vehicles could soon follow.
[This article originally appeared in print as "Asleep at the Wheel."]