Trucker drivers work long, hard hours. The time spent on the road wears away at the driver. Even though they are sitting down they’re working. Anyone who’s driven long distances knows what can happen on the road. Irresponsible drivers, sudden traffic, engine trouble, etc. can all happen on a single day. It requires constant attention to better the road and make it from A to B. It tires the driver out. Fatigue begins to settle in. That same fatigue can lead to mistakes arising. Actions that would not happen to an energetic mind then appear. These situations would be best avoided by anyone with a choice. But again, anyone who’s felt tired enough to collapse after a hard day’s work knows better. Fatigue can get the better of an attentive driver, regardless of their skill. That inevitable fatigue is where SmartCap comes into play.
SmartCap exists to keep that fatigue in check. SmartCap is a wearable technology that monitors and keeps a driver’s fatigue in check. On December 14, 2018, the Queensland Trucking Association and the Port of Brisbane began a 12-month trial period of the technology. Up to 60 drivers across six transport companies will be taking part in this project. Gary Mahon, CEO of the QTA commented, “it’s exciting to trial the use of this product at the Port of Brisbane. The port roads have a high number of heavy vehicles using their network, making it an ideal location for the pilot.” Management at the port points out that fatigue is a key issue among their drivers. What better place is there to test out this technology than the Port?
“Road safety is a major focus at the Port and I’d like to thank the port community for its support, and for working with us to show leadership in this space. This is the first of a number of initiatives that will be rolled out under the two-year project and we’ll continue to work with the port community as it progresses,” said Peter Keyte, PBPL Chief Operating Officer.
Science Behind the Hat
How does it work? Well, SmartCap is literally a headband that’s mounted into a cap with multiple sensors. The sensors monitor changes in a person’s EEG, electroencephalogram. EEG measures electrical activity within the brain. It also provides accurate measurements of alertness in real-time to operators and drivers. As SmartCap monitors that information the drivers and operators monitor information that is fed into their SmartCap apps. The app generates early warning signs and is poised to help drivers manage their rest times more efficiently.
On a wider scale, each company testing the service will be able to collect varied data. Additionally, this data can be used to see what differences exist within these companies. If there is a company with a lower total level of fatigue then that’s the one to look to for an example. The success of this test can determine whether or not a slow change takes place that covers the entire industry, for the better.