Caterpillar, the firm that makes construction and mining equipment, has developed new eye tracker technology to prevent drivers from falling asleep at the wheel, bbc.co.uk reports.
The Driver Safety Solution comprises a package of sensors, alarms and software which can detect driver fatigue and thus prevent road accidents. The technology has already undergone independent tests and reportedly out-performed existing systems by reducing ‘fatigue events’ by at least 70 per cent.
The advantage of the Caterpillar system is that drivers do not need to wear any special headgear. Instead, vehicle cabs are fitted with an infrared lamp which enables a camera to monitor the driver’s eyes and mouth. It identifies how many times they blink, pupil size, how long the eyes close and the direction of the driver’s head.
If the system believes the driver is tiring, it emits an audio alarm and the seat will vibrate. An alert will also be sent to support staff who can monitor the driver’s activity.
The news might be of interest to customers of those that operate a Driver Hire franchise, that are keen to ensure their employees’ safety behind the wheel.
While developed initially for those operating construction and mining vehicles, the technology ‘has applications within the automotive sector, long haul trucks and airlines’, according to wired.co.uk. It can check for driver distraction, provide parking assistance and detect drifting.