Caterpillar Safety Systems has partnered with Seeing Machines to install fatigue-protection software in thousands of mining trucks, according to a Huffington Post report.
The software uses a camera, speaker and light system to measure signs of fatigue – for instance eye closure and head position. When a potential fatigue event is detected, the system sounds an alarm and sends a video clip of the driver to a 24-hour sleep fatigue center at Caterpillar headquarters in Peoria, Illinois, the report adds.
Caterpillar has a four-year license from Seeing Machines to manufacture the software. For now, it’s the exclusive provider of this technology within the mining industry. Some 5,000 vehicles ― a combination of Caterpillar’s own trucks and those of other mining companies ― carry the equipment. There are about 38,000 haul trucks worldwide, by Caterpillar’s estimate, so the fatigue-detecting trucks are still a small fraction of that, but Caterpillar hopes to eventually equip all of them.
When a “fatigue event” is recorded, it’s up to the mining site to recommend a course of action to the driver, or vice versa. Last month in Nevada, for instance, a mining truck driver had three fatigue events within four hours; he was contacted onsite and essentially forced to take a nap. Last February in North Carolina, one night shift truck driver who experienced a fatigue event realized it was a sign of an underlying sleep disorder and asked his site management for medical assistance. (Caterpillar has mining operations globally from China to Canada).
The full story is here.