Breakthrough in driver fatigue detection
Posted on 9th October 2023 at 14:05
A wearable device that’s been designed to detect the onset of fatigue in tram drivers has delivered remarkable results in independent testing commissioned by UKTram.
Following extensive trials, prototype FOCUS+ devices have demonstrated their potential to reduce the risk of accidents by alerting control room operators of possible driver fatigue.
James Hammett, Managing Director of UK Tram, expressed his confidence in the technology.
"The independent testing report confirms the potential of FOCUS+,” he said. “In the future, it could play a key role in fatigue management system guidance, ensuring the well-being and safety of network employees and their passengers.”
Trials of the device have emerged from an initial Driver Innovation Safety Challenge (DISC), which involved City of Edinburgh Council, Transport for Edinburgh, Edinburgh Trams, and the Scotland Can Do Fund, working in partnership with UKTram and IHF Limited.
Neil Clark, CEO of IHF Limited, explained: "We were proud to have been selected to develop this cutting-edge wearable technology as part of the DISC project.
The Light Rail Safety and Standards Board has also played a key role in the project, assessing algorithms that underpin the system.
Carl Williams, the organisation’s Chief Executive, said: “To establish the 98 per cent accuracy of the algorithms used to assess the data is certainly a remarkable achievement.
“It clearly illustrates the potential of the devices and the underlying software to effectively detect driver fatigue in real-world situations and to further enhance light rail safety.”
The prototype devices feature a sophisticated array of five biometric sensors that continuously monitor the wearer's vital signs, creating a personalised biometric profile over time. These sensors measure heart rate, blood oxygen saturation, skin temperature temperature, electrocardiogram, and galvanic skin response.
Such comprehensive data collection enables the device to detect deviations from the wearer's baseline, providing real-time, colour-coded alerts for both the user and a control room or supervisor.
The Focus+ device worn by tram drivers during trials.
Tagged as: UKTram, LRSSB, Anti-fatigue
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