Fatigue can put the lives of bus drivers and other people at risk. Learn how Autosense can prevent bus drivers from falling asleep behind the wheel.
Driver fatigue is the most pressing road safety issue and authorities have been trying to counter it for a long time. If a driver of a vehicle is too tired due to lack of sleep, they can fall asleep at the wheel and dose off in a microsleep, i.e. a sudden and temporary bout of sleep that lasts seconds and causes the driver to lose control of the vehicle.
While it may stem from a mundane everyday problem, driver fatigue is deadly and kills many people yearly. According to the New Zealand transport agency, fatigue was a factor in 25 fatal crashes and 113 serious injuries. This indicates that driver fatigue is an issue that needs to be resolved urgently as it leads to many excess deaths.
While any driver can fall prey to driver fatigue, drivers of buses and trucks are more likely to experience it due to the nature of their jobs. Due to their long shifts on the road, these drivers tend to get tired and experience microsleeps. Fortunately, AutoSense has come up with a technological solution called Guardian Seeing Machines to ensure no drivers fall asleep behind the wheel. This article discusses how the technology works and its consequences in the driving industry.
Why Do Bus Drivers Experience High Levels of Fatigue?
Bus drivers often experience high levels of fatigue due to several reasons. One of the primary reasons is the long working hours and irregular shift patterns, which can disrupt their sleep patterns and leave them feeling exhausted. Additionally, the job requires drivers to remain alert and focused for extended periods, which can be mentally and physically draining. Driving in heavy traffic, adverse weather conditions, and dealing with difficult passengers can also add to the stress and fatigue.
How do AutoSense’s Guardian Seeing Machines Work?
Autosense is a company based in New Zealand and is dedicated to providing a one-stop solution to all road safety issues, such as distraction, driver fatigue, heavy vehicle maneuvering, etc. One of AutoSense’s flagship technology is their Guardian Seeing Machines. These machines can be mounted in a vehicle to stop drivers from falling into a microsleep. These machines are intelligent driver safety solutions and use in-cab sensors to monitor the driver’s levels of fatigue and distraction in real time.
To use the Guardian Seeing Machine, the driver needs to mount it on the dashboard where their face is fully visible. The machine then uses the driver’s face and gaze tracking algorithm throughout the drive to ensure the driver is not distracted or falls into a microsleep. If the driver’s head position and eye alarm are not satisfactory, according to the algorithm’s safety parameters, the machine immediately sets off audio and vibration alarms. The jolt to the driver’s seat is enough to make the driver pull out of slumber and regain control of the vehicle. The Guardian also has a front-facing camera that captures the condition of the road at the time of the fatigue event.
Fatigue experienced by bus drivers is a highly important issue since it does not only endanger the driver but multiple people on the road and in the bus. AutoSense’s Guardian Seeing Machines have been developed to counter this issue and save lives. These machines should be part of any commercial bus and should be made compulsory by government policy.