CAT are developing new technology that will detect if its machinery drivers are becoming tired or sleeping on the job, in an attempt to curtail workplace accidents. The eye and face tracking technology will also be made available to other construction and mining equipment manufacturers.
An Australian company called Seeing Machines is designing the equipment, which is hoped to combat accidents due to fatigue in drivers, a concern that is very common in the mining and construction industries, according to a report from CAT.
The system inside the vehicle includes a small computer, a GPS, camera and two infrared light sources that monitor the driver’s facial movements and specifically the movements of the eyes and eyelids to detect whether or not they are becoming tired or drowsy.
If the driver’s eye closes for too long, somewhere over a second and a half is considered too long, the sensor will set off an alarm inside the cab of the vehicle and the seat will vibrate to awake and alert the driver of their fatigue. If this happens a second time, an intercom system will contact an office or base where the driver can talk with a supervisor and request a break if necessary.
Finally, if the alarm is set off a third time, the driver is to be immediately taken off his or her shift for a rest period.