Here’s a video about the outside-the-box thinkers who participated in an attempt to hack the fatigue challenge. The Fatigue Hack-a-thon was held in parallel to the Australian Trucking Association’s annual Truck Australia conference and saw a number of teams from four to eight strong coming into the event to attack the problem of fatigue from a fresh angle and come up with some alternatives to the many proposed solutions we have heard about in the past.
The participants were briefed on the basics and have two and a half days to come up with a proposal, which they pitched to the assembled delegates at the conference. Those delegates voted for their preferred option on a phone app and the winning team goes home with $6000. Not bad for a couple of days work!
The Australian trucking industry is working with a fatigue management system that tells drivers how long to drive for and when to take breaks and simply isn’t working. Drivers are not robots they are human and fatigue is a human state yet we manage driver fatigue by counting hours and minutes and do not consider the individual.
Even in the midst of a technological revolution truck drivers are bound by law to carry and fill out a paper work diary. This offers no way to recognise that fatigue manifests differently for different individuals, with different health status and in different contexts and conditions.
The “Augmented Intelligence” team, made up of entrepreneurs and health clinicians from Canberra and Brisbane, received the most votes out of several ideas to curb driver fatigue.
Their smart steering wheel is designed for the nation’s 120,000 long-haul drivers and features an embedded ECG monitor which analyses the drivers heart rate and visually communicates their fatigue level through a Navman, suggesting rest stops in real-time based on the heart rate readings.
The winning team will be offered seats and mentoring at the Canberra Innovation Network to get their idea to market. Other ideas that received positive feedback from varying industry groups will be connected through the ATA to explore the concepts further.