Many trucking operators are biting the bullet and using technology as a way of monitoring fatigue and distraction and being aware of the road ahead, essentially giving the driver an extra eye that’s watching the road for when they aren’t.
As the sophistication of electronic monitoring technology ramps up and proves it can deliver consistent results, more and more operations are looking into its day-to-day use in their truck fleets. One of the operations which has embraced this technology is Jim Pearson Transport, which has been using the Mobileye 6 system in its fleet for some time.
Jim Pearson Transport is a well known operation on the Eastern Seaboard, operating since 1978. Employing 350 staff, the operation prides itself on utilising new technologies, including specifically designed software for its operations and real time satellite tracking.
Operating out of five different locations: Sydney, Brisbane, Taree, Port Macquarie and Grafton, the operation comprises of a fleet of over 200 prime movers and more than 380 B-double trailers, with drop deck, high cube and straight deck tautliners and refrigerated vans.
“We have been using the Guardian System in our trucks for some time as a way of monitoring fatigue, but distraction is another problem,” says Jim. “I think distraction is becoming a bigger issue than fatigue. We have put the Mobileye 6 system in all of our trucks now.”
Mobileye 6 is characterised as an Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) with a single forward-facing camera constantly scanning the road ahead, monitoring other vehicles, motorbikes, bicycles, pedestrians, lane lines and road edges. Mobileye is an Intel company, which has more than 20 years experience in the field of ADAS, currently supplying over 27 OEMs that include Volvo, Scania and MAN.
It uses algorithms to interpret a road scene and provide real-time feedback to the driver. In potentially critical situations, delivers immediate alerts, giving the driver more time to react and avoid the collision or, at least, reduce the severity.
The function of the Mobileye system is to bring the driver’s attention back to the task at hand. Helping combat any effects of fatigue and distraction, such as leaving the lane or approaching a vehicle ahead too quickly.
Fleetsafe worked with Jim Pearson to tailor the system to suit his fleet’s specific requirements. This included sensitivity and volume adjustments to get a solution that is effective while being the least intrusive to drivers.
As part of the integration of Mobileye into the truck, it uses the existing seat-shakers, which are fitted in the trucks trucks as part of the Seeing Machines hardware. Fleetsafe also sought to minimise disruptions to the fleet’s operation by training an internal technical team in how to install the equipment. This has allowed the operation to fit the Mobileye 6 as time permits and when vehicles are off the road.
The Mobileye system consists of five features:
Headway Monitoring and Tailgating Warning gives the driver constant real-time indication of the distance to the vehicle or motorcycle ahead and will issue a tailgating alert if the distance becomes too close.
Forward Collision Monitoring calculates the relative distance to the vehicle or motorcycle ahead and will issue both a visual and audible warning of an impending collision. Up to 2.7 seconds ahead.
Pedestrian and Cyclist Collision Warning distinguishes vulnerable road users and will issue both a visual and audible alert of an imminent collision with a pedestrian or cyclist up to 2 seconds ahead.
Lane Departure Warning will warn the driver with a visual and audible alert if the vehicle’s wheels unintentionally cross the lane or shoulder lines without the use of a turn signal.
Speed Limit Indication reads posted, temporary and electronic speed signs and can alert the driver when exceeding the posted limit.