When it comes to things like mobile phones and tablets the adoption of eye tracking software sounds like a bit of harmless fun. However, when it is used to cut out accidents using blooming big mining trucks then this is a more serious business.
The manufacturer Caterpillar is bringing out a package which is designed to give a warning when he driver starts to fall asleep at the wheel.
It is called Driver Safety Solution but you can call it DSS if you like. It has already been tried out by BHP Billiton and Newmont Mining.
A couple of the benefits to this new package of sensors and alarms are that no special equipment is needed by the driver and that it doesn’t need to be calibrated differently every time that the drivers are swapped.
The people behind DSS are from Seeing Machines and they were selected by Caterpillar after being judged against a number of other firms with different technologies aimed at solving the same problem.
A Series of Constant Checks
The cost of this solution is going to be upwards of £13,000 but what does it involve? Well, first of all there is a camera which detects the driver’s eyes and works out changes to the size of the pupils, changes to their rate of blinking and whether they are keeping their eyes closed for longer each time they blink. Their mouth is also monitored in order to see where they are looking at the road or not.
The package also includes an infrared lamp to let it work in darkness and chips in the accelerometer and GPS, so that the system knows if the truck is being driven at any given time. An alarm and a vibrating signal are triggered if the driver falls asleep.