Why measuring driver brain waves might be better than cab cameras to prevent accidents
Story by:@ FreightWaves
For the long-haul truckers that stay away from their families for days at a stretch, fatigue and physical discomfort are some of the most commonly shared realities of being behind the wheel.
In some cases, hours-of-service (HoS) regulations have weighed into this issue with unintended consequences. Truckers routinely are left stranded on the side of highways as their HOS clocks run out of time – even when they know full well that they would reach a town with an additional 10-minute drive. Such situations force drivers to sleep in their cab and go without proper access to food or facilities, leading to issues with fatigue and restlessness.
To prevent accidents due to fatigue, fleets are increasingly installing driver-facing cameras that help track signs of exhaustion on the driver’s face via visual intelligence platforms. Alarms are sounded when the cameras notice the driver’s eyelids remaining closed for an instant longer than usual, helping avert accidents.
However, one of the major shortfalls of using a camera is the inability to prevent accidents during the split second between recognition of a driver losing control the sounding of an alarm to wake the driver waking, and the driver taking evasive action. For a trucker driving at an average speed of 65 mph, the split second of losing control could be a matter of life and death.
To completely eliminate the probability of a trucker losing consciousness behind the wheel, it is vital to understand behavioral patterns of a trucker who is about to experience fatigue and point out such scenarios to drivers before they let fatigue set in. The most efficient way to do this is by measuring the electroencephalogram or the “EEG.”
EEG signals are measured by placing it in a headband around the head of truckers. EEG signals help understand brain wave patterns of drivers, which can be used to accurately predict when a driver is feeling fatigued.
Daniel Bongers, the CTO of Smartcap, a fatigue prediction startup, explained that drivers losing consciousness behind the wheel is a natural progression of fatigue towards unintended sleep. “The reason EEG is used to measure alertness and fatigue is because it is the most direct measure there is, as we’re directly identifying activity within the brain instead of monitoring eye movement or sleep history patterns,” he said. According toand his article in the freightwaves.com.
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Source and credits: freightwaves.com // iTrucker / Mario Pawlowski