Tuesday, January 27, 2015

New System to Promote Safer Driving Will Interest Road Haulage Freight Truck Fleet Managers

Japanese Product May be Destined to Become Popular Overseas When Available
Shipping News Feature

JAPAN – WORLDWIDE – From next month drivers in Japan will be able to purchase a new device from Fujitsu designed to promote safer driving. According to the Japanese National Police Agency's ‘Occurrence of Traffic Accidents in 2013’, almost 70% of serious accidents are caused by driver error, even after factors such as skill and driving violations are removed from the equation. The new system, named FEELythm from Fujitsu, may well have special significance for road haulage freight and passenger carrying operators.

FEELythm is a wearable sensor which clips to the drivers ear and senses drowsiness by automatically monitoring heart rhythms. Changes in Japanese attitudes and statutes to promote safer driving account for the development of the device and the system is likely to prove popular in certain other cultures. Fujitsu believes that in the near future it will be possible to improve safe-driving management by predicting dangers before they occur based on an accumulation of sensor data indicating fatigue, stress, and tension, and applying that to a hazard map.

FEELythm connects to both driver and fleet headquarters in addition to other possible links with tachographs and similar on board devices. The real time reporting will enable fleet managers to build up a picture of both individual driver and fleet wide patterns on regular routes and shifts.

To ensure wearability the main part of the device is worn around the neck and weighs only about 90 grams, and a sensor is attached to the earlobe to measure vital signs such as pulse rate and the autonomic nervous system. Fujitsu's claims its proprietary algorithm determines the driver's level of drowsiness with a high degree of accuracy, and the device gives sound and vibration alerts to the driver. The device was designed with long-haul driving in mind, with battery capacity for up to five continuous days of operation.

Photo: The FEELythm primary unit (left) and receiver (right).