Finemore: Guardian is the greatest thing I’ve seen in my 59 years in the industry
Canberra, 9 April 2020 – A recent report into the use of Fatigue and Distraction detection technology, issued by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR), concluded with the observation that “there was a strong and almost unanimous belief that the effective use of fatigue and distraction detection technology will profoundly reduce the frequency of fatigue and distraction events while driving.”
Co-author of the report, Professor Drew Dawson of Central Queensland University, discussed the findings with The Australian. The study included several systems, including Guardian by Seeing Machines, aiming to assess whether the technology is capable of correctly identifying unsafe driving behaviours attributable to fatigue and distraction, and the potential of such technologies to improve safety.
When it comes to Guardian, researchers found drivers were sceptical of the technology to start with, but once they saw the benefits, they began using it to recognise and mitigate their own potentially dangerous behaviours. “The drivers are using it as a biofeedback tool. They told us they were learning their ‘tells’ so they can work out if they are fatigued before the machine does.” says Professor Dawson.
Professor Dawson continues support for the use of Fatigue and Distraction Detection Technology in Australia’s commercial vehicle industry, saying that “National Transport Commission’s current Regulation Impact Statement, which will be released for discussion in a few months, should recommend this technology be implemented in the most pragmatic way possible.”
One of the commercial industries safest operators, and an early adopter of Seeing Machines’ Guardian technology, Ron Finemore Transport supports the use of technology to mitigate the risk of fatigue and distraction in the industry. “This (Guardian) is the greatest thing I’ve seen in my 59 years in the industry,” says CEO Ron Finemore.
Ron dispels a commonly held belief that technology like Guardian is only practical for large organisations. He suggests that “The small operators can do it better than me” due to the closer relationships between driver and manager in smaller scale, often family-operated, businesses.