Fatigue Management is More Than Just Driver Hours

will this be a victory for common sense?

The topic of fatigue goes way beyond such things as an electronic work diary (EWD), and fatigue management is more than just driver hours. Since fatigue can manifest in ways that aren’t necessarily as cut and dried as hours of service or distance driven. For businesses the broader challenge is how to increase productivity while keeping both their drivers and other road users safe.

Coretex is a compliance and fleet management solution provider to more than 60,000 vehicles in the construction, transportation and waste and recycling industries. The company has had fatigue management incorporated into their fleet management solutions for many years and have been providing fatigue management to large fleets here in Australia. 

In the US, they’ve rolled out an ELD solution (electronic logging device) that has been adopted by some of the world’s largest fleets. The core of this solution is being used to develop their solution for EWD in Australia, providing a fully-featured solution that goes beyond the basics, utilising the sensors installed in trucks to provide a total picture of how the vehicle is behaving in real time.

Having that total picture of the vehicle is vital to providing real driver safety. Driver fatigue can actually be measured, since it is reflected in how they drive and they’re capturing that data in real time. A driver may be under their safe hours, but still manifest the symptoms of fatigue and a simple EWD solution doesn’t capture this. Drivers are also not always the best judge of when their performance is degraded by fatigue, but the data doesn’t lie. 

Coretex is providing fleet operators with active alerting, where the business sets rules for exceptions – such as exceeding speed limits or excessive braking – that are likely triggered by fatigue. Both the fleet operator and the driver get an instant alert to such real-time events and the fleet manager can contact the driver directly to get them off the road.

fatigue management is more than just driver hours
new asphalt road and mountain background

Likewise in-cab artificial intelligence (AI) driver cameras that track both the road conditions and the driver in real time can trigger alerts, to both the driver and fleet manager, when they detect the driver behaviour is indicating fatigue. Driver cams are used as evidence for on-road events but an even better use is to prevent those events before they happen. 

Coretex’s advanced AI driver cam-based features to be released into the market late 2020, will use live scene analysis and object detection. Combined with the data from in-vehicle sensors measuring speed, braking and engine performance, this will provide a real-time picture of the vehicle’s path through the road, and be able to trigger exception alerts the moment anything deviates from defined safety parameters.

All of these features also speak to the broader topic of driver safety, since it is not just fatigue that can put your drivers and other road users in harm’s way. AI cameras can be used to monitor the road ahead, triggering in-cab alerts when they detect potential collisions or pedestrians. And by alerting drivers to such occurrences they help to train the driver, making them more consistently aware of the type of situations or driving behaviours that may be putting themselves or others at risk. The result is better drivers, safer roads and a better reputation for the business.

fatigue management is more than just driver hours