Safety is a top priority for Lindsay Transport. They are one of Australia’s largest transport companies travelling over 60 million kilometres on Australian roads to deliver more than 1.6 million tonnes of freight to over 5,000 customers each year.
Managing driver fatigue and minimising distractions is an ongoing focus for the business. One persistent concern was that once a driver left the depot, there was limited practical support available. They wanted to find a more effective way to reduce the risks of fatigue and distraction for drivers spending long hours alone on the road.
When Lindsay Australia’s Chief Information Officer, Sean Banfield, heard about Guardian by Seeing Machines, his interest was piqued. The real-time driver fatigue and distraction technology had been scientifically proven to reduce fatigue-related incidents by upwards of 90%.
It sounded like an ideal solution, and Lindsay Transport wanted to investigate further. They reached out to Connect Source, Australia’s largest Authorised Distributor for Guardian by Seeing Machines.
Connect Source took time to understand the critical nature of a fatigue and distraction system for Lindsay Transport’s business and consistently made safety a priority. Lindsay Transport decided to trial the technology and assess the benefits.
Ten vehicles were fitted with Generation 1 Guardian by Seeing Machines systems. During the trial, the proprietary face and eye tracking algorithms measured each driver’s eye closure and head position to determine moments of fatigue or distraction.
An audible alarm alerted the drivers of their need to re-focus their attention and a combination of an audible alarm and seat vibration alerted the drivers of the need for a rest.
The system collected data about each event and shared it with Lindsay Transport. On review, it revealed clear safety benefits for the drivers and other road users.
After the success of the trial, Lindsay Transport rolled out Guardian by Seeing Machines to their entire fleet of long-distance vehicles. And it led to a further improvement in their safety practices, as Sean Banfield, Lindsay Australia Limited’s Chief Information Officer, explains.
‘The system collects real-time data and can alert the company’s National Transport Office (NTO) about an incident within minutes. On advice from Connect Source, we created and implemented a Fatigue Intervention Plan to use this capability.
Now, when an incident occurs, the NTO receives a notification. They then check in with the driver to assess their wellbeing. Together, they determine the best action to take to reduce the risk of an accident.’
The benefits were clear. But, when Lindsay Transport decided to introduce the new technology across the business, they did face some challenges.
Today, the drivers are far more positive about the Guardian by Seeing Machines technology as a safety system. Feedback received acknowledges that the introduction of the Fatigue Intervention Plan gives the drivers better support.
Many have expressed relief that they now have a system in place to alert them before their safety is compromised. For some people, it has even revealed underlying health conditions they are now able to address.
The biggest benefit for Lindsay Transport is the knowledge they have improved safety for their workers and other road users.