Pulsar Informatics and Trimble Transportation Mobility have teamed up to create a driver fatigue monitoring system for the trucking industry.

Driver fatigue is a top concern for fleets and by collaborating with Pulsar to integrate fatigue monitoring into our Safety Analytics dashboard, carriers will receive data to help improve driver coaching and potentially protect fleets from liability,” said Jim Angel, vice president of video intelligence solutions for Trimble. “Our Safety Analytics dashboard is designed to make risk management decisions easier for fleets by sampling data that’s already being collected and is not intrusive to drivers.”

More than 90% of all trucking accidents are driver related and of that about 13% are due to fatigue or driver inattention, such as day dreaming, according to the Large Truck Crash Causation Study by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

How the system works is the Pulsar Trucking Fatigue Meter is integrated with the electronic log device (ELD). Data is collected about when the driver goes on duty, drives, and takes a break. The data is analyzed and a fatigue score is generated for every hour on duty. The fatigue data is combined with Trimble’s Safety Analytics dashboard to inform the drivers when they may be at risk of fatigue. The driver can then take a break. It can also help dispatchers decide which drivers should be assigned to certain loads based on the drivers’ fatigue scores.

In Canada, rules from the department of justice state a driver cannot drive for more than 13 hours in a day nor can a driver accumulate more than 14 hours of on-duty time south of latitude 60. A driver who is operating a truck north of latitude 60 can drive no more than 15 hours in a day and can’t accumulate more than 18 hours of on-duty time.  A rest period of eight consecutive hours is also required. A driver can also take breaks of no less than 30 minutes.

In the United States, a driver may drive for no more than 14 hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty. Further, drivers using the sleeper berth provision must take at least eight consecutive hours in the sleeper berth, plus two consecutive hours either in the sleeper berth, off duty, or any combination of the two according to the U.S. department of transportation.

While most fatigue systems on the market look at factors such as drowsiness (i.e. nodding of the head and fluttering of the eyes), the system developed by Trimble and Pulsar examines risky driving habits and benchmarks it across the fleet.

By the time you’re having slow eyelid closures associated with the transition of falling asleep, it’s kind of too late. Our technology can predict fatigue three days ahead of time. Or for example, we can predict at the beginning of your work shift that at 2 p.m. today you will experience fatigue. That’s much more valuable because now we’re giving you six or seven hours, even a couple of days, of notice where you can do something to break that chain of events,” said Daniel Mollicone, CEO of Pulsar Informatics, Inc.

Pulsar and Trimble’s technology has so far received positive reviews from more than 200 companies that are using the software in North America.

“We’ve done a couple of case studies. One we did with a large U.S. trucking company with thousands of drivers, where we looked at their year-over-year safety critical events. These are near crashes, and heart breaking events, and things like that. What we were able to observe was a 60% reduction in those safety critical events,” said Mollicone.

“We were also able to show a reduction in the number of crashes that they experienced. If you took the cost of those crashes from the previous year and the reduction crashes, the savings turned out to be nearly $1,000 per driver per year…If you multiply that over a large fleet of 10,000 drivers that’s $10 million of cost savings.”

Mollicone would not name the company in the case study.

The software costs about $5 per driver per month and will be available for purchase by early 2019.

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