Truck drivers to trial fatigue-monitoring cap

SmartCap is wearable technology that can measure a driver’s levels of fatigue and give an appropriate warning alert.

SmartCap is wearable technology that can measure a driver’s levels of fatigue and give an appropriate warning alert.

A 12-month pilot of wearable technology that can monitor the levels of fatigue in truck drivers is being trialled by the Queensland Trucking Association and the Port of Brisbane.

Brisbane is one of the busier box ports in Australia, annually handling about 1.22 million twenty-foot equivalent unit sized containers.

The new technology, the “SmartCap,” measures changes in a person’s electrical activity in the brain, which is a real-time indicator of a person’s alertness.

Up to 60 drivers employed across six transport companies will take part in the pilot project.

In a statement, Gary Mahon, CEO of the QTA commented, “it’s exciting to trial the use of this product at the Port of Brisbane. The port roads have a high number of heavy vehicles using their network, making it an ideal location for the pilot.”

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Features of the SmartCap include a phone-based app so that workers can monitor and manage their fatigue in real-time. The system also generates early warning alarms.

The SmartCap is being trialled as part of the port’s Heavy Vehicle Safety Around Ports Project. Management at the port have identified fatigue as a “key safety issue”.

Monies for the port-project are provided from the Heavy Vehicle Initiative Fund, a Commonwealth of Australia fund, which is administered on behalf of the federal Government by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator. According to the regulator, around A$11.6m has been invested in 32 road-related projects around Australia.

FreightWaves sought comment from the Port of Brisbane on the trial of the technology, and on the Heavy Vehicle Safety Around Ports Project, but, owing to the onset of the holidays, no-one was available for comment.