Fatigue-Warning Device Testing Begins

Newbury, OH-based carrier and logistics provider Distribution Technologies (DisTech) is testing a new driver fatigue-monitoring device developed by Pittsburgh-based Attention Technology on eight of its trucks at its Neville Island, PA, terminal.

The Driver Fatigue Monitor (DFM) mounts on the dashboard to the right of the steering wheel and uses a compact video-based sensor that measures slow eyelid closure associated with drowsiness. If the DFM identifies that the driver is drowsy, the unit sounds an audible alert, said John Hazenfield, Sr. vp & cio for DisTech.

“Driver fatigue is difficult for drivers to notice because it builds slowly over an hour or so,” explained Dr. Richard Grace, CEO and founder of Attention Technology. “The DFM can alert drivers to impending fatigue an hour before a potentially dangerous situation.”

He added that Attention’s device is the result of more than 10 years of research, design and testing at Carnegie Mellon University and has been validated by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) as being able to accurately measure drowsiness.

Hazenfield said DistTech is in the process of evaluating the DFM based on driver feedback and is considering installing the unit in all of its vehicles if it gains acceptance. The initial response from the drivers testing the device in Neville Island has been overwhelmingly positive, he noted, and – as the DFM is portable and can be mounted in just minutes – some of the drivers are also using the units in their cars on the way to and from the terminal.

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