Kyle Wilson 4BC Brisbane interview

Kyle Wilson from our Human Factors team chats to Peter Gleeson on 4BC Brisbane about how Seeing Machines is supporting driver fatigue management in commercial trucking and buses.

  • Kyle Wilson 4BC Brisbane interview

They discuss Human Factors science which underpins Seeing Machines’ driver monitoring system technology, how the Guardian product works to protect fleet drivers and the human analysts who monitor and notify fleet managers of risky driving events.

Click to listen to the full interview below or scroll down to read the full transcript.


Peter Gleeson 0:04
Now there’s a cracking story I want to bring you about some of the great steps being taken to improve road safety. We know what goes on publicly to address the issue; headline today by calls for drug testing for all crashes. The other major killer of course is fatigue, which can hit anyone but largely affects shift workers and truckies.

Well, there’s an incredible piece of technology that’s silently keeping watch over our roads to stop fatigue-related crashes and keep us all safe. And it relies heavily on trained professionals monitoring dashcam footage at all hours of the day, to track eye movements and facial expressions for signs of exhaustion or distraction. This is fascinating. This is science that’s been brought to life by Seeing Machines. One of the gurus behind it, is Human Factors scientist, Kyle Wilson, who joins me now. Now, Kyle, thanks for your time.

Kyle Wilson 0:53
No worries. How you going?

Peter Gleeson 0:54
Good, thanks. Just, just start by telling me what exactly is a Human Factors scientist?

Kyle Wilson 1:01
Yeah, yeah. So, Human Factors is all about how humans interact with the technology and their environment. So, from the point of view of a, of a driver that’s you know, what’s going on in the drivers head, how are they interacting with the vehicle they’re in control of and what’s going on in the driving environment around them? So um, it’s a really, for us at Seeing Machines in Human Factors, we are concerned with questions like, what are the genuine indicators of fatigue, what, what are they actually look like and when drivers are in these states, how does that affect their performance?

Peter Gleeson 1:42
So, what I want to know, Kyle, is. Um on your website, you said that more than 60% of drivers experience fatigue and one in 10 admitted to falling asleep while driving. How exactly do you go about reducing that risk through Seeing Machines?

Kyle Wilson 2:00
Yeah, so we, we have a product called Guardian. This is a camera-based system that sits in the cab of a vehicle and it’s constantly looking for signs of driver fatigue. So when it detects these signs, it will actually alert the driver in real time. Often this is waking them up and that’s designed to, you know, prevent a crash unfolding, prevent something terrible happening before it unfolds.

Yeah what we, what we do after that as, as well as alerting the driver in real time is we actually send a snippet of video through to a 24/7 monitoring centre. So they’re, they’re trained analysts there who are waiting, they’re, they’re looking for these events as they come through and they’re providing a human review of them.

Peter Gleeson 2:55
What sort of results are you getting, Kyle?

Kyle Wilson 2:58
Yeah. So we know this, we know this technology is really effective. For instance we, we, there was a study that looked at four years of data with trucks in Australia using this product. And we, what, what was compared there was the, the sensor when it was monitoring drivers for fatigue but not actually alerting them, compared to a later stage of the data collection where it was monitoring them and then actually doing something about it. And we know when the technology does alert them in real time. So it can prevent fatigue by 66%. And when, when we actually go that extra step further. So not only alerting the driver in the cab, but having a, a customer intervention as well. So alerting the customer which enables them to, you know, give the driver a break, pull them off the road, we can reduce fatigue by 94 percent.

Peter Gleeson 3:59
94% that’s incredible. So where do you wanna take this technology into the future? Do you wanna see it rolled out to everyday drivers? Is that the plan?

Kyle Wilson 4:07
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. So we’ve done a lot of work in, in commercial trucking and buses, but we also work in the automotive industry. So while we provide a, an aftermarket product to trucks, to the trucking industry, we also work with automotive manufacturers where we, we’re providing our technology and they’re actually integrating into their vehicles. So there are a lot of manufacturers right now that are, that are doing this.

Peter Gleeson 4:38
So how many dashcams do your specialists monitor at any given time and, and how many can they ultimately?

Kyle Wilson 4:46
Yeah, so here, there are over 60,000 connected vehicles and we have around about 120 of, of these trained analysts now spread over three locations. So in Canberra, in Melbourne and in Arizona and the US. And they’re receiving a massive amount of events from these connected trucks. So we’re seeing around 350,000 events and that’s globally and that’s per week.

Peter Gleeson 5:15
Wow, so Arizona, so you’ve, you’ve, you’ve, you’re checking drivers there?

Kyle Wilson 5:20
Yeah so we, we have trained analysts based in, in Arizona. But it doesn’t mean that it’s just, you know truckies in Arizona who are, who are the ones where that footage is, is going to it. It’s you know around time zone differences and everything. But it enables us to, you know cover every, every part of the world where we have trucks running.

Peter Gleeson 5:42
It’s wonderful technology, I’ve gotta say Kyle, and it’s revolutionary and it, and it in many ways looking forward it could shape the future of how we try and tackle the issue of fatigue on the roads.

Kyle Wilson 5:54
Yep, yeah it absolutely is. And you know major safety body bodies like Euro NCAP have recognised this. And it’s you know having this technology is required now to, to get maximum safety points and it’s been, been regulated in the, in the EU as well. And the US we, we hope is soon to follow. So it’s, it’s really, it’s important technology.

Peter Gleeson 6:20
Well it’s more than important, it’s lifesaving, so congratulations. Thanks for joining us, Kyle.

Kyle Wilson 6:25
Cool. Thank you, Peter.

Peter Gleeson 6:27
Pleasure. There he is, Kyle Wilson. He’s from Seeing Machines, so he’s actually a Human Factors scientist. So, they’re able to detect, through this technology, this data, whether in fact you, you’re sleepy. Whether in fact your eyes are, are drooping and, and, and that you’re getting tired, whether you’re yawning. And then all of a sudden you will get a, a notice that will come through on your phone or, or in some capacity, which will alert you to the fact that you need to be careful. Pullover. Good stuff. Alright, it’s 28 to 5.