Safety Recommendations for Bus Industry Taskforce

With a mission to get everyone home safely, Seeing Machines was devasted to hear of the recent tragedy of the fatal Hunter Valley bus crash in Australia's New South Wales (NSW), where 10 people lost their lives. Our CEO, Paul McGlone, wrote to the newly created NSW Bus Industry Task Force to emphasise that much is being done here in Canberra, and around the world, to mitigate the risks of drowsy and distracted driving in all road-going vehicles.

  • Safety Recommendations for Bus Industry Taskforce

Our mission is simple: zero transport fatalities underpinned by a core purpose of getting everyone home safely by monitoring and alerting driver, pilot and operator fatigue and distractions.

In this letter, we call your attention to our technology as it is being adopted worldwide at lightning speed.  Driver Monitoring Systems, or DMS, can monitor the driver in real time and using advanced algorithms which can determine if a driver is distracted, drowsy, or impaired.

Our DMS safety technology is proven globally:

  • It has been installed in 50,000+ commercial vehicles, capturing data from more than 13 billion kilometres travelled, detecting more than 16 million distraction events and more than 260,000 fatigue interventions, in the past 12 months alone.
  • In automotive, we have 15 global programs through 10 OEM engagements and more than 870,000 cars on the road today with our technology.

European regulators have taken notice of the lifesaving potential of DMS technology and this year began requiring it as part of the 4-star EuroNCAP rating system. Next year, European regulations will require DMS in all passenger cars to detect and warn drivers against distraction and fatigue.

Of interest to the task force, Europe will require DMS for all buses in 2024. 

In the United States, recent legislation requires their Department of Transportation to begin preparations to implement DMS as a standard safety feature.  We are seeing widespread deployment as part of Level 2 driver assistance systems like GM’s Supercruise and Ford’s Bluecruise.

While driver assist systems are integrated into the vehicle, aftermarket systems like Seeing Machines Guardian make it possible to equip any car or truck with DMS technology to detect distraction or drowsiness. Guardian uses advanced AI to provide real-time in-cab interventions which can warn drivers of fatigue and distractions.  The system works with a 24/7 monitoring centre and cloud analytics engine which can give fleet owners a variety of customisable interventions and analytics programs.

According to The Australian Automobile Association (AAA), fatigue is a major cause of road crashes, related injuries, and fatalities, with 20 to 30 per cent of all car crashes in Australia attributable to fatigue. Additionally, the AAA’s research shows distracted driving also plays a large role in the number of road crashes and fatalities, being the main contributing factor in approximately 16 per cent of serious casualty road crashes. It is a serious problem on Australian roads and why drivers and transport managers need to urgently understand and tackle fatigued and distracted driving.

Unlike Europe, Australia, is far behind and needs greater regulatory focus on transport safety.  Sadly, the Hunter Valley crash is a stark reminder of the work that is ahead.

As the task force consider technology options to save lives, we urge you to require DMS systems in all buses to ensure operators are fully engaged in the driving task.