Truckers are about to get some company on long drives. A wristband that monitors vital signs will keep tabs on alertness, stress levels and overall health, helping fleet managers operate their teams more effectively.
Most trucking firms use fleet management systems to reduce costs. They provide detailed information about how vehicles are driven, including braking intensity and fuel consumption, as well as operating conditions, such as weather patterns and traffic. “But they know nothing about the driver,” says Jean Gelissen at EIT Digital, which is part of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology.
In October, Gelissen and his team will begin trialling a wearable device that they hope will add information about a driver’s well-being to the equation. Called Ready to Perform, the wristband measures galvanic skin response, heart rate variability and skin temperature. An algorithm then determines stress and alertness levels as well as sleep quality, which can be used to predict when the driver is likely to fall asleep at the wheel. A connected tablet in the truck cab provides constant biometric information about the driver, which is fed back into the overall fleet management system. Aggregated data from all drivers can be used to plot points in journeys that cause the most stress, so that they can be avoided in the future.