SmartDrive multi-cam video platform to detect fatigue/distraction

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The SmartDrive Systems provider of driver-, road- and side-view camera monitoring platforms, recently introduced SmartDrive SmartSense, a new line of sensors designed to identify distraction, fatigue and other risks. SmartSense combines purpose-built sensors with engine computer data, telematics, accelerometer and SmartDrive analytic data to deliver new levels of risk identification.

The announcement comes on the heels of the beginning of Overdrive‘s three-part “Fatigue’s Fast Track” exploration of technologies claiming to detect signs of fatigue, which the SmartSense platform at least in part aims to do.

The first feature being released with the program’s initial launch is its distraction sensor. The SmartSense for Distracted Driving add-on to existing SmartDrive dual-camera platforms uses advanced computer vision-based algorithms to interpret driver and vehicle movements to make its judgments and help “address the epidemic of distracted and inattentive driving,” the company says.

The sensor also purports to be capable at detecting drowsiness in a driver. “The SmartSensor interprets driver cues proven to accurately indicate distraction, such as head and eye movements,” the company says in its press release. “When the sensor detects distraction, inattention or drowsiness, it triggers a video, which is prioritized and offloaded for immediate verification and intervention.”

“It’s estimated that distracted driving accounts for 10 percent of all fatal crashes and 17 percent of all collisions that cause injuries—at a cost of at least $129 billion annually,” said SmartDrive CEO Steve Mitgang. “Given the difficulty of proving distraction as a root cause, these numbers are probably low. … We’re tackling this issue head-on by delivering an intelligent sensor tuned specifically to this risk. And, because it’s delivered with our video safety program, fleets finally have both a comprehensive view of the frequency, severity and impact of distracted driving, and a solution to an industry epidemic that costs money and lives.”

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When combined with the SmartDrive program and its always-on-video-capable Extended Recording capability, SmartSense offers fleets on-demand views of what led to distraction events, how it manifested and what the outcome was. This, the company says, enables managers to provide detailed feedback and actionable coaching to improve driver safety.

“The distraction sensor from SmartDrive has taken our video safety program to the next level by capturing distraction risks we would not have seen otherwise,” stated John Billingsley, director of safety and training, G&P Trucking, which participated in early trials of SmartSense. “The new sensor works with our existing platform—extending the impact of our original investment and proving to be a valuable tool to eliminate distracting driving.”

SmartSense for Distracted Driving operates with the SmartDrive video analytics platform, and includes:

  • Distraction and inattention triggers that detect when eyes are off the road for a defined time period or a driver has exceeded a specific number of distracted incidents
  • Purpose-built hardware with infrared sensors to capture distraction even when sunglasses are worn
  • In-cab alerts when distraction or inattention occurs
  • Prioritized review and risk scoring for video of distraction events
  • Integration with the SmartDrive video safety program

SmartSense for Distracted Driving will be available in first quarter of 2018.