Fujitsu FEELythm wearable aims to reduce traffic accidents caused by truckers
It is well known that trucks feature in a disproportionate amount of road accidents. Now a new wearable has been designed to remedy this imbalance, it’s called the Fujitsu FEELythm wearable. It works by monitoring a driver’s fatigue, stress and tension via a sensor on the back of their earlobe.
First of all let’s have a look at some truck crash stats, to establish the need of a special wearable aimed at truck drivers. Fujitsu says, in its background notes for its FEELythm wearable, that in Japan “Human error not attributable to driving violations or skill has accounted for approximately 67% of all traffic accidents in recent years”. Thus if you a running a business, such as a haulage firm or other road transport firm you should have a duty to minimise the risk of your staff (drivers) dozing off, for example.
In New Zealand’s Ministry of Transport’s figures for 2014 “deaths from crashes involving trucks have made up around 15 to 19 percent of the total road toll, while only about 6 percent of the total distance travelled on NZ roads is travelled by trucks”. Another report says that in 2013, in the UK, “HGVs were implicated in more than half of fatal motorway accidents and one-in-five fatal accidents on A-roads”.
Fujitsu’s FEELythm wearable is designed to minimise the above terrible statistics. The device monitor’s the wearer’s state of alertness via sensors and uses Fujitsu’s proprietary algorithm to gauge a driver’s drowsiness. It auto-calibrates and learns how to detect drowsiness in the wearer. The wearable is also capable of connecting to onboard digital tachographs and fleet management systems to notify fleet management and provide guidance. With more data collected the system will, in the future, predict dangers using historical data, to keep commercial drivers, fleet and general road users safer.
The FEELythm weighs just 90g and is neck worn with a sensor that goes behind the earlobe. Its battery lasts 5 full days. Initial availability will be in Japan only starting from March this year. The firm has set a modest sales target of 70,000 units over three years.