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Driver fatigue is always a concern when transporting dozens of passengers by coach. Although deadly coach accidents are rare, the sheer number of people on board makes any accident potentially life threatening. Hopefully a new technology from Seeing Machines will protect passengers against driver fatigue while making the PCV driver safer.

The new technology uses a series of infrared cameras and computer components to monitor driver head movement and eye activity. The system’s design offers two means of protection. First, if the system detects a driver’s head is not looking straight ahead over too long a time, it reminds him or her to get their eyes back on the road. This is helpful for drivers who might be distracted by oncoming traffic, an accident, etc.

The second part of the system is what protects against driver fatigue. It continually monitors the frequency of a driver’s blinking as the coach moves down the road. If it detects even the slightest amount of abnormal eye closure, it alerts the driver by vibrating the seat. It also sounds an alarm in the cabin of the co-driver. The system is sensitive enough to detect ‘microsleeps’, a situation in which the brain is getting short bursts of sleep without the driver knowing it.

Another major benefit is that it does not require any interaction from the driver. Other systems require drivers to wear special glasses or hats, or in some way actively participate in the system’s operation. The Seeing Machine’s technology works automatically whenever the vehicle’s engine is running. The driver simply starts the engine and goes.

Seeing Machines are currently testing the technology through a partnership with Royal Beuk. If tests prove successful, we can expect to see the system installed on coaches all across Europe.

No Substitute for Good Training

We are all in favour of any technology that can make the PCV driver safer behind the wheel. However, there is still no substitute for quality training as provided at the HGV Training Centre. Proper training makes drivers aware of all the potential safety issues that they could encounter on the road, as well as how to deal with them appropriately.

The HGV Training Centre is a leading provider of PCV driver training across the UK with more than 45 facilities. Each of our facilities is staffed by fully trained professionals who are experts in their field. Each is also dedicated to making sure students who graduate from our classes have received the best training possible. We even go so far as to send one of our trainers with each student to the testing facility. We have learned that doing so puts the student’s mind at ease and allows him or her to go over any last minute details with their trainer before the test.

On a final note, we remind PCV operators that the deadline CPC certification has already past. If your drivers are not yet certified, they need to be in order to continue driving legally.

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