The truck division at Ford Trucks Brasil has developed an innovative technology to help truck drivers drive safer and avoid a habitual situation that they face constantly at work, namely travel fatigue according to an article by News Motor. At first, the Security Cap seems like a normal cap, but it is fitted with sensors that interpret head movements through a conductor that alerts the driver if they are tired or if they are sleeping at the wheel.
According to News Motor, the alert uses three types of signals: vibration, sound and flashing lights to alert the driver to stop to take a break before continuing their journey.
The first step to create the accessory was through a study that was carried out to identify the driver’s movements relative to their normal working routine and movements that indicate drowsiness. This database was transferred to the central processing system of the cap, that is connected to an accelerometer and a gyroscope. This innovation marks the 60th anniversary of the production of Ford Trucks in Brazil as a symbol of the brand’s spirit of innovation and continued investment, that focuses on the road safety of thousands of professionals that are behind the wheel every day moving the country´s economy.
“Ford is the first car manufacturer that has thought about creating a wearable technology in order to avoid accidents at the wheel. In this way, we are able to reinforce our commitment to introducing technology that isn´t only in our vehicles, but also in the accessories that make the driver’s lives easier and focusing on security as a priority in our investments in technology,” assures Lyle Wartters, President of Ford South America, according to News Motor.
Ford tested the Security Cap over 8 months with a group of drivers that ran more than 5,000 kilometres in real driving conditions. Also, the product was presented to road safety experts and experts that have carried out studies on sleep, whom recognised its potential in order to prevent road accidents. The prototype is still going through testing, before it arrives at the patent and certification process. In an online article by News Motor, no planes exist at present for its production and market launch. However, Ford has already shown interest in sharing its technology with partners and clients in order to move its development forward and allow for its launch into the market.
The Brazilian Transport Confederation carried out a study on the drivers of trucks in 2016. This revealed that more than 60 percent of these professionals consider their activity as dangerous. The run some 10,000 kilometers per month and close to 45% have already received offers of drugs or illegal substances of some type, in service stations mainly. Furthermore, more than 10 percent have been involved in at least one accident in the last few years.
News Motor reported that this data indicates that there are high levels of stress in this profession and they show the potential of the Security Cap to offer a safer experience to truck drivers.