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Technology trial

30 Sep 2017

is offering selected transport customers the opportunity to have lifesaving technology installed into their trucks that provides real-time data on driver behaviour, as well as safety alerts, that can potentially prevent accidents from happening.

Seventy per cent (70%) of road accidents happen within the first two hours of a commercial driver’s shift with fatigue being one of the main causes, NZI said. A 2016 Ministry of Transport report showed that in 2015, fatigue contributed to 43 fatal crashes, 119 serious injury crashes and 450 minor injury crashes. 

In a bid to reduce this statistic and support its transport customers, NZI has been working with transport operators to increase awareness about driver fatigue and driver safety.

NZI believes fatigue is about more than tiredness and affects many commercial drivers who are often fighting against their body’s natural circadian rhythm by working extended hours and working through the night. 

That’s why NZI’s Fleet Risk Management (FRM) Programme has partnered with Seeing Machines to bring its technology, Guardian System, to New Zealand. NZI said the camera-enabled Guardian System is fitted into the cab of a truck, which, once enabled, provides round-the-clock real-time data on the driver. 

The in-cab system uses facial tracking technology to monitor lapses in driver attention, distraction and micro-sleep events. If this happens, the driver receives a wake-up call through a seat vibration and alarm. 

After each incident, a seven second video is sent to Seeing Machines' 24/7 monitoring centre for assessment. If further action is required, Seeing Machines will make contact with the driver’s dispatcher within two minutes of the incident, so they can check in with their driver, and ensure their safety.

NZI Commercial Motor National Manager Ian Taylor said NZI wanted to change the transport industry’s culture and behaviour, and stop accidents from happening. 

The insurer is currently offering a six-week trial period and free installation of the Guardian System for selected transport customers. The device will be removed after the trial period if the customer no longer wants to continue using it. 

 “We’re committed to helping make New Zealand roads safer,” Taylor said. “There’s currently no competitor in the market that matches what NZI offers through our FRM programme and the Guardian System. Guardian is different to any other in vehicle camera because it can capture an event and then stops it from happening. 

“We then work with customers to evaluate the data that’s captured through Guardian to determine what programmes we can put in place to help customers change their company culture and behaviour. Since we started, we’ve managed to change some of the country’s largest transport and logistics companies’ thinking and help them manage risk better.” 

 - Insurance Business

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