Caterpillar selects Seeing Machines for eye-tracking technology to monitor mining vehicles

Caterpillar Global Mining has signed an exclusive agreement with Seeing Machines, a technology company with a focus on vision-based human machine interfaces, to roll out a fatigue monitoring system in mining machines.

Under the deal, Caterpillar will deploy fatigue monitoring systems in 40,000 mining trucks around the world.

Based on the patented eye tracking technology, the system uses sensors to detect if a driver is distracted or falling asleep while driving.

The sensors do not require re-calibration between different drivers and monitors head alignment for any potential distraction of the driver while also analysing eye behaviour.

If the driver is sleeping at the wheel, the system sends in-cab alerts, and alerts site managers for immediate intervention.

Several mining firms have identified fatigue management as a safety issue and companies such as BHP Billiton and Newmont Mining have conducted trials of the technology.

Fatigue in drivers is caused by several factors such as night shift work, high altitude and long shifts.

The deal will initially comprise a supply and support agreement for the systems through the global Cat Dealer network and later include joint product development and licensing of technology.

Caterpillar Global Mining Safety Solutions manager David Edwards said Seeing Machines delivers both safety and productivity benefits to the mining industry.

"Going forward we see even closer integration between what in-cab fatigue monitoring can deliver in both intervention alerts and analytics to improve safety and performance," Edwards added.

The agreement will enable integration of the fatigue monitoring system with Cat MineStar System so that data on fatigue and distraction can be incorporated into complete management functions of mining operations.

Image: Caterpillar will deploy fatigue monitoring systems in 40,000 mining trucks around the world.

Energy Technology forum on LinkedIn