Heavy vehicles at Hunter mine sites could soon be equipped with a system that monitors a driver’s vital signs and alerts them when they are getting drowsy or fatigued.
Newcastle communications company Gencom is partnering with US firm Exmoveve to develop a biometric system that will be installed in the steering wheel and under the driver’s seat.
Business development manager John Park says the aim is to prevent fatigue-related accidents.
“You can do your heart rates, breathing rates, skin temperature etc and from that you can tell how the individual is in terms of how they’re feeling.
“Even whether they’re happy, sad, agitated, depressed, as well as what we’re mainly interested in is drowsiness.
“Obviously drowsiness is a major cause of accident around the world.”
Mr Park says it is hoped a trial can be conducted at a Hunter mine site soon.
“That’s obviously where we want to start with, that’s the easiest one for us to promote,” he said.
“The intention is over the next three to six months to get a pilot going with one of the mines at least.
“What we are trying to do is make it relevant to the mining sector by integrating it into the new digital two way radio systems.”