The contract is with FreshLinc, which specialises in delivering temperature-controlled products.
Seeing Machines’ Guardian system has been on trial at a number of FreshLinc’s depots, measuring the levels of distraction and distraction prevalent in its fleet.
The Guardian system picks up on signs of distraction and fatigue and issues cabin alerts. The system has been proven to achieve a reduction of more than 90% in fatigue or distraction related driver events.
Having given the system a good work-out, FreshLinc has signed a three-year agreement that will see 320 of the distributor's heavy vehicles fitted with the Guardian System and the drivers further protected by the 24/7 global SafeGuard monitoring service based in Tucson, Arizona.
“Even though our drivers and equipment are among the best on-the-road, we are confident this technology will further strengthen our safety culture, protect our drivers and improve highway safety overall," said Lee Juniper, the managing director of FreshLinc.
House broker finnCap said this deal represents the first significant UK contract for the Guardian system.
The broker did not go so far as to change its forecasts based on the deal, but did say the development was “a very encouraging and welcome deployment into Europe”.
“The transport and logistics industry is facing a serious issue of fatigue and distraction. Increasing competition is leading to lower pay and drivers doing longer hours with higher fatigue levels. Equally, the use of smartphones for communications and entertainment is leading to more episodes of distraction, notably seeing HGVs ploughing into unseen stationary traffic when drivers are engrossed on their mobiles,” finnCap noted, as it sized up the UK market opportunity for the Aussie firm.
“In 2015 alone, more than 1,800 people were killed and almost 23,000 seriously injured on our roads. Distraction was the cause of 25% of fatalities and driver error accounted for 68%,” finnCap reported.
In the broker’s view, FreshLinc is an ideal customer.
“It is focused on road safety and driver compliance and takes an innovative approach, keen to deploy state of the art vehicles and technology including telematics and integrated IT solutions. Moreover, it is rapidly expanding into Europe, transporting flowers plants and fresh produce from Holland, Belgium and Spain,” the broker noted.