Edinburgh Trams and IHF have confirmed that they are continuing to progress a project aimed at improving the safety of drivers and mobile workers by using wearable technology. The Driver Innovation Safety Challenge (DISC) aims to support the development of a smart wrist or arm band which can monitor and analyse drivers’ and mobile workers’ fatigue and wellbeing levels.
The project has its origins in the post-Croydon tram accident which saw the driver lose awareness of where it was on the network and it is hoped that this device will help safety alerts to be given if it appears the wearer is at risk of losing consciousness.
Algorithms review in real time the data collected in order to raise appropriate safety alerts to an operations control centre if the biometrics of an operator indicate that they are at risk of losing consciousness, due to microsleeps or a health condition. It will not be reactive (i.e. stopping a vehicle) but pre-emptive (i.e. identifying at an early stage the symptoms indicating a future loss of consciousness) and is thus a pioneering new approach to Health and Safety and accident prevention measures.
The first development stage will be the creation of the functionality to identify if the user is exhibiting symptoms of Covid-19. A post Covid return to work NHS test will be carried out to verify that users are free of Covid-19 and the DISC will be capable of monitoring that users continue to be clear of Covid-19.
It is expected that DISC will start trials in the autumn. It is being led by Edinburgh Trams with the support of UKTram and Transport for Edinburgh, and a partnership of public and private sector organisations including the City of Edinburgh Council and the Scotland CAN DO Innovation Challenge Fund. Human factors consultancy IHF Ltd has been selected as the industry partner responsible for developing the solution.
* More details of the project are available at https://discinnovation.com/.