Cameras and other technology placed in a truck cabin can detect problems and notify the driver in order to reduce distracted-driving crashes, according to a technology company.
The Nauto Prevent system is aimed at preventing truck accidents caused by distraction by informing drivers when they’ve had their eyes off the road for too long or if they’re tailgating or facing other potential risks.
“We want to help human drivers, not just rat them out to their boss,” said Nauto CEO Stefan Heck posted on techcrunch.com last year.
Nauto was founded in 2015 and is based in Palo Alto, California. The company makes “autonomous vehicle technology systems” with an artificial intelligence-powered connected camera network and “continuous learning cloud” designed to increase driving safety and efficiency, according to Emerj Artificial Intelligence Research.
Consequences of distraction behind the wheel
FreightWaves posted a story that said a Nauto study has shown that National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) statistics underestimate distracted-driving crashes on United States roads. FreightWaves is a “data and content forum” on the freight industry based in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
According to Nauto, NHTSA reports that an average of nine distracted driving crashes occur daily on U.S. roads. Most U.S. traffic information is based on police-reportable crashes, however, and not all crashes are serious enough to be reported to police. Also, drivers involved in crashes, even if distraction was a factor, often fail to tell that to police.
Many people understand distracted driving can be dangerous. Concerns about truck accidents caused by distraction have led companies to establish training for drivers that emphasizes the need to stay focused on the road.
Jennifer Haroon, Nauto chief operating officer, said that a study the company did last year, with an insurance company of commercial fleet drivers that use Nauto systems, found over 70 percent of crashes involved distracted driving.
Truck drivers using mobile phones while driving was a big factor in crashes. Other distractions that were determined to be factors in the study were people doing paperwork in the cab, or eating, drinking and talking with others in the truck.
Installing technology like Nauto’s can give managers video evidence and insights into driver behavior, which can be leveraged to help train drivers, Haroon said.
Notifying distracted drivers in real-time
The technology can identify problems that other evaluations might fail to isolate. For example, a truck driver’s hard-braking event could be because the driver was cut off by a bicycle and had to brake hard because that was the safest thing to do.
Or, perhaps the truck driver hard-braked because he or she was distracted and happened to look up just in time to see traffic in front of the truck and slammed on the brakes.
Nauto Prevent includes algorithms that monitor a driver’s head, eyes and torso to determine if eyes are on the road, according to CCJ, a freight transport website.
Drivers get alerts if they are distracted while a vehicle is moving. A driver is not alerted for looking at a phone at a stoplight, for example. The severity of risk is based on the length of time a driver is not looking at the road and the speed of the vehicle.
Drivers hear a beep at the first sign of distraction. If they continue the behavior, the device will say “distracted.” After 4 seconds the tone becomes more severe to command their attention.
Contact the Smith Law Office today for help with cases of truck accidents caused by distraction and for help with any other car, truck and motorcycle crashes in the Columbus, Ohio area.