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Linfox drivers trial fatiguedetection device A group of Linfox linehaul truck drivers is taking part in a research project that could ultimately save lives on Australia's roads. The drivers are trialling breakthrough technology that reportedly detects drowsiness and fatigue — recognised as key factors in many road accidents — and sounds an alert. The Optalert system has been created by Melbourne research and development company Sleep Diagnostics, whose founder Dr Murray Johns is an acknowledged expert in the area of drowsiness, fatigue and sleep-related issues. Optalert comprises a pair of glasses frames fitted with a tiny infrared unit that monitors eye movement. As the driver becomes fatigued or drowsy, eye movements become slower. When the monitors detect these tell-tale signs, the information is transmitted to a small in-dash processing unit which issues an audible alert. The driver can then pull over at the earliest possible safe area to rest. The operating trials have been taking place over recent months with the assistance of a number of Linfox drivers involved in both day and night driving. Dr Johns says the Linfox drivers should be commended as they had volunteered to be part of the trials, for two two week periods which will ensure the quality of the data collected. The drivers were guaranteed that the information gathered was strictly confidential between them and Sleep Diagnostics. Manager of Linfox's Learning and Development division in Victoria and Tasmania, Ron Anderson, says anything that warns a driver of the onset of drowsiness and fatigue and allows them to take corrective action is a plus, and something Linfox is keen to assist with. "The system may also help to identify those sections of a trip where drivers are experiencing a loss of alertness," says Anderson. "This can be passed onto other drivers during training sessions." Linfox operates one of the largest truck fleets in Australia and is a leader in logistics and supply chain solutions in this country and

http://www.trucknbus.com.au/abc/displaystory.cfm?storyid=22457

7/06/2005


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throughout South-East Asia. Wednesday 20 April 2005

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http://www.trucknbus.com.au/abc/displaystory.cfm?storyid=22457

7/06/2005


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