Edinburgh Trams & IHF push ahead with the development of driver safety wrist band

Edinburgh Trams and IHF Ltd are progressing a project aiming to improve 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.  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.

The DISC approach is not to be reactive (i.e. stopping the vehicle after a loss of consciousness), but pre-emptive (i.e. identifying at an early stage the symptoms indicating a future loss of consciousness), thus pioneering a new approach to Health and Safety and accident prevention measures.

The first stage of the development of the DISC solution will be the creation of the functionality to identify if a 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 the initial DISC solution will start trials in late summer 2020.

DISC 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.

Colin Kerr, Safety & Projects Manager at Edinburgh Trams and UKTram board member, explained: “We aim to create a world leading system that can help save lives, reduce risk and deliver efficiencies across multiple industry sectors, around the globe”.

More information about DISC can be accessed through the project website here:  https://discinnovation.com