More and more articles are focusing on tech companies proposing wearables as potential solutions to the high number of accidents experienced on our roadways by influencing driver behavior.
Smartwatches are able to monitoring driver behavior and provide navigation. Taps on the wrist permit the watches to alert drivers when they are speeding or notify the driver when a turn is coming up via navigation. The taps provide data without being obtrusive nor require the driver to take their eyes off the road. The watch can also be used with Hours of Service applications so drivers can easily see how many remaining hours they have.
This is just one of several wearables being developed to aid the driver, create a safer driving experience, and cut back on accidents. Another example mentioned is an actual baseball cap by a company called SmartCap. It sound and audible alarm when the driver begins to fall asleep and activates a vision in-cab display.
A third company discussed has a smart shirt that detects a driver’s heart rate, breathing and body positioning.
At it’s root, all of these technologies (and several more) are being designed to improve Driver Behavior. Keeping one’s eyes on the road, void of distraction is critical. Ensuring drivers are not falling asleep at the wheel is imperative. Being able to know when a driver is at the onset of experience a true physical emergency is invaluable.
Although the continued development of technology is extremely helpful, we must keep in mind that too much can be a problem. This is especially true today when vehicles and trucks are equipped with mounds of technology all with their own noise source. There is a point of diminishing returns. Too much assistance can cause more harm than good. The key is not the amount/volume of technology used in vehicles but rather the use of smart technology uniquely applied to the specific needs of the driver.