Last week, the Canberra Innovation Network in partnership with the Australian Trucking Association and Teletrac Navman invited teams from across Australia participate in a 48-hour hackathon to develop innovative new concepts to manage truck driver fatigue.

“FatigueHACK was a great experience which provided exposure to the problems facing an industry. Getting to work with other innovators and mentors to create a viable business model around addressing problems in an industry is a great opportunity.” – FatigueHack Participant.

The Challenge

The Australian trucking industry generates $40 billion in revenue and employs over 195,000 people. The current legislated mandatory minute system that tells drivers how long to drive for and when to take breaks – simply isn’t working. Drivers are not robots – they are human and fatigue is a human state yet we manage driver fatigue by counting hours and minutes and do not consider the individual.

Even in the midst of a technological revolution truck drivers are bound by law to carry and fill out a paper work diary. This offers no way to recognise that fatigue manifests differently for different individuals, with different health status and in different contexts and conditions.

The Winner

The “Augmented Intelligence” team, made up of entrepreneurs and health clinicians from Canberra and Brisbane, received the most votes out of several ideas to curb driver fatigue.

Their smart steering wheel is designed for the nation’s 120,000 long-haul drivers and features an embedded ECG monitor which analyses the drivers heart rate and visually communicates their fatigue level through a Navman, suggesting rest stops in real-time based on the heart rate readings.

What’s Next?

The winning team will be offered seats and mentoring at the Canberra Innovation Network to get their idea to market. Other ideas that received positive feedback from varying industry groups will be connected through the ATA to explore the concepts further.

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