Freeport-McMoRan uses Seeing Machines to prevent operator accidents

Seeing Machines, a leading developer of advanced vision based industrial systems, has been awarded a contract to install DSS driver monitoring equipment in the haul truck fleet at the Morenci mine in Arizona, majority owned by Freeport-McMoRan. This will be the company’s largest DSS mining contract to date and will pilot the DSS deployment at this mine. The DSS is an active system that directly monitors the driver of a vehicle for distraction and fatigue events and provides a series of interventions aimed at managing these events and averting potential operator caused accidents.

The contract builds on earlier DSS trial installations at Freeport’s Safford mine in Arizona and the Grasberg mine in Indonesia and represents the beginning of the next phase of DSS deployment at other Freeport operations.

The DSS is an active system that directly monitors the driver of a vehicle for distraction and fatigue – and provides a series of interventions aimed at managing these events and averting potential operator caused accidents. The DSS Suite integrates three layers of risk mitigation including, instant in-cab feedback to the driver and real time alerts to fleet dispatchers along with management reporting, as well as driver feedback and training.

The DSS-IVS sensors monitor the driver’s head motion & eye closure. When the driver’s eyes have not been focused on the roadway ahead for a period, either because the driver is looking elsewhere, or because they are closed (for example during a microsleep event), then the DSS-IVS detects this and generates instant alarms. These instant alerts rouse the driver and help them regain focus on the roadway ahead and re-establish safe operation of the vehicle.

The DSS product suite includes options to link the alerts with dispatchers and controllers located in central control rooms using an organization’s existing communications infrastructure. DSS-Link or DSS-Relay allows the DSS-IVS alerts to be instantly forwarded to the dispatcher in the central control room, allowing them to make appropriate interventions based on the fatigue management plan (FMP) relevant to the specific organisation. Such real-time interventions can include communicating directly with the driver or altering work schedules.

Finally, the DSSi product is an integrated data management, analysis and reporting system that gives fleet managers the information they need to manage their vehicles and drivers effectively. Coupled with an effective FMP the DSS suite allows organizations to take active steps to manage driver fatigue and distraction in their operations, and mitigate risks at all levels in the process.

Nick Cerneaz, CEO of Seeing Machines, commented, “We are extremely pleased to have won our largest DSS mining contract to date. Whilst we have seen a slower than expected uptake of DSS in the over the road freight transport subsectors, arising directly from the impacts of the global economic slowdown, the contrasting growth in demand from the mining sector continues to grow in line with expectations.”

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