Looking to improve the safety levels at its mining sites, BHP is installing the innovative Driver State System with breakthrough eye-tracking technology, developed by the company Seeing Machines, in 110 trucks.
The big mining firm decided to invest $1.5 millions in the technology after a positive trial that involved 17 trucks at Mining Area C and Eastern Ridge, in the Pilbara area (Australia).
Seeing Machines’ creation allows “machines to see and track human faces and certain facial feature”, according to the company. Ken Kroger, chief executive of the technology firm, said:
The mining industry is acknowledging and supporting the advances being delivered with the DSS technology, and the integral role that eye tracking technology has to play in keeping their operators safe.
The technology is fast becoming indispensable in the industry as a means to maximise worker safety and we are glad that this, along with our absolute commitment to the highest levels of service for our customers, is being recognised. This order re-affirms our confidence in our expectations for the full year.
The Pilbara trucks will be supported by Caterpillar dealer WestTrac and the monitoring systems are to be rolled out via the American manufacturer’s worldwide dealer network. However, broker finnCap believes that this eye-tracking innovation has far wider applications:
This technology has the potential to become a staple of future human-machine interface. The applications for machine understanding of where human attention is focussed are almost limitless. Technical and commercial feasibility is proven in the mining industry and now being considered for deployment in the transport, consumer electronics and retailing industries.
This investment intends to boost the security levels at BHP’s mines, avoiding accidents that usually lead to the death of workers or serious injuries.