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As the saying goes: there’s risk in everything. If you’re changing a tire on the side of the highway, there’s risk involved. If you’re operating a piece of heavy machinery, there’s risk involved. Even simply carrying a box across a damp floor, yes, there is risk involved.
Naturally, both employers and employees want to minimize risk in the workplace. But identifying the means to reduce accidents without paralyzing performance can be a tricky balance. Human observation and imagination can only do so much toward creating accident-free environments. That’s why cities and industries are turning to Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things to increase safety.
There are literally trillions of moving parts within cities, factories, offices, and shipping companies. One approach to learning how to foster safe working conditions would be to constantly monitor all those parts individually, then watch for the trouble spots to surface.
Future-forward as it may sound, it’s neither economical nor practical to install and monitor sensor arrays on every individual element of any operation. The good news is, we don’t have to. That’s where AI comes into play.
Consider a problem like ice on the roads. In the real world, it isn’t practical to put enough sensors on our roadways that can detect patches of ice everywhere they could occur. Alternatively, by tracking how cars behave as they travel over roadways, AI can identify spots where it’s highly likely that there’s ice on the road.
That example shows how AI can efficiently ingest and interpret sensor data, rapidly develop an informed conclusion, and finally take direct and immediate action to decrease risk for others on the roadway. From a safety perspective, this same process can be applied to a variety of scenarios.
Ranked as the second most-dangerous occupation for workplace injuries, transportation and shipping is an industry with room for improvement in the category of safety. Specifically, truck drivers face risk working both behind the wheel and in the vicinity of the truck, which makes it difficult to predict where and how accidents may happen.
A new partnership between HERE and Scania applies AI to produce a unique safety device to make trucking safer for drivers.
The Scania C-me vest is a connected, wearable device that raises the bar for keeping truck drivers safe. The device can detect when the driver steps out of the truck and automatically turn on flashing safety lights integrated within the vest. In addition, the C-me vest has an integrated accelerometer which can recognize when a driver comes to a sudden stop and remains motionless – possibly indicating a fall.
This solution grows more efficient and more intelligent over time. By applying AI, the data received from the vest helps form an understanding of the drivers’ patterns of behavior. Those patterns help the larger system tell the difference between what’s routine, and what’s unusual. Did the driver step out of the truck and take a short break? Or did they become injured while at the side of the trailer?
In the case of an emergency, the vest can then alert to emergency services, the truck’s dispatcher, and provide the exact location of the truck as well as where the driver is in proximity.
Trucking is just one industry where location technology can be applied to improve safety. Using AI to better understand the logic behind how things move can be used in city planning, supply chain management, and even digital advertising.
We’re proud to help bring this solution to life with partners like Scania, and we’re looking forward to growing our partnerships to improve services and efficiency by using location data.