Takata adds driver alertness feature to SafeTrak product

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Takata announced that its SafeTraK 3 product has a new driver alertness feature that detects and monitors erratic driving or weaving within the lanes. Typically lane departure warning (LDW) systems are used in the commercial truck industry to alert drivers when they have drifted out of their traffic lane, the company says. But the Takata system has two unique alerts: one for indicating drivers may need rest and one for inadvertent lane departures.

The SafeTraK 3 product includes vehicle monitoring software that tracks the time of day, number of alerts, and variability in driving performance. Companies can use the SafeTraK 3 system to help drivers better understand their own driving patterns and make adjustments to improve overall road safety, the company says.

“Commercial truck drivers face many distractions while on the road for long hours; this includes drowsiness,” says Kirk Morris, vice president, product management and business development for Takata Electronics. “Our system’s unique algorithms help operators better manage their driving so they know when to stop for rest breaks, what time of day they generally require breaks, as well as measure their driving performance real time. Our ultimate objective is to improve road safety for everyone, and this unique SafeTraK feature takes a giant step in meeting that goal.”

Studies have shown that distracted drivers, whether due to fatigue, cell phone usage, or other circumstances, will generally weave within a lane far more than a rested driver whose full attention is on the driving task. The driver alertness feature can diagnose the driver’s inattention by monitoring the vehicle’s performance within the lane and provides a warning so the driver may get rest or better focus on the driving task.

“Simply put, the SafeTraK system saves lives, improves efficiencies and cuts costs,” says Morris. “The SafeTraK system is currently available on many North American truck platforms. Manufacturers that offer SafeTraK include Freightliner, International, Kenworth, Volvo, and Mack.”