Safety is a vital priority for everyone. Little carelessness, even for a fraction of a second, can lead to great losses, especially road accidents, which can apparently be expected at any time and can cause significant damage to life and property. One of the major causes is drowsy driving. This issue has underpinned the creation of the application “Kabdee” (Good Driving), developed by Chemicals Business, SCG, which incorporates Artificial Intelligence (AI) into company’s cargo vehicles as an assistant to ensure safety for employees and road users.
Good Intention – Concern for Road Safety
“SCG has implemented strict safety policy, particularly safe driving which SCG has put a greater emphasis on to achieve zero accident. Hence, apart from complying with safety rules and raising awareness on safety among employees, we have created an efficient technology to mitigate the risk of road accidents focusing on drivers.”
Mr. Sophon Arayasathaporn, Plant Reliability & Innovation Technology Center Manager of Rayong Engineering & Plant Service Company Limited, a subsidiary of Chemicals Business, said that “Kabdee” application was developed from the engineer team’s idea to integrate Artificial Intelligence or AI, which is used to optimize machines and plant operations, and digital technology to provide a comprehensive solution for safety. The team envisioned that not only the plant’s logistics system the innovation can apply to for enhanced safety, but also the public transport or personal vehicles. This has motivated the team to create innovation that can be a viable solution at a reasonable price.
Good Idea – Implementing Digital Technology to Seek Solution
It began with the question of how digital technology can contribute to driving safety. The engineer team began researching the state of drowsiness and exhaustion from academic papers of world’s leading universities and collecting data of physical characteristics to create a system that can detect facial gestures and postures that indicates physical deterioration in drowsiness episodes such as fatigue, exhaustion, sleepiness or using a mobile phone. The application can monitor the driver’s movements of eyes, lip and facial gestures using infrared camera which will not disturb driving. It can also work at night and provide precise evaluation with no restrictions on size or facial characteristics. It can also detect drivers wearing sunglasses. Examples of system detection features include identifying eyes going out of focus, calculation of the association of eyes and driving such as taking turns, reversing or braking, etc.
Good Use – Accuracy and Effectiveness
To use the application, the equipment must be installed in the car which consists of infrared camera for facial detection, processing box in the interior cabin, vibrating seat and speakers to communicate with the staff at the control center. When the system is turned on and start driving, the application will detect signs of fatigue, exhaustion, drowsiness associated to the conditions leading to accident, the system will alert the driver with a beep sound and vibration. The driver must press a button on a steering wheel to stop the alarm. The system will continue detecting drowsiness episodes throughout the journey.
The alarming sound and vibration have 3 levels of intensity. If the driver fail to press the button within allowed time, the internal processing system will instantly automatically contact the staff at the call center to check the driver’s driving readiness and locate appropriate resting spots. The call center staff can monitor the driver’s facial gestures from infrared camera.
The most unique and practical feature of “Kabdee” application is quick response time with high accuracy, allowing the system to alert and contact the control system in seconds. Time really matters otherwise, drowsiness in a fraction of second can lead to a serious accident.
Good Deed – Collecting Data for Non-Stop Development
Apart from providing safety for the driver during the driving task, the “Kabdee” application can collect statistical data and develop Big Data analytics to enhance management in several aspects such as personal performance, calculation to find an appropriate number of drivers for each task or route planning and locating resting spots to improve safety and performance.
Mr. Sophon said that “The trial data of Kabdee application suggested that the short-distance route like Rayong to Laem Chabang can put drivers at risk of exhaustion and sleepiness, despite of the driver’s full compliance with the safety rules in terms of hours of sleep or good driver management system. The application must be put in use for all forms of transport. The team has piloted the application with Cement-Building Materials Business, SCG, especially the logistics team that include driving tasks across the provinces and long-distance route to test the operation and collect more data.
Good Feeling – Users’ Safety is the Pride of Developer
The engineer system development team is proud to create the application that can enhance safety for drivers and road users.
“The challenges of the application development are to convert the physical expressions of sleepiness into digital data and teach computer system to learn signs of sleepiness. This includes designing a practical usage that meets the driver’s comfort requirements such as wearing sunglasses while driving, no flash of light on screen to disturb driving performance, installing button on the steering wheel to eliminate the need leave the hand from the steering wheel, etc. We are proud of the results that the project has turned into real practice that really helps people. Drowsy driving is the forth major cause of road accident. Therefore, we are proud of being part of contributing to the reduction of the national casualty rates and we are happy to see everyone go home to see their beloved family after work every day,” concluded Mr. Sophon.
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