Caterpillar Global Mining has entered into an alliance with Seeing Machines Ltd. to deliver and support operator fatigue monitoring technology through Cat Seeing Machines, headquartered in Canberra, Australia. The devices enhance patented eye and head tracking technology to detect operator fatigue and distraction while alerting mine controllers and machine operators, according to Caterpillar officials.

Through 2013, Cat dealers will be exclusive distribution outlets for the Seeing Machines technology to the global mining sector. Capabilities will start with dealers in key mining regions. “Cat has been raising awareness of 24/7 shift work on equipment operator performance for 10 years,” said Al Frese, general manager of solutions, technology and marketing for Caterpillar Global Mining. “The alliance with Seeing Machines is a natural progression.”

To date, Seeing Machines’ Driver Safety System, a commercial system for mining trucks, currently is operational at more than 20 mines and 1,500 vehicles wherein systems monitor eye and eyelid patterns to detect fatigue onset. Automated initialization and calibration of dash-mounted cameras, meanwhile, warrant no operator input.