Emergency wake up device for truck drivers at loading


Truck drivers essentially perform hefty duties, which is something that causes fatigue. Most of them would end up sleeping in the loading facilities, which leads to congestion. Safe operations of the vehicles need quick reactions, excellent judgment, and even sustained vigilance especially when experiencing poor driving conditions or heavy traffic. Fatigue commonly impairs most of the driving abilities and in worst cases; it leads to semi chronic sleepiness or the sleep debt.


Automating driving

Thorn et al. (2018) provided the first step towards the wake up device by revisiting the automated driving systems (ADS) whose primary role is to offer the dynamic driving task. A framework was developed for the purposes of exploring the ADS features, which also covered the functional architecture. With the help of the On-Road Automated Driving Activities, Thorn et al. (2018) could work on a robust system which picked on three significant domains. The three include the level of driving automation, operational design domain and the design specific functionality. The most significant section is that of design specific functionality which constitutes the tactical functions and the real-time operations. The key parts of this domain include manoeuvre planning, event and object response execution, enhanced conspicuity through gesturing, signalling and lighting at the same time. Other parts around the driving environment include the response classification, event or emergency detection and response preparation among others as shown in figure 1 below.

 functional architecture of a possible wake-up device as adopted

Figure 1: The functional architecture of a possible wake-up device as adopted from Thorn et al. (2018)

Twitchell Jr. and TeraHop Networks Inc (2010) further proposed that the wake up device might have both the tactical as well as the operational manoeuvres. The driving control can have a module for parking in which the ADS may come to an absolute stop when there is a vacant parking spot. Key characteristics of this module include the initial conditions, the lot type, and the perpendicular orientations. The second module is that of obstacle avoidance in which the ADS would identify as well as respond to the on-road hazards or the emergencies in the parking lots or the loading facilities. Other modules, which may not be linked to the wake up device include lane centring, lane switching, truck following, high-speed merge and even navigations. Further studies conducted by Twitchell Jr. and TeraHop Networks Inc (2010) noted the relevant use of low power radio frequency (LPRF) device wake up with the help of the wireless tag. The component can easily power down for the purposes of conserving energy as well as power up while responding to a signal or the second receiver.

The background to this kind of device includes the wireless as well as hoc networks, which pave way for nodal communication without having a wired infrastructure or a central control. These kinds of networks are believed to have the multihop topologies, which are dynamic and keep changing as they constitute the wireless data communication. Most of the ad hoc networks are believed to be advantageous in the sense that they can be flexible, fault tolerant and inexpensive at the same time. With attention given to asset tracking and detection of hazards, wireless data networks can be paramount in terms of the warehouse management. A summary of the innovation presented by Twitchell Jr. and TeraHop Networks Inc (2010) denotes the fundamental role played by a wireless transceiver, which is commonly applied in reading the wireless tags which can be disposed externally in proximity to the to the WT. The use of the LPRF communications component as well as the second receiver is essentially hardwired. This invention can perfectly be applied in the detection system, which triggers the sensors that would activate the response system when the drivers fall asleep during the loading and unloading activities.

Other case studies highlighted by Paddeu et al. (2019) noted the need to establish new technological solutions for the long haul road transportation, which can still be redirected to the strong prospects of platooning the heavy goods vehicles. The technology needs to be more mature and needs to meet the requirements of the regulatory frameworks, the operating practices and also meet the required tests. The necessary component for the international leading economy is deemed fit in the light of the information, the need for high-speed mobile networks and high capacity data transmission networks, which might stimulate innovation across an array of the loading and unloading activities. The coverage is extended to automated loading systems especially at the depots and the ports, which may become part of the system linked to the wake-up module (Paddeu et al. 2019). The lack of automation as well as transmission would often lead to the time inefficiencies.

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Therefore, automation for the containers may offer the most convenient way of tracing the truck arrivals, yard planning, and terminal operations, which constitute the loading and unloading operations. This thought has attracted the agile port concept, which points at the significant need of improving the semi-automated equipment, which would update the truck drivers of the loading activities. The same concept is extended to automated docking system in which the docking centres are believed to become more effective when there are updates regarding the arrival time and the load capacity. Most of the automated warehouses are being established across the world with the help of automated tools as well as systems. On the other hand, Choi et al. (2016) further noted the possible need use of the lights and sirens, which can be integrated in the wake up systems. The NEMISIS is known for collecting the standardized data which aid the response towards patient care. While history indicates a declining use of the lights and sirens especially in the patient transport, this may not imply a limited use for the truck drivers in the loading facilities. The concept of lights and sirens, as highlighted by Choi et al. (2016), may need further improvement before integrating it in the intended system as mentioned above.


  • Bates, B.G., Round Rock Research LLC, 2010. Secure cargo transportation system. U.S. Patent 7,777,608.
  • Choi, B.Y., Blumberg, C. and Williams, K., 2016. Mobile integrated health care and community paramedicine: an emerging emergency medical services concept. Annals of emergency medicine, 67(3), pp.361-366.
  • Paddeu, D., Calvert, T., Clark, B. and Parkhurst, G., 2019. New Technology and Automation in Freight Transport and Handling Systems.
  • Thorn, E., Kimmel, S.C., Chaka, M. and Hamilton, B.A., 2018. A Framework for Automated Driving System Testable Cases and Scenarios (No. DOT HS 812 623). United States. Department of Transportation. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
  • Twitchell Jr, R.W., TeraHop Networks Inc, 2010. Lprf device wake up using wireless tag. U.S. Patent Application 12/774,575.

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