In April 2018, the Canberra Innovation Network partnered with the Australian Trucking Association (ATA) and Teletrac Navman in a bid to help combat driver fatigue.
Fatalities are happening on Australian roads every week and, to protect the truckies, the challenge was put out to Australia’s sharpest minds to come together and to bring the truckies home safely to their families every run.
The challenge was accepted by 8 dedicated and passionate teams who understood that the current system that tells drivers how long to drive for and when to take breaks – simply isn’t working, and that drivers are not robots, they are human.
Two of the teams have since gone on and started developing their prototype, testing and working with the trucking industry to implement it Australia wide.
One of the teams; In2Teq Smart Systems founded by Manny Diaz and Ronald Bolante developed the ground-breaking product; The Wait Advisor.
The Wait Advisor notifies the wait time at the loading and unloading point for the Australian trucking industry. It tries to solve the problem by exposing delays in the supply chain and making actionable information available to stakeholders, businesses, warehouses, distribution centres, truck drivers and operators, industry associations, regulators, policy-makers and researchers.
“We realised that beyond technologies that predict and detect fatigue, the common pain point we consistently heard was the delays and queues drivers are unfairly subjected to while waiting for cargo to be loaded to or unloaded from their trucks.” – Manny Diaz, Founder of In2Teq
“Research has shown that these waits reduce the driver’s fitness-to-drive and lead to fatigue. Fatigue is known as a leading cause of avoidable road accident worldwide, and statistics will reveal that heavy vehicles are over-represented in crashes in Australia. We were then drawn by the idea that if we can save at least one life through this project, it is worthwhile to pursue.”
Since the hackathon, the team has validated their concept with the trucking industry during the 2018 Technology and Maintenance Conference in Melbourne and proceeded with the development of both mobile apps and backend platform needed.
So, what is next?
“The Wait Advisor is just the beginning. We are now working on the development of the next product in our roadmap to make improvements in the supply chain by introducing efficiencies at the gatehouse, from compulsory site induction to the management of cargo documentation.”
“Five years from now, we’ll have a suite of products that stakeholders in the logistics supply chain can use to achieve better efficiencies, improve compliance (particularly with the rollout of the new Chain of Responsibility regulation), but most of all reduce or eliminate long waits for the Australian truck driver.”
Advice to other people creating their own startup? From the team themselves; they say it can be a long, daunting and difficult journey. Be prepared to make sacrifices, and to stay the course, find meaning in what you do. “We are still in the journey, but we would not have made it up to this point without the affirmation from people in our stakeholder group and the support of people who matter.”