Volunteers from tram networks across the country have joined a pioneering project that’s using biometric monitoring technology to further boost light rail safety.
The result of a partnership driven by UKTram and operator Edinburgh Trams, FOCUS+ aims to monitor the fatigue levels of key employees.
Utilising compact, wearable devices, it can also alert operators to other wellbeing issues that may impact on safety and is now undergoing extensive nationwide testing.
Dan Hill, Technical Officer at UK Tram, explained: “Initial trials in Edinburgh have provided a wealth of useful data, demonstrating the potential of FOCUS+ to further improve light rail safety.
“Now 36 devices have been distributed amongst volunteers from networks in Edinburgh, Blackpool, Manchester and Sheffield, as well as at UKTram to further demonstrate the potential benefits of the system.”
The latest trials have emerged from an initial Driver Innovation Safety Challenge (DISC), which involved City of Edinburgh Council, Transport for Edinburgh and Scotland Can Do Fund working in partnership with UKTram.
Since testing on early prototypes, commercial partner IHF Ltd has made the devices easier to wear and improved algorithms to better understand the data they captured and to identify overall trends.
“Now this pioneering research is being taken to the next level with the support of colleagues from across light rail, and we would like to thank them for their continued support,” Dan added.
Even more volunteers are expected to be recruited over the next few months as more networks join the project, and further information is available here.