Industry Q&A: Transforming Driver Safety Through Disruptive Technology

The mining industry presents a number of challenges for fleets and mobile equipment, with harsh terrain and isolated conditions creating challenges for safety, maintenance and workforce management. 

With pressure increasing to extract greater productivity from assets, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is increasingly being used to optimise processes, enhance decision-making, derive value from data, and ultimately improve safety.  

To discuss the impact of powerful telematics in mining, we caught up with Brodie Von Berg, Managing Director, MiX Telematics MEA. He looks at the role of technology in mitigating safety risks, changing driver behaviours and optimising fleet management and maintenance.

1. MiX Telematic specialises in improving driver safety. What are some of the common challenges you see in this area? 

Driver safety remains a critical global challenge, with over 1.3 million people killed on the world’s roads annually. Closer to home there are over 1,100 people killed on Australian roads annually. Nobody is immune to the inherent risk of transport operations, including mining personnel travelling to site or moving equipment onsite. 

As mining is generally in remote areas, there is an increased risk of fatigue related incidents. Single vehicle crashes accounted for 57% of Western Australian fatalities in the 12 months to end September 2021, and 57% of these fatalities were 26 years or older. 

Speed, Distraction and Fatigue are common challenges that need to be addressed.

2. How do you begin to correct some of these behaviours and safety risks? 

The application of technology can better assist drivers by identifying Speeding, Distraction and Fatigue in real-time. 

Using an onboard computer, cameras and AI support, the driver can be supported in making better decisions and reducing the risk of being involved in a vehicle incident.

3. What has been the impact of AI in the fleet management and driver safety space?

The primary beneficiaries are drivers who will arrive home safely at the end of the day. With the technology aiding their driving style and keeping them focused on the task at hand, it eliminates the distractions found in a modern transport environment. 

In turn, fleet operators can expect a reduction in the frequency and severity of motor vehicle crashes.

4. What data is this feeding into operations for monitoring operations and making real-time changes? 

While the driver has real-time feedback in the cabin and post trip analysis on their personalised app, real-time alerts are also sent to supervisors and control rooms when drivers are exhibiting high-risk behaviours such as failure to wear a seatbelt, excessively speeding, using a mobile phone while driving and ignoring the symptoms of fatigue. This empowers supervisors and control rooms to intervene before an incident occurs. 

For managers and executives, sophisticated interactive dashboards enable analysis of company-wide performance down to the drivers with the most elevated risk score in just 2 clicks.

Lastly, the integration of data into other business systems creates significant efficiencies around onboarding drivers, reporting and maintenance scheduling.


It is incumbent on us to do everything we practically can to reduce the risk of future motor vehicle crashes. The maturity of technologies such as AI powered video telematics can deliver significant and tangible benefits through a reduction of crashes, and consequently delivers real ROI multiples on the safety investment. 

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