Driver Innovation Safety Challenge

A health risk detection and alert system.

What is the Driver Innovation Safety Challenge?

A significant cause for dramatic incidents in rail and bus networks is driver health. Accidents can often be linked to two aggravating factors: fatigue and illnesses resulting in reduced cognitive awareness, loss of consciousness or paralysis whilst in control of a vehicle.

Edinburgh Trams and the City of Edinburgh Council are looking to support the development of a solution able to identify, as close to real-time as possible, the early symptoms of loss of focus, consciousness/alertness/paralysis or similar due to

  • fatigue levels – the bidders are expected to have a solution able to detect both micro sleeps, early signs of sleep, and a decline in levels of alertness.
  • common conditions – Driver Innovation Safety Challenge (DISC) is not prescriptive regarding the range of acute and/or chronic illnesses monitored which may lead to a reduction in the ability of the operator to manage the tram safely. 

The DISC solution is not required to be a medical grade device and is not expected to lead to a diagnosis, but instead alert the control room if a driver has a reduced capability to operate the tram safely. Bidders are expected to develop a Green/Amber/Red alert scoring methodology reflecting the risk. 

If a sufficiently high risk profile or incident is detected, it is anticipated that an appropriate message/alarm will be displayed both to the driver and to the control room, making the control team aware in real time of risks to passengers from changes in the drivers’ ability to operate the tram safely, and allowing for a timely intervention to be taken. Tram service management must be able to extract in a report the fatigue and health data collected by the device, underlying the alert system, to share as appropriate with medical staff.


Why participate in the Challenge?

The DISC project is an innovation partnership procurement offering Scottish and international companies/consortia:

  • Up to £168k of funding for R&D and test over a project life of up to 18 months 
  • Full rights to retain and exploit any IP developed during the challenge
  • The ability to build their customer base by pitching in front of Transport for Edinburgh and UK Tram executives and other transport authorities
  • If successful, the award a Framework contract of up to 3 years with Edinburgh Trams through Edinburgh City Council. 


How to apply to the challenge?

You can apply for the Driver Innovation Safety Challenge here.

Organisations that believe they can solve the challenge and want to bid for the contract must include both fatigue and health elements in their bid. If your organisation can produce a solution to either aspect of the challenge but cannot provide the entire solution, you are encouraged to develop a partnership prior to the competition. 

To support the creation of such partnerships, a networking event on Monday 1 April at Edinburgh City Chambers has been organised. Register here for this event. 


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