Eye Drive Project
Steve Shaw is the Managing Director of Shawsett Safety and Training, a workplace safety training assessment and consultancy service to businesses. Mr Shaw is also an innovator, who has created Eye Drive, a system which applies eye-tracking technology to train drivers, the effectiveness of which has been validated through placement of an ECU researcher in the business.
Steve Shaw worked for over 15 years in emergency services. Steve was a well-trained driver who witnessed under developed and poor driving skills. In an effort to develop a more effective and proven method of driver training Steve created the innovative Eye Drive technology.
Mr Shaw explains that “Eye Drive utilises eye-tracking technology to monitor a driver’s gaze on a non-interactive HD Display, providing an analysis of their visual attention and effective visual field of view. This translates effectively into a test for hazard perception, and the results from the on-screen simulation are replicated in the ‘real world’ environment”.
A passionate and knowledgeable advocate for practical and theoretically relevant safety training, Mr Shaw undertook an international search to find the most effective and proven method of driver training. That search led Mr Shaw to the CSIRO’s SME Engagement Centre and a subsequent connection with ECU’s Associate Professor Owen Carter. Access to a grant through a “Researcher in Business” initiative of the Federal Government partially funded placement of Associate Professor Carter at Shawsett Safety and Training. This enabled the development and validation of Mr Shaw’s Eye Drive concept.
From the research undertaken, Associate Professor Carter advised that “good results were immediately evident when ten Rio Tinto staff who had undergone the visual tracking driver training were compared to ten who had no training. The untrained group visually fixated mainly upon the traffic in front of them in the middle of the road while the trained group practiced significantly more visual scanning for hazards ahead and to the left and right of the road”.
Associate Professor Carter reported that:
- “The significance of this research was two-fold; it confirmed that drivers’ visual scanning behaviours can be trained rapidly using simulation and eye-tracking enhanced methods.”
- “It also demonstrated that this learning transferred directly to actual driving behaviours in real life.”
- “The important thing is, we can teach drivers a whole lot of visual scanning techniques just while they are staring at a TV screen in an office.”
On the researcher in business initiative, Mr Shaw said the “experience was very effective in getting validation for the concept of eye-tracking in driver safety, and clarifying the criteria for a patent.”
“The experience was very effective in getting validation for the concept of eye tracking in driver safety and clarifying criteria for a patent. Particularly in training validation of the effectiveness and ability to establish ROI are crucial.” Steve Shaw said.
Mr Shaw added “there is so much potential for academia to really influence the direction that start-ups and innovation take. It’s pragmatism meets validation.”
The application of the eye-tracking technology to train drivers is a first which Mr Shaw says “will result in massive reductions in the driver training course duration from three weeks to three hours”.
Throughout 2015 Mr Shaw attended a number of ECU presentations and Master Class sessions which assisted him along his entrepreneurial journey. Mr Shaw advised that “One of the first sessions I went to was on ‘Mindsets and Motivations’. Gauging the experience of others and the potential sources for solutions provides a perspective and motivation to look beyond the problem; to see there is always a solution.”
Mr Shaw also entered an ECU and Watermark run competition open to WA entrepreneurs, and won. He is now using this prize money to develop a new logo for Eye Drive and to develop a promotion plan to go to market.
To find out more information regarding Eye Drive tracking technology please contact THE LINK team on: [email protected] or telephone 0863042867.