FatigueM8 Friday – 15th May: Upgrades and repairs – iterating quickly.

Elvin Group Aggi’s parked up for the night.

My Friday afternoon this week concluded with a visit to the Elvin yard in Mitchell; all the trucks had been washed and neatly parked up for the night. My visit was two-fold this, firstly to check on the newly installed FatigueM8 unit, which we’d deployed earlier in the week and also to ‘tweak’ the steering wheel cover installed some 8 weeks earlier.

Job # 1: The new FatigueM8 model has some subtle, yet major changes to the unit. The most notable is the removal of the LCD panel on the front of the unit. During development, the LCD has been an invaluable part of the FatigueM8 compute model; displaying messages, errors and providing feedback, allowing us to see that inside the black box, all is as it should be. Now that the FatigueM8 units are being deployed and used in production, the need for the LCD has reduced. From the outset our mantra has always been “we want the driver to just drive and we’ll take care of the rest”, with the transition from Summer into Autumn and the end of daylight savings meant they were driving more often in dark conditions. While chatting to one of our drivers he mentioned that the blue glow emitted by the LCD in the dark cabin conditions more noticeable. Wanting to ensure we minimise distraction and light pollution in-cab for our drivers, we tweaked the design, reprinted the unit (they are 3D printed locally in Canberra) and installed it.

Job # 2: Since installing our first persistent FatigueM8 unit into the Kenworth T359A some eight (8) weeks ago, we’ve been checking in with the regular with the driver, to get feedback on the unit’s performance. Overall the use of the unit has been seamless, with the only issue being the stitching on one section of the cover had loosened (as can be seen in the picture on the top left below).

After an hour of careful stitching, we fixed the troublesome section and made sure the rest of the wheel won’t have the same issue. When I shared the photo on the bottom-right with the driver he commented “It looks like a racing car steering wheel!” which I think is a good thing 🙂

Until next time, stay safe.