Canberra AI pioneer Seeing Machines wins national export award

Ian Bushnell 17 February 2020
Seeing Machines Chief Operating Officer Brian Murphy and CEO Paul McGlone

Seeing Machines Chief Operating Officer Brian Murphy (left) and CEO Paul McGlone with the award at Parliament House. Photo: Australian Export Awards.

ACT tech firm Seeing Machines has gone all the way and taken out the Technology and Innovation category in the Australian Export Awards, announced on Tuesday night at Parliament House.

In October, Seeing Machines was named ACT Exporter of the Year.

The company’s artificial intelligence (AI) based safety technology pioneered in Canberra is being incorporated into Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) to enable vehicles to detect if drivers are becoming drowsy or distracted.

ADAS systems have been installed in over 16,000 commercial vehicles, and a growing client list of Tier 1 automotive suppliers in China, Europe and North America.

The driver monitoring technology measures and tracks a driver’s eye and head position and movements. The data can feed into advanced driver assistance systems and assess whether the driver is drowsy or distracted, intervening to prevent an accident.

It was an idea born in the ANU’s robotics labs two decades ago and now operates in 24 countries around the world.

Seeing Machines has exported since 2001, and now has 250 employees with offices in Asia, Europe, the UK and the US.

CEO Paul McGlone said the ACT and now the national award are significant milestones for the company, which is an important employer of Canberrans.

“We are working with some of the world’s biggest brands across all of our transport sectors – automotive, commercial transport, mining and aviation. Having this recognition in Australia at both the ACT and national level is great for our brand and key to elevating the value that our sort of technology can add,” he said.

Mr McGlone said the company’s future was bright, with regulators and government agencies seeking to improve safety by mandating technology in order to reduce road accidents, starting as soon as 2022 in Europe.

“The Seeing Machines driver monitoring technology has been singled out as a required technology and we look forward to leveraging that momentum all over the world and here at home,” Mr McGlone said.

When Seeing Machines won the ACT award, Mr McGlone said the company had made an active choice to grow their business in Canberra, utilising the city’s strengths in technology development.

“We started here, we’ve developed here and our employees have deep roots here. The government is extremely supportive and there is an abundance of assistance and supportive people in Canberra to help us grow,” he said.


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