At WILLER EXPRESS, providing all of our passengers with safe, secure transportation is our number one priority.
To ensure complete safety on all our highway buses, our safety program includes health and driver-alertness measures. In addition to a health management program to promote the health of our drivers, we provide driver support using cutting-edge IoT (Internet of Things) technology.
Responds to the conditions of the driver and surroundings using cutting-edge technology.
Implementation of the FEELythm (feel rhythm) system, a drowsiness detector for drivers that is equipped with a digital driving monitor with communication functionality
- ※① The FEELythm (feel rhythm) system measures the pulse of the driver to detect signs of fatigue and sleepiness even when the driver does not notice them him or herself. When needed, the FEELythm system provides vibration feedback to alert the driver. Alerts are also transmitted to the driver management team in real time so that instructions to take a break can be delivered, or other measures can be taken remotely as needed to ensure transportation safety.
- ※② The communication-enabled digital driving monitor provides real-time video of the vehicle in operation through cloud-based services. Data about the drive conditions such as vehicle speed, emergency braking, and acceleration is automatically collected and transmitted to the driver management team, who are then able to provide the driver with direct instructions as needed to maintain safety.
Auto-braking to reduce the impact of a collision
- The system automatically detects other vehicles on the roadway, and when it determines the possibility of a collision, an alert is given to the driver, and the brakes are activated lightly to avoid a collision. If the danger of a collision rises to a serious level and no avoidance operation (braking or steering) has been made by the driver, the brakes will engage automatically to avoid a collision and mitigate any damage. These safety measures are provided as an extra level of security and safety for all our passengers in the unlikely event of an emergency.
- Number of vehicles equipped with braking systems for mitigating collision damage
All vehicles are equipped with braking systems for mitigating collision damage for driver safety support
Highway buses are equipped with leading-edge technology
As an additional measure to prevent driving incidents due to human error, we have installed leading-edge safety equipment on new buses.
- Face recognition camera
- A facial recognition camera captures the driver’s facial movements to monitor operator awareness.
If the driver’s eyes are wandering or blinking excessively, feedback is provided with a buzzer and visual display to warn the driver of decreased operational capacity.
- White line recognition camera and auto-cruise control feature
- The white line recognition camera provides an alert when the vehicle touches the lane boundary line, and the auto-cruise control has a minimum vehicle distance function to ensures that a suitable following distance is maintained. These advanced features alleviate driver fatigue and prevent rear-end collisions.
- Causes behind major accidents
There is a strong correlation between driver health while driving and general health overall
In recent years, the bus industry has taken a proactive role in preventing accidents through ensuring the good health of drivers.
In order to avoid situations where a lifestyle-related health issue causes a driver to be suddenly unable to operate their bus, WILLER EXPRESS employs health professionals to provide guidance on healthy living, with the aim of lowering the risk of a health-related incidents during bus operation.
Interview with an industry medical and health professional:
Driver health guidance for healthy living
- Highway bus drivers are susceptible to a number of work-related behavioral patterns that can lead to unhealthy lifestyles. As a medical professional, I suggest a variety of options to help them develop living habits. For example, I educate drivers about healthy eating, help them find a walking route that’s close to home, and provide them with analysis of their health checkup results. I also provide personal health consultations and help them develop health plans built around the health risks associated with their job. In this way, the drivers are supported towards healthier living both while working and at home.
- Public health nurse
Brain MRIs/MRAs and cardiac/pulmonary CT scans
The most dangerous medical situation during bus operation occurs when a driver loses consciousness. Brain and heart disease account for a large percentage of such situations.
WILLER EXPRESS employs a “brain dock” checkups which include MRIs and MRAs that can detect health issues. The brain dock also includes CT scanning to screen for issues in the blood vessels of the heart and lungs. Through the early detection of diseases that can cause a sudden loss of consciousness, we are improving traffic safety.
At WILLER EXPRESS, providing all of our passengers with safe, secure transportation is our number one priority. One of the ways we do that is by supporting our drivers’ health through the promotion of good diet and sleep habits, installing equipment to prevent accidents caused by health issues, and providing safety support for bus drivers traveling throughout Japan. To provide centralized management of these and other safety programs, we have opened our new Shin-Kiba Base.
- Shin-Kiba Dining Facilities
- A cafeteria designed especially for drivers
The Shin-Kiba cafeteria provides dining selections that change daily, each of which is around 500 calories to help maintain a focus on health management.
- Driver housing
- Housing facilities with 80 rooms designated for drivers.
These facilities are furnished to ensure drivers can get adequate rest when not working.
- Main office
- The WILLER EXPRESS main office includes central functions for driving management and monitors the operation of buses throughout Japan, as well as the mental and physical health of their drivers.
Traveling the road of health improvements
- Based on advice from the health care professional, this driver made lifestyle improvements and lost five kilograms in six months.
When you’re driving a bus, you often have to eat late at night, at rest areas. I used to eat ramen most of the time, but now I’ve switched to soba. I also cut down on energy drinks. I used to drink them a lot for the brain boost, but even though they have nutritional ingredients, those drinks contain a lot of sugar. I’ve made a lot of little changes. I also started running twice a week at my line destination stop, which has made me start thinking a lot more about my health.
- Driver: Endo Tomoharu
- The brain dock and CT scans for the heart and lungs that WILLER EXPRESS offers are great benefits.
They have helped identify potential health risks that had been off my radar, and I’ve been able to take preventative measures. Another great benefit is the convenient lunches offered at the Shin-Kiba dining facility. They have healthy meals with fish and vegetables, so I can focus on other aspects of my health without having to be concerned about my diet.
- Driver: Ando Masato
- I now use the driver housing more when I have an early work schedule.
The buses leave from right next to the housing facilities, so it’s easier to get a full night’s rest because I don’t have to travel to work. The rooms have a bed, but also an A/C unit, a TV, and a refrigerator— it feels more like a hotel room than a dorm. They’re very comfortable.
- Driver: Kobayashi Teruo
- Based on the guidance I received from the professional health advisor, I improved my diet, and now I get better results from my medical checkups. When eating out, I choose items with plenty of vegetables, and I drink tea now rather than juice. I’ve come to understand how even small changes can have a big impact on health,and I’ve come to appreciate the importance of diet and health in general.
- Driver: Wakatsuki Chieko