Seeing Machines’ Distributor Wins Contracts In New Zealand

  • Jun 13, 2019 BST
  • Team Kalkine
Seeing Machines’ Distributor Wins Contracts In New Zealand

Seeing Machines (SEE) is a Canberra, Australia based technology hardware & equipment company, and is a world leader in driver-machine interaction. The company uses big data to develop an understanding of the real-world safety behaviours of drivers and harness human factors science to create artificial intelligence technology that observes the driver's movements. The group's artificial intelligence technology analyses data to quickly and accurately detect driver drowsiness, distraction and microsleep events through specialised computer vision algorithms that precisely track eye gaze, head position and pupil size. The company endeavours to make roads safer by designing human sensing technology to address safety behaviours and intervenes seamlessly when necessary.

The company's core technology can be used for a range of mission critical safety applications, even in extreme environments, and is currently applied in driver monitoring systems (DMS) for cars and fleet trucks as well as in tram, rail and aviation scenarios. Autonomous driver assistance systems (ADAS) for autonomous vehicles and automotive safety technology extensively uses driver monitoring systems and is being increasingly regarded as crucial for them. The company counts Caterpillar, General Motors, Emirates, Bosch, Progress Rail, Coach USA and Transport for London among its major clients and serves a growing market in Europe, North America, Latin America, the Middle East and the Asia Pacific.

While the group operates in three major industries, the automotive industry, mining industry and the fleet trucking industry, it is primarily differentiated in five operating segments with industries that do not meet the thresholds required for individual reporting clubbed in 'other'. The operating segments are Automotive, Off-Road, Fleet, Aviation and Scientific Advances. Paul McGlone is the acting Chief Executive Officer of the group.

AutoSense, the AIM-listed company's master distributor for New Zealand, has signed an agreement with TIL Logistics Group for online driver training, in-cab simulator training and face tracking software, indicating improving commercial momentum for its Guardian driver-monitoring technology after changing distributor terms. Apart from TIL Logistics Group, AutoSense also entered into an agreement with three other local operators. The deal will see AutoSense installing Seeing Machines Guardian technology in over 1,000 of TIL's fleet vehicles, with the four new contracts cover a total of more than 1,400 units. Charles Dawson, AutoSense's boss, said that such agreements show the transport industry is taking driver training and road safety seriously and signifies the maturing of the industry. Paul McGlone said that the deal is a good example of the company's strong focus on accelerated installations of Guardian around the world and revision of commercial terms with its distribution partners.

Guardian, which employs AI to track eye movements and other driver actions to prevent driver fatigue and distraction-related events in real time, is used by leading transport and logistics groups worldwide and is proven to decrease fatigue events by more than 90 per cent. So far, the software has detected more than 4,350,000 distraction events and intervened in more than 94,000 fatigue events. Guardian, which is often referred to as having a "buddy in the cab", is an intelligent driver safety solution that utilises in-cab sensors to monitor in real time behaviour of a driver through face- and gaze-tracking algorithms measure the driver's head position and eye closure. Guardian is designed to help in providing data for the self-driving fleet owners to monitor and evaluate backup-driver performance and assist the backup-driver in an autonomous driving car to stay alert, aware and ready to take control of the car if necessary.

When safety parameters are overshoot the standard value, audio alarms and seat vibration are immediately activated, and fleet management is alerted by the Guardian Centre through the data & footage which are immediately sent to it. This enables the fleet management to know about developing a situation in the cab in real time and accordingly respond. Critical information about road conditions at the time of the event is also recorded through a forward-facing camera featured in the Guardian software, allowing for additional training or support to be put in place for the driver. Seeing Machines, which delivers safety solutions for all transport sectors and teaches machines to understand people, also provides technology to monitor backup drivers in self-driving cars.

On 10 June 2019, the company announced that it had signed an agreement worth AUD2.2 million with a leading North American self-driving car company to supply its Guardian Backup-driver Monitoring System ("BdMS"). The agreement will lead to Guardian backup-driver monitoring system being added to a significant number of the client's autonomous vehicle fleet over the coming months, with an option for the self-driving car company to make further purchases. Guardian Backup-Driver monitoring system is designed to assist the autonomous vehicle fleet owner to monitor and evaluate backup-driver performance and leverages Seeing Machines' automotive-grade FOVIO driver monitoring technology in an easy retrofit system for semi- and fully automated vehicles.

On 5 June 2019, the group announced that Mr Ken Kroeger, Chief Executive Officer, had resigned from his position, effective immediately, after eight years in the role, but he will remain as a consultant to the company to facilitate an orderly transition until a permanent replacement chief executive is found. Paul McGlone, who joined the company in 2018 as the head of the Fleet business, has been appointed as the Chief Operating officer. Additionally, Mr Jack Boyer, OBE also announced the resignation from his position as Chairman of the Board as he was no longer able to dedicate the required time, travel and energy to his role. Seeing Machines appointed Kate Hill as interim chair until a permanent appointment is made and Mr Boyer will remain on the Board as a Non-Executive Director and facilitate the transition to a successor.

Recently, the company reported its results for the first half of FY 2019. During the period under review, revenue declined to A$14.0mn against the revenue of A$14.6mn recorded in the year-ago period. However, revenue from the sale of goods and license fee surged by 2.98% to A$6.9mn from A$6.7mn received in first-half of 2018. Revenue from the rendering services segment dipped by 10.5% to A$6.64mn against A$7.42mn recorded in the year-ago period, and research revenue surged by 2.1% to A$0.49mn, during the year under review. Gross profit during the first half of FY19 surged by 34.4% to A$8.86mn, primarily on account of a 35% reduction in the cost of sales. However, pre-tax loss during the period under review surged to A$24.63mn against the loss of A$16.68mn recorded in H1 FY18. The pre-tax loss swelled on account of steep surge in the Research and development expenses. However, the rest of all expenses were broadly in line with the expectation. However, out of total research and development expenditure, A$7.4mn was a non-cash expenditure, resulting from one-off performance award. Basic loss per share stood at A$0.015 against a loss of A$0.013 recorded in the year-ago period.

Share Price Commentary

Daily Chart as at June-13-19, before the market closed (Source: Thomson Reuters) 

On 13 June 2019, at the time of writing (before the market closed, at 4:45 pm GMT), SEE shares were trading at GBX 3.252, remaining flat against its previous day closing price. Stock's 52 weeks High and Low is GBX 14.25/GBX 2.85. The company’s stock beta was 1.36, reflecting more volatility as compared to the benchmark index. The outstanding market capitalisation was around £111.01 million.

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