Free Mobile App from Silicon Valley Protects Pedestrians from Connected Vehicles.
Of all 250,000 pedestrian fatalities a year, 65% present a massive problem for the automotive industry. A Berkeley based startup may have just solved the problem.
A French automotive study [i] shows that pedestrian deaths come from 20 common scenarios, which can be categorized into four groups: driver responsibility (35%), visual blockage (28%), unpredictable pedestrian behavior (26%), and weather conditions (11%). While existing vehicle-based sensors such as cameras, radars, sonars, and lidars address the first category, the remaining categories are left unsolved by current technologies.
Functioning as a digital safety belt, the !important app communicates the user's location to nearby connected vehicles. The technology can immediately alert drivers and even trigger vehicles' brakes automatically to prevent a collision with an approaching person, bicyclist, or motorcyclist. This first pedestrian-based technology works in all 20 common scenarios and could save a million lives over the next decade.
Download the app for free from www.important.com
The !important app is currently available for free on the iPhone and Android App stores. "This solves the remaining 65% of death cases. We hope it will become a regulation for the automotive industry." says Bastien Beauchamp, inventor & CEO of !important.
Tara Andringa, Executive Director of Partners for Automated Vehicle Education (PAVE), summed it up well: "… a key issue is how we will ensure pedestrian safety in an automated vehicle (AV) world. !important is tackling this problem of pedestrian safety, and their mobile app seeks to enhance road safety by improving communication between pedestrians and other road users."
In early 2021, the technology will be implemented in vehicles on the roads of Reno, Nevada (USA) as part of the Intelligent Mobility (IM) initiative in collaboration with the Nevada Center for Applied Research (NCAR) at the University of Nevada in Reno. The Director of NCAR, Carlos G. Cardillo, remarked that "The !important app will increase the safety of vulnerable road users and the acceptance of autonomous vehicle infrastructure by minimizing potential dangers."
!important was nominated by Alibaba Jumpstarter 2020 in the Top 30 Startups of Silicon Valley. !Important is a company backed by groups of medical doctors and is part of the University of California Berkeley Skydeck and Ann Arbor SPARK accelerator programs. It collaborates with 12 universities.
[i] INRETS Report No. 256 (France, 2003)
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Contact: Bastien Beauchamp, 1 855 231 3783, firstname.lastname@example.org