Startups #nofilter had the pleasure of sitting down with WayCare Co-Founder and CTO Idan Hahn, who gave us a glimpse into the stunning tech behind WayCare’s process for predicting and preventing car crashes in ‘smart cities’. With over 40,000 traffic-related death in America each year, WayCare is looking to significantly lower that number, and is running a pilot program as we speak. Read the rest of the incredible interview here:
1. WayCare offers predictive analytics for traffic-induced car crashes. Where did this idea come from?
It all starts with the numbers. Last year in the U.S. 40K people has lost their lives in traffic crashes. We were baffled by that figure and decided to tackle the issue. The first thing we noticed was that governments tend to react to traffic crashes only after they occur, so we came up with a way to allow cities to prevent crashed before they happen.
2. You are trying to sell this service to smart cities. How many smart cities are there? And how many are on the horizon?
We have a very promising upcoming pilot program with a major west coast U.S. city. Obviously, as a startup, we are expanding our solution to even more cities and states across the United States.
3. What requires a city to be considered a smart city? Can any interested city reach out to you if they are interested in your technology?
That’s a great question. “A Smart City” definition is tricky, we believe that once city officials can use data in an effective way to make ‘smarter decisions’ a city can be called ‘smart’. We can absolutely be reached, and we strive for a quick and easy process. Unlike a lot of IoT solutions, our platform gives the city a lot of actionable data without the need for costly infrastructure investment. We also found that our 2-3 years SaaS business model tends to be very convenient to city officials.
4. What sort of ‘techniques’ are you recommending to cities to reduce traffic crashes and fatalities?
When our platform alerts the city about a predicted traffic crash, it will also recommend the most efficient, data-proven, preventative measure – be it dispatching a highway patrol unit, using dynamic traffic signs or any other means.
5. Your site says that your technology offers a crash forecast 24 hours ahead of time. Can you explain this a bit more – how are you able to predict and more specifically, within this 24 hour window?
Sure. We developed a machine-learning algorithm that receives as an input masses of on-road, off-road and in-vehicle data. We have two kinds of data sources: The first is the historical data regarding traffic crashes, which we take from the city itself. The second is real-time data about traffic volumes, weather conditions, events in the city that tend to attract a crowd and actual driver behavior on the roads, which we get from our partnerships with other companies – the most notable of which would be Waze.
6. Does your technology have anything to do with driverless cars? If so, how?
It sure does. Our platform creates the data infrastructure that the city needs in order to prepare itself for the coming mobility revolution. Traffic management will change completely in the age of the connected and autonomous vehicles, and we expect the highlight of that transition will be the focus on real-time data. Most cities currently can’t handle that kind of data too well and we aim to help them with that task.
7. In terms of clientele, can you share any info with us? Names and total number of cities that are using your tech?
We are currently in different stages of implementation for a couple of pilots with major U.S. cities. Without giving too much away, we can say that the first pilot program is operating in a major U.S. city on the west coast.
8. Are you talking or collaborating with any governments or municipalities to get your tech implemented?
We spent a lot of time talking to cities about their pain points and getting to know their challenges better. When we present them with WayCare’s solution they tend to be very excited about it. So right now the demand is very high but we have to choose our pilots carefully to fit our growth plan.
9. For fun: What website do you go to check when your internet isn’t working?
www.waycaretech.com of course 🙂
10. For fun: Any advice for Startup #nofilter?
Follow our motto: Always look ahead.