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Success Stories: Safe x Connected Cities Accelerator Program Cohort 1



In partnership with Aviva Canada, Highline Beta is launching the second year of the Safe x Connected Cities Accelerator with a focus on bringing real, innovative solutions to road safety. Just one year into the program, and we are already seeing meaningful change take place. Here are a few success stories from the startups that joined the first Safe x Connected Cities cohort.


MicroTraffic (Winnipeg, MB)


MicroTraffic uses artificial intelligence to review and assess intersection camera footage for near-miss collisions, providing traffic engineers with invaluable diagnostic info. Based on MicroTraffic’s video analytics and diagnostics, cities can learn where and how the next fatalities are likely to occur, proactively address the safety at intersections and install improvements. There’s no doubt that this startup’s analytics are creating safer roads.


Through the Safe x Connected Cities Accelerator program, MicroTraffic has successfully launched a grant program with support from Aviva Canada. Together they’re bringing this cutting-edge technology to more cities across Canada — including Hamilton, Toronto, Calgary, Halifax and Vancouver - helping these cities analyze some of the most problematic intersections and create roads safer.


Craig Milligan, CEO and co-founder of Microtraffic, had this to say about his experience with the program:


“The accelerator has enabled the successful grant program and collaboration with Aviva that we anticipate will result in major safety improvements at 50 intersections in Canada. We’ve learned so much from Aviva and Highline Beta mentors, combining our expertise to truly impact road safety across Canada. Highline Beta as a Venture Capital (VC) fund and venture studio truly helps to accelerate corporate deals for startups like MicroTraffic. Throughout the accelerator, our workload has scaled up - Marcus Daniels, CEO and Founding Partner at Highline Beta has provided helpful guidance and VC perspectives. Aviva’s data science and marketing teams also taught us a lot. Finally, we truly value the relationships with the other accelerator startups - sharp experts that will be connections for life.”


PreAct Technologies (Portland, OR)


PreAct is a startup that’s focused on reducing injuries from vehicle collisions before they happen. PreAct’s sensor technology provides 360° coverage around a vehicle and can detect whether a collision is imminent in the microseconds before it happens. A sequence of safety features both inside and outside the vehicle are triggered to reduce the risk of serious injury - airbags can be deployed and seatbelts can be tightened. This extra time may also make these deployments less forceful and violent, reducing some of the most common injuries in collisions.


As a result of the collaboration though the Accelerator program, Aviva is help to test the potential of PreAct’s technology by sharing its own vehicle injury collision data. Aviva’s data will be used by the startup to run virtual crash simulations — crucial to the development and improvement of the technology. A report will lay out the findings and highlight how this technology can help to reduce injuries in the event of a vehicle collision.


“It’s staggering to think that even in modern vehicles equipped with airbags and other safety systems, that well over a million people are killed every year, and many millions more suffer serious injury,” said Paul Drysch, co-founder and CEO of PreAct Technologies. “In the vast majority of crashes, the passenger compartment remains intact with little intrusion. In such cases, there is often no reason for occupants to suffer serious trauma or death – other than for a lack of current technology to protect them. This technology gap is what PreAct Technologies is aiming to close.”


Read more about this collaboration here.



LifeSaver Mobile (San Jose, CA)


Phone distraction can be fatal for commercial drivers, who spend hours and hours on the road operating large vehicles. LifeSaver Mobile helps commercial fleet companies enforce their policies on cell phone use as employees are blocked from using their phone while driving.


Aviva’s pilot with LifeSaver Mobile is testing for commercial fleet owners a cost-effective solution that helps safeguard their business and drivers from distracted driving. The key advantage is a personalized fleet dashboard that helps a commercial fleet owner be aware of distracted driving across their fleet, and take action swiftly.


According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, nearly three out of four Canadian drivers admit to driving distracted. You are 23 times more likely to crash if you text while driving. Distracted driving remains a problem during the pandemic — a trend that continues to persist.


“We found that 25-50 per cent of collisions in commercial vehicles are caused by phone distraction, and that there wasn’t any technology in place to reduce or eradicate this problem. Our mission is to reduce collisions caused by distracted commercial drivers,” said Ted Chen, co-founder of LifeSaver Mobile.


Aviva’s pilot is expected to involve 200-300 drivers within the Claims team to determine how driving behaviour changes, and whether LifeSaver Mobile can help enforce or limit cell phone use in commercial vehicles. The aim is to create safer roads for everyone.


Click here to learn more about each startup.

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