You may not remember, but before the whole stay-at-home pandemic, a lot of us spent a nice chunk of our time on the road and in the car, and I’m not even talking about professional drivers, like taxi and truck drivers who spend between 10-12 hours a day in their vehicles. Now, a new Israeli startup, Crispify, promises to monitor in-cabin air quality, identifying viruses and bacteria, including 2020’s celebrity virus.

From bacteria and dust to viruses and chemicals

Crispify’s system is installed in vehicles and monitors and controls in-cabin air quality. As part of the system, sensors feed data from inside and outside the vehicle, monitoring micro particles, dust, bacteria, viruses, gas, chemicals, temperature, and basically every kind of pollutant that can harm you or your passengers.

The system combines a hardware-software solution to collect the data, basing it on (you guessed it) AI algorithms that operate in the cloud and on endpoints in real-time to analyze and enrich the incoming data. By utilizing the system, drivers are alerted to potential hazardous contaminations in real-time, as well as provide predictions of possible recurrence in the future. Additionally, the system alerts against poor in-cabin maintenance or concentration of potentially hazardous pollutants like viruses, gas, or smoke, essentially upgrading the driving experience, while keeping everyone safe and happy.

Crispify's air quality control dashboard

In a conversation with Geektime, CEO and co-founder Adam Feldman explains that Crispify is based on research from the CDC and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (better known as ASHRAE), which helped develop an algorithm for identifying threats of viruses and bacteria, including COVID-19.

“The aforementioned research proved a direct link between the presence of COVID-19 in the air and the levels of particles, CO2, and humidity in the air. Crispify used these hypotheses, pivoted them to the auto industry, and developed a risk level index of virus exposure,” said Feldman.

He also noted that in order to identify COVID-19 exposure risk, the Crispify system monitors and analyzes data from microscopic particles, CO2, and humidity. Following the analytics stage, the system then produces a real-time risk level, updated by the second. Feldman added that Crispify is awaiting patent-pending authorization for the system.

Crispify enters a market that already supports a few key players, such as Awair and Kaiterra, in addition to market giants like Dyson and Busch. However, according to Feldman these mainly focus on the home and office environment. “We have developed the first mobile and independent system for in-cabin use. Crispify’s main advantages include its complete adaption of both its hardware and software technologies to the automotive industry.” He also explained that unlike home and office air quality management, in-cabin vehicle air control comes with a bit of complexity, assuming that vehicles move from place to place in short periods of time, constantly moving in and out of different air quality.

Avis gets in on the funding

In the U.S. both ZipCar and Avis utilize Crispify’s system in their fleets, with the company reporting numerous other fleet management and ride-share companies coming in the near future. Crispify was founded in 2019 by CEO Feldman, CTO Yoad Langer, and COO Ori Koren, and is headquartered in Israel. Recently, the company announced a $700,000 Pre-Seed round. The investment saw participation from Avis Budget Group, Hatcher VC, Connetic Ventures, GoAhead Ventures, MTT Ventures, and accelerator program LA Fusion.