When the pandemic restrictions initially began to ease in March 2021, the number of vehicles on the road, especially during rush hours, spiked. Everyone was eager to leave their homes to visit family, friends and see the country again. Waze data found a double-digit percentage increase in rush hour congestion compared to the equivalent time before the COVID-19 outbreak. Unfortunately, this also meant that March was a more dangerous month on the roads in Israel. 27 people were killed in 25 fatal accidents, and another 1,655 people were injured in accidents, a dramatic increase from previous months.
After analyzing these accidents, it became apparent that almost all (94%) were caused by human errors and behavior while driving. These mistakes include distractions (such as using cell phones, reading, looking away from the road, etc.), disobeying traffic laws, driving in a state of fatigue, drunkenness, and delinquent driving, among others.
As the number of fatal vehicular accidents increased, it was imperative to take a hard left towards innovative solutions to help. Israeli startups came into the picture with new technologies to monitor the safety of the vehicles and drivers. Their solutions range from tracking the vehicle’s surroundings outside of the car with Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS) to understanding the state of the driver by using a Driver Monitoring System (DMS). Among the many companies working to improve our lives on the road, three Israeli startups, with over ten years of experience, are worth noting. They are all operational both in Israel and globally.
The first is Traffilog, an Israeli startup based in Rosh Ha’ayin. Founded in 2004, the company is focused on vehicle connectivity and diagnostic solutions, allowing for fleets of vehicles to be managed and maintained. Their unique capabilities include “analyzing large amounts of information (Big Data) and creating insights and critical information by using hardware with computing power and local data analysis and advanced cloud services,” says CEO Erez Lorber. Traffilog works with various automotive sectors spanning from large vehicle fleets to car rental companies to public transportation. The company’s hardware-based product, the B On Track, connects to almost any vehicle and provides insights into mechanical failures before they occur, fleet management, and ways to reduce fuel consumption costs.
To date, the technology is being utilized in over 28 countries. Led by Co-Founder Adi Amihai, Co-Founder and Chairman Robert Izraeli, and CEO Erez Lorber, Traffilog’s products will soon be compatible with market forecasts, have a Pay As You Go option, and driver safety and behavior solutions.
The next company is Cipia (formerly known as Eyesight Technologies). Utilizing artificial intelligence and image processing, Cipia monitors visual signs of distracted or fatigued drivers in real-time. The system learns the driver’s behavior by tracking their gaze, mouth, and gestures, leveraging driver monitoring systems (DMS) and occupancy monitoring systems (OMS). As VP Product Tal Krzypow explains, “from basic ARM processors for our entry-level solution, to advanced platforms equipped with Neural Processing Units, we feature a high level of efficiency which means lower hardware cost and more opportunities for our customers to co-host additional functions on the same hardware we use.”
Established in 2006, the company is led by Founder and Chief IP/Innovation Officer Itay Katz and CEO David Tolub. It is based in Herzliya with representatives in the US, Europe, and China. Cipia recently won a tender from a major Chinese car manufacturer for two of their models, expanding their global presence further. The company has raised a total of $60 million in funding over four rounds and has plans for an IPO on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE). Cipia plans to continue expanding into new verticals, especially given that they believe that in “A decade from now, when we finally have autonomous vehicles with full mobility services, interior sensing will be the key to unlock personalization of the experience, advanced interaction and even monetization through tailored services, products and content,” says Krzypow.
GreenRoad Technologies is a company that has created an interactive platform to help improve driver’s behavior. GreenRoad gives the driver continuous feedback using AI-based deviation-from-norm data. The driver receives safety scores on a green to red light scale (green = safe driving and red = risky movements), which are presented on mobile phone dashboards. To keep the driver motivated, the company has also implemented a ‘friendly competition’ between drivers in the same vehicle fleet. Additionally, using Driver Impairment Monitoring (DIM), the system can recognize dangerous driving and audibly alert the driver when their risk level surpasses a personalized threshold previously established by the system. These solutions can be installed into the vehicle or used in a portable version. Both options are compliant with the most stringent GDPR and privacy guidelines.
GreenRoad is currently led by CEO and President David Ripstein and CTO Ron Levin. It is based in Holon, Israel and has offices in Austin, Texas, and Birmingham, the United Kingdom. The company’s global partner network includes Sapiens, a software solutions provider for the insurance industry; Otonomo, an automotive data services platform; and The Hartford Financial Services Group, a fleet management program. To date, GreenRoad has raised $98.9 million in total over seven rounds.