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PreAct Technologies

By Aviva Canada on

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 3,700 people are killed in road traffic crashes around the world every day. That adds up to 1.35 million people a year who lose their lives due to a vehicle collision. An additional 20-50 million people suffer non-fatal injuries, often resulting in long-term disabilities.

Here in Canada, approximately 156,000 people are injured or killed on our roads each year, according to Transport Canada

These statistics are heartbreaking and unacceptable. Our Take Back Our Roads program is working to reduce the number of injuries and fatalities in a number of ways, including partnering with Highline Beta to inspire start-ups to make our roads safer for everyone.

Earlier this year, we chose PreAct Technologies as one of three start-ups to participate in the inaugural cohort of the Safe x Connected Cities Accelerator. The company is developing sensor technology that can increase the safety of vehicle occupants in collisions by allowing for more time for safety measures.

“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,” said Mr. Drysch.How does PreAct Technologies’ solution work?

PreAct’s sensor technology provides 360° coverage around a vehicle and can determine whether a collision is imminent in the microseconds before it happens. When it detects a collision, it can activate a sequence of safety features both inside and outside the vehicle to reduce the risk of serious injury.

Kurt Brendley, COO and co-founder of PreAct, likens the technology to being a football player about to get tackled.

“As you’re running with the football you know where you are in the environment and you can behave accordingly. As an opposing football player who wants to tackle you, gets closer and closer, you realize you’re going to get into a collision and so you brace yourself for impact. We’re essentially doing the same thing with PreAct.”

PreAct Technologies’ sensors will offer precious seconds in which safety mechanisms like airbags can be deployed and seatbelts can be tightened, potentially reducing injuries in the event of a collision. This extra time may also make these deployments less forceful and violent, reducing some of the most common injuries in collisions.

Here’s an example: When the sensors detect a side impact collision and determine it is unavoidable, the active suspension could put the vehicle at an optimum defensive angle, lifting the vehicle on the side of the impact and dropping the opposite side. This allows the frame to absorb much of the impact. Meanwhile, external airbags could be deployed, dampening the force of the impact. And the passenger’s seat could tilt them away from the impact.

“We are developing an imminent crash detection. Imminent crash is the ability to determine that there is an absolute near certainty of a collision that will occur. With that warning of 250 milliseconds you can deploy new airbags, you can deploy new seat movement, you can brace the occupant for impact. We hope to achieve our target goal of reducing fatalities and injuries by as much as 85 per cent on road users today,” said Brendley.How are we working with PreAct?

We’re playing a role in testing the potential of PreAct’s technology by empowering them to run crash simulations using our vehicle collision data.

Using this data on the types of injuries sustained in certain types of collisions, PreAct can create simulations that will let us know how the injuries could have been reduced had their technology been in the vehicle.

The report generated from this pilot will help PreAct build a case with North American manufacturers, that their technology works and can reduce injuries sustained in collisions.

Aviva Canada is proud to be part of an innovative solution that has the potential to reduce injuries. This type of partnership is critical to our long-term vision of Take Back Our Roads: to make roads safer for all Canadians.


The content in this article is for information purposes only and is not intended to be relied upon as professional or expert advice.