By Meg Flippin, Benzinga
From texting to scrolling while driving, smartphones are a distraction that have made our roadways much more dangerous. A WHO report estimated that distracted driving is to blame for 1.35 million traffic fatalities worldwide each year. For companies that employ drivers, accidents caused by distracted driving costs them an estimated $60 billion annually. That doesnt take into account the untold pain and suffering for friends and family who lose a loved one to a traffic accident.
It's a problem that's expected to get worse as the use of cell phones continues to proliferate around the globe and by 2028, 5.1 billion people or almost two-thirds of the world's population will be a smartphone user. They arent shy when it comes to using their phones on the roadways either. In a recent survey by the National Distracted Driving Coalition 77% said that they use their phones while driving. Thats a lot of accidents waiting to happen and that is why SaverOne 2014 Ltd. (NASDAQ: SVRE), the Israeli tech startup, is on a mission to eradicate the scourge of distracted driving caused by smartphones. Through its recent global launch, the company is experiencing growing attention and traction.
Taking Driver Safety To The Next Level
The company develops a cutting-edge technological solution that prevents drivers from using distracting apps while driving. SaverOnes technology automatically pinpoints and blocks only the mobile device located in the drivers area. SaverOnes technology is already installed in over 4,500 cars, trucks and buses and is integrated into the fleets of more than 100 companies, expanding from SaverOnes homebase in Israel and now increasingly in the United States, Europe, the Middle East and elsewhere.
SaverOne offers multiple compelling features that set its technology apart. It selectively blocks distracting apps such as messaging, while still allowing the driver access to hands-free navigation and other driving-related applications. Whats more, there is no action required on the part of the driver the interface is intuitive, automatic, and doesnt require consent. Another selling factor is that it doesnt interfere with the other mobile phones of non-driving passengers in the same vehicle.
Keeping Pedestrians Safe Too
Beyond its driver-focused distraction prevention system, SaverOne, based on its unique technology, is developing a sensor for cars that are becoming increasingly autonomous, that detects Vulnerable Road Users (VRUs) near the car and at potential risk of collision. Like drivers, VRUs which could be cyclists or even pedestrians crossing the street are also susceptible to smartphone distractions, adding another layer of risk.
Among VRUs, which are the cause of 70% of the deaths in urban accidents, 40% are indeed pedestrians. With their attention on their phones, they often simply dont look where they are going. Add bad weather or line-of-sight obstructions such as a parked car to the mix, and it can spell disaster. SaverOnes technology aims to fix that by enhancing the performance of current Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) sensors which include cameras, lidar and radar through its ability to deal with NLoS (non-line of sight) hazards, adverse weather conditions and low visibility.
SaverOne's solution detects VRUs in the vicinity of the vehicle to avoid and prevent a collision. Combined with its in-cabin system, SaverOne hopes to play a big role in reducing the number of accidents and thus the costs associated with them.
Regulation Coming Down The Pike
Making drivers safer on the road is a big opportunity for SaverOne, but so are its original equipment manufacturer (OEM) plans, aiming to sell its system to all categories of vehicle manufacturers. In fact, SaverOne is already closely working with major truck OEM Iveco in Europe and hopes launch a product with them next year. In the coming years, that may potentially become a bigger part of SaverOnes business as new regulations in Europe set in. Starting in July 2024, the EU Regulatory Committee on Driver Distraction will require OEMs to integrate solutions into vehicle systems that prevent driver distractions. By July 2026, all new vehicles sold in the EU will have to have a solution integrated into their systems. Similar regulation may make its way to the U.S. and other countries presenting a big addressable market for SaverOne.
Cell phones have enhanced our lives, but they also have their downside, demanding our attention and distracting us on the roads. Distracted driver accidents cost the world hundreds of billions of dollars annually and cause untold heartache. By preventing distractions and avoiding obstacles, over the coming years, SaverOnes advanced safety systems have the potential to play a key role in the solution.
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