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Volvo makes strategic investment in Israeli driver safety startup

European car giant bets big on Jerusalem-based CorrActions to boost driver monitoring

Photo: iStock
Photo: iStock

Volvo, the European car giant and world leader in automotive safety, is making a strategic investment in CorrActions, an Israeli startup that monitors driver behavior to prevent accidents.

“We aim to be a strategic partner of choice for exciting startups that can help boost our position as a tech leader in our industry,” said Alexander Petrofski, Head of the Volvo Cars Tech Fund. “CorrActions fits the bill perfectly and focuses on a mission that is close to our heart: making cars and the people in and around them safer.”

CorrActions uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to detect driver behavior and brain activity that reveal a wide range of cognitive states indicating potentially dangerous or even fatal driver impairments, such as intoxication, fatigue, stress, as well as motion sickness. More than one million road fatalities each year are caused by drivers with these problems.

“We are using data that’s already available from sensors in the steering wheel, seats and touch screens of modern vehicles to monitor the driver and the passengers for cognitive norm impairments,” says CorrActions CEO Ilan Reingold, whose previous company BionicHive attracted investment from Amazon and compliments from Elon Musk. “Volvo decided to invest after experiencing our technology hands on.”

Volvo’s investment, the amount of which was not disclosed, is into the company’s current Series A funding round, which Volvo is also leading. The round is featured on the OurCrowd investment platform.

“CorrActions piqued our interest because they clearly try to solve the same issues as our safety engineers,” Volvo said in a statement. “Our decades of research teach us that distraction and tiredness are facts of life, and that you may not always be at your best when driving, for whatever reason. And in traffic, it takes only a few seconds for the unthinkable to happen.”

CorrActions “has developed a technology that the company believes will disrupt brain activity monitoring and may help us understand drivers even better,” Volvo said. It “has the potential to be a highly relevant complement to our future safety systems. As a result, we’ve decided to take a stake in CorrActions to support the further development and commercialisation of its technology.”

“In advanced creatures like us, everything that goes through our brains and can be easily detected through EEG is reflected through our muscles in unconscious micromotions that we can’t see or feel,” Reingold explains. “If we take the motion data that’s being generated when you’re touching the steering wheel, or sitting on a seat sensor, or using your smartphone – and take that through our massive AI and machine learning software – we can figure out the fingerprints of these impairments and report, for example, how much alcohol the driver has in their blood.”

Learn about the CorrActions investment roundIf needed, the platform can instruct the vehicle’s system to take action to maintain safety. Interventions can include limiting the vehicle’s maximum speed, increasing braking distance, or selecting a route with fewer turns. The technology is immune to road conditions, engine noise, and other environmental effects, and can be deployed across multiple vehicle manufacturers.

CorrActions has conducted successful tests of its technology with Hyundai, Volkswagen and other top car manufacturers. The company is integrating its platform into the vehicles of a major European automaker for commercial deployment in 2025.

The size of the potential market can be measured in multiple billions of dollars. The platform will be sold to automakers via a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) license, giving CorrActions the ability to rapidly increase revenue with minimal extra production costs.

“Think about the number of vehicles that are manufactured each year, which is close to 100 million, and the billions of fleet vehicles already on the road, and multiply that by the license fee per vehicle, per impairment,” Reingold says. “We are already working with four major auto manufacturers and several fleet management companies.”

The company was nurtured at OurCrowd’s Labs/02 incubator in Jerusalem.

For more information on the CorrActions investment round via OurCrowd, click HERE.

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