Technion alumni join consortium of companies making roads safer

The consortium, which will tackle traffic congestion, road accidents, infrastructure and air pollution across Israel, is being joined by Israeli startups – many of which come from the Technion.

Traffic jams seen on the Ayalon Highway in Tel Aviv. (photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/FLASH90)
Traffic jams seen on the Ayalon Highway in Tel Aviv.
(photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/FLASH90)

Of the twenty firms that have joined government-transport bodies, local authorities, municipalities and universities to form a private-public consortium on traffic and road safety, at least five are the products of Technion alumni.

The consortium, which will tackle traffic congestion, road accidents, infrastructure and air pollution across Israel, is being joined by innovative Israeli transport startups, such as Nexar, Moovit, Waycare, NoTraffic, Cognata and Blue White Robotics.

Traffic congestion is a major problem in Israel – both in terms of traffic rate and cost – and will continue to deteriorate according to a 2019 OECD report. Road traffic injuries cause an estimated 1.35 million deaths annually, per the WHO (World Health Organization).

Among initiatives that will be piloted by the consortium, which will be named the ISMLL (Israel Smart Mobility Living Lab), are plans to share anonymous data via third-party apps, traffic cameras, drones and road sensors to accelerate transport innovation – as well as install thermal road cameras that will help with poor vision and Bluetooth sensors that will help monitor public transport usage. Data will be further used to plan new bus routes and alter timing of traffic lights, among other improvements.

Technion–Israel Institute of Technology (credit: Wikimedia Commons)Technion–Israel Institute of Technology (credit: Wikimedia Commons)

ISMLL – which is backed by a group of 10 government ministries – was co-founded by Technion alum Eran Shir, who is the co-founder and CEO of AI road safety company Nexar, which is known for their dash cameras for cars.

Technion University in Haifa, which is among Israel’s most prestigious universities and research institutions, ​​is known for its scientific departments, such as in nanotechnology, life sciences, stem-cell technology, water management, sustainable energy, information technology, biotechnology, materials engineering and aerospace.