Canadian technology startup Soltare Inc. has developed iHear, the first-to-market Emergency Vehicle Siren Detection System for passenger and fleet vehicles, with the engineering support of ACAMP (Alberta Centre for Advanced MNT Products).
Every year, passenger and fleet vehicle collisions with ambulances, police cars and fire rescue vehicles result in billions of dollars of property damage, lost work hours, lawsuits and insurance claims, in addition to the cost of an emergency vehicle failing to reach its intended destination.
Many of these crashes result from drivers failing to hear emergency vehicle sirens. Even when sirens are heard, ascertaining the direction of oncoming emergency vehicles is a serious driver distraction. In Dec 2016, Soltare began the development of a system to fix this problem.
Soltare was incorporated in Alberta in 2014 with the intention of improving vehicle safety by developing new microelectronic and smart automotive sensor technologies.
The company’s initial product offering is iHear, which is the first technology of its kind to provide automatic notification and directional identification of approaching emergency vehicles.
While helping to reduce driver distraction today with less reliance on manual awareness, the technology is a precursor to future autonomous vehicles needing to be self-aware and able to conduct evasive maneuvers without direct driver input.
Soltare is currently working with municipal and private fleet vehicles, along with vehicle OEMs (original equipment manufacturers), to start deploying the system and integrating it with present vehicle technologies and future intelligent autonomous systems.
Soltare was assisted in the R&D and testing of the iHear system by ACAMP. Founded in 2007, ACAMP is a unique industry-led product development center that advanced technology entrepreneurs rely on, to transition their innovation from proof-of-concept to manufactured product, by providing access to multidisciplinary engineers, technology experts, specialized equipment and industry acumen.
ACAMP develops electronics hardware, integrating embedded systems, which include sensors, firmware and control systems. From its offices in Edmonton and Calgary, ACAMP offers support to companies worldwide.
“I am proud to deliver a new safety product to the automotive industry,” explained Warren Sheydwasser, Soltare’s founder and president.
“About 10 years ago in my last company, an employee had a collision with an ambulance. He did not hear the ambulance as he entered the intersection, resulting in a serious collision.”
“Since that time, I have wanted to solve this problem. This can finally be realized now that technology has caught up. So, I engaged ACAMP to support the product’s development.”
ACAMP CEO Ken Brizel commented, “Over the past few years of development and testing, ACAMP used simulation, design for manufacturing and best practices for the automotive industry to deliver this new technology. Patents have been filed on behalf of Soltare.”