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What problem does your solution solve?
The increasing urban population around the globe requires more intelligent, integrated designs to make its cities more resilient to emergencies along transportation infrastructure. Our goal is to develop an automated system to alert emergency medical services (EMS) the moment an emergency, such as a car crash or break-in has occurred. The idea was inspired by the growing need for fast response to car crashes, gunshots or car break-ins in Atlanta and even though the technology exists already, the city is not making use of it. Our current product is SmartBloc and focuses on the problem of car crashes. Every year more and more people move to the city, making the roadways more congested and making the interstate system near impossible to navigate during rush hours. Car crashes are a main contributor to that and by reducing the time of response even by a couple of minutes can save lives, time and money can be saved.
What’s the market potential for your solution?
While our initial revenues will come primarily through outside funding and government grants, we hope to quickly move towards a profitable model in order to reduce risk as much as possible. Due to the interest expressed by multiple government entities in our technology, we plan on implementing the system in a city such as Columbus, Ohio in order to perform extensive tests and improve the system. We will then utilize the success of our technology to expand to further municipalities by the year 2019. We will work with either city governments or infrastructure installation companies to secure further revenue and promote the spread of Centree in the realm of smart cities. By 2021, the system will be ingrained to the point where other entities will be permitted to license our hardware in order to create their own smart city module. This will provide an additional source of revenue, as we hope to eventually become the basis for all smart city networks and data collection systems.
Who are your customers?
Key stakeholders can be divided between public and private interest groups:
The government institutions involved will be per case, and a dynamic aspect of our work. In general, an understanding of the local government is key. Working with the city council, county government, and finally state actors is key to find solutions for each city. As well, grassroots groups and the local media will be important given that the issue of city spending is an inherently political process.
On the private side there are large corporations invested in SmartCities: AT&T being a big player, as well as GE to name a couple. If a large corporation is interested in our technology we will work with them to try to bring this tech to market.
How will you reach your customers?
We are currently working with the Georgia Department of Transportation to begin putting units on the road, test their ability, and continue improvements. When we can deliver a technology, the GDOT is interested in investing in this infrastructure. We as well are applying to the SmartCity initiative which currently has given money to Columbus, Ohio, and will hopefully be able to develop our technology in this Government subsidized environment. With a success in either city, we can then begin moving into other cities or municipalities to build our tech. We engage people by showing how many lives we save and how much more efficient their EMS are. Given the policy background of the group as well as the technical background, we will have the ability to as well work out issues such as budgeting and applications for grants to make the process as seamless as possible.
How will you make money?
We will install basic servers in the server racks in street intersections and begin collecting data and listening for crashes. We’ll then make our technology a platform for other companies, eventually following the Software as a Service model: our servers are linux based and will use popular technologies to operate. Therefore they will be easy to develop for and easy to integrate new systems. After car crashes, ideas such as gunshot detection, explosion detection (in cooperation with whatever anti-terrorism unit may be in the city), pollution detection, etc… all of these IoT concepts can be built onto our system. We will charge companies for using our infrastructure which, through the cost of infrastructure and through introduced technical regulations, we will be able to make it easier to use us than to develop their own infrastructure.
What kind of partners will you need to make, support and distribute your solution?
We will need to create partnerships with governmental entities, such as the Department of Transportation and the Smart Cities Initiative Committee, as well as with Data Transferring and Analysis teams that will help build the machine learning model.
What will your expenses include?
Our expenses go towards building the boxes with the sensors, establishing the data transferring, storage and analysis and hiring the right people to add their expertise to the team.
Who is your competition and how do you differ?
The competing concept, OnStar systems, is similar but upon further analysis is a different market. In their system, the car has sensors that realize when it’s been in a crash. This however doesn’t improve the resilience of the city itself, simply improving the response for that specific car. Our system will help people regardless of their ability to pay for a car with OnStar. As well, the integration in local EMS is by nature faster than OnStar given that they have to call the EMS themselves after the crash while we would directly notify them.
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