Lero teams up with Limerick start-up to prevent road accidents using AI

9 Jun 2022

From left: Letizia Maretti of Provizio, UL PhD student Srikanth Tiyyagura, Provizio CEO Barry Lunn and Lero researcher Dr Ciaran Eising. Image: Arthur Ellis

Lero plans to test Provizio’s AI and sensor technology to help eliminate traffic accidents, while making developments available to car manufacturers.

Researchers at Lero, the Science Foundation Ireland software research centre, has today (9 June) announced a partnership with autotech company Provizio.

Lero researchers plan to work with the Limerick-based start-up to combine data from onboard cameras and radar sensors to help eliminate traffic accidents for both human drivers and autonomous vehicles.

According to the World Health Organization, around 1.3m people die every year from road traffic accidents. Provizio founder and CEO Barry Lunn said that preventable human error has a role in around 90pc of road accidents.

Lunn said that international regulatory policies to make more responsible drivers has “failed consistently” and that change is needed to tackle this global issue.

Founded in 2019, Provizio’s team is made up of experts in robotics, AI, computer vision and radar sensor development. The start-up secured €5.2m in seed investment in 2020 to develop its ‘guardian angel’ platform to help prevent road accidents.

“We are building augmented, guardian angel technology to make us all better and safer drivers,” Lunn said. “We are using unparalleled ‘beyond-line-of-sight’ sensor technology coupled with artificial intelligence on the edge to perceive, predict and prevent accidents.

“With the right focus, we believe that robotics and drivers can work together to reduce both road deaths and accidents to zero,” Lunn said.

Lero’s researchers will work with Provizio to deploy new technology on test vehicles. They also plan to make developments commercially available to car manufacturers worldwide.

“Every decision to move that an autonomous car makes, based on its sensor inputs, is potentially a life or death one,” said Lero researcher Dr Pepijn Van de Ven.

“A critical challenge to the successful deployment of autonomous vehicles is the difficulty the vehicle has in viewing and understanding the environment in which it must safely operate and understanding its location within that environment,” Van de Ven added.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic