PORTLAND, Ore. – Advanced driver-assist systems (ADAS) and autonomous/self-driving vehicles (AV) rely on a myriad of sensors, computers, and other electronics to function safely. With roots in defense technology, PreAct Technologies spun off in 2018 to focus its expertise within this genre on automotive-collision detection for the civilian market.
The company says it “. . . aims to bridge the gap between collision avoidance systems and active safety technology. Its patent-pending suite of sensor technologies, computing systems, and unique countermeasure algorithms aim to drastically reduce fatalities and injuries in a crash.”
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Paul Drysch, founder and chief executive officer of PreAct Technologies, took a few moments to talk to The BRAKE Report about the company’s technology, direction, and the promise of pre-crash safety possibilities.
The idea is to sense the imminent crash, the ones for which laws of physics say are not avoidable, and provide the information to a vehicle’s various safety systems, explained Drysch.
“A lot of little things you can do to mitigate injuries and death from a car crash” by having those milliseconds for the vehicles systems to react, he said. Things like tightening the seatbelts and going to the third stage of airbag deployment.
PreAct developed a unique hardware/software system it calls TrueSense™, but Drysch said the company’s goal is to license the hardware production while continuing the perfection of the software.
He said automotive manufacturers, as well as Tier 1 and 2 suppliers, are evaluating and developing systems with the technology, but because of confidentiality reasons, could not comment on specific clients, products, or timing.
A number of these companies which have shown interest in PreAct’s technology have surprised Drysch by seeing even wider applications for it.
“We developed this camera/Lidar that do that [PreCrash sensing], but then as we were showing it to all the automotive companies and Tier 1s – they’re like, ‘oh, I’ve got more immediate uses for this, this, this and this;’ mostly around ADAS systems, slow ADAS like park assist, blind-spot warning, self-parking, convenience features like automatic door actuation or tailgate . . .”
These types of applications for automobiles, and even heavy trucks, will be the first commercial applications on the market for PreAct technology.
One of the goals for this technology is to reduce the overall costs of safety-sensor suites, where the PreAct sensors supplement and, in some cases, can replace other sensors for more efficient design.
“By using PreAct, we not only enhance existing-use cases, we enable some new ones,” said Drysch. “And the goal is that the sensor suite, the standard sensor suite, does not go up in price.”
A more complete overview of the company’s goals, technology, and how it fits into and enhances present safety systems is outlined by Drysch in the interview.