Engineering Saving Lives on the Road

A hackathon in cooperation with Mobileye took place at the Ashdod campus. Tens of projects were presented in the aim of reducing road accidents and saving lives on the road. The hackathon was part of the fourth “Engineering Society” conference.

Hundreds of engineering students from all over the country came to Ashdod for the SCE national hackathon in cooperation with Mobileye that focused on developing vehicle warning systems. The students, from SCE, Ben-Gurion University, the Technion, Achva College, Bar-Ilan University, Ashkelon Academic College and other institutions were divided into 18 teams. For 24 consecutive hours the teams worked on engineering projects for road safety. The aim of the hackathon was to invent, develop and ultimately build a preliminary model of a product to reduce road accidents, warn of an imminent road accident and save human life on the road.

The students developed applications, devices and additional technological means that focused on two main topics – a smart helmet to reduce road accidents involving two-wheel vehicles, and the second topic – distractions while driving. Thus, for example, one team presented a system of cameras that are installed on the Mobileye system in the vehicle. The cameras track the driver’s eyes and issue a warning if the driver takes his or her eyes off the road. Another project collects travel data such as speed, area conditions, wheel angle and the driver’s condition, and analyzes the data similar to a black box in an aircraft.

Regarding the reduction of accidents involving riders of dual-wheel vehicles, the students developed projects aimed at preventing or reducing injuries and casualties among cyclists and motorcyclists. Thus, for example, one student team developed a helmet with a rear camera that transmits to information to cyclists or motorcyclists about the cars behind them. They receive the information in the form of gentle vibration in different areas, depending on the location of the vehicles behind them. Another team focused on hit and run accidents and developed a system that is installed on a helmet and alerts an ambulance and law enforcement of any change in the condition of the bicyclist or motorcyclist, if such contact is not made from the minute an accident occurs.

At the end of the hackathon the students gathered and presented their projects to a committee of judges comprised of persons from industry, academia, SCE management and Mobileye management. The three groups that advanced to the next stage of the competition will present their projects on the central stage at the “Engineering Society” Conference to be held at the SCE Be’er Sheva campus. The teams will present their initiatives to the 400 conference participants, among them persons from industry, academia, students, entrepreneurs and managers from high-tech companies. The conference participants will determine the final ranking of the best three teams.

Prof. Jehuda Haddad, SCE President, welcomed the competitors: “We at the college believe in training engineers for a better world. Connecting technology and society is the best combination that describes our students. For this reason, our connection - academia, to Mobileye that focuses on saving human life, is natural and contributes to both parties. We are happy about the collaboration and hope that in the future we will be able to advance more collaborations with additional companies. Although this is a competition, I am sure that all the students here have won – even if you are not among the first places you will have received added value by developing an idea and then developing it up to almost a final product. I wish all participants much success and hope to see some of your developments in the future”.

Roy Shtang, Project Manager at Mobileye, told the participants about the company’s activities and addressed the goal of the hackathon: “We as a company that deals in warnings and in developing smart precautionary measures for vehicles must think about the challenges we will have to deal with regarding road accidents and saving human life on the road, today, but mainly in the near future. For this reason we must all begin to try to deal with current problems, and already today try to identify the problems of the future and how we can find solutions for them”.

Gilad Oppenheimer, entrepreneur and CEO of Intovision, took part in the hackathon last year as a judge, and since then lost his 9 year old son in a car accident. For this reason, Gilad chose to come to the hackathon with his family this year and to serve once again as a judge in the competition. He and his family thanked the students for their participation in the conference and said that: “The hackathon is an opportunity to create a newer, safer reality in the public space. Here is where we see the good and creative side of Israeli society. We hope and believe that from here the next tragedy will be prevented.