VivaCity raises $42M valuation to make U.S. cities safer, starting with New York • TechCrunch

VivaCity raises $42M valuation to make U.S. cities safer, starting with New York • TechCrunch

VivaCity raises $42M valuation to make U.S. cities safer, starting with New York • TechCrunch

>>> DOWNLOAD MP3 <<<

About 39,000 people were killed in incidents involving motor vehicles in the United States in 2020 – and 6,200 of those deaths were pedestrians. Needless to say, these deaths aren’t just statistics: each has a ripple effect on families, loved ones and communities at large. Viva is looking to tackle transportation impacts after raising $8.5 million in funding to expand its North American transportation data collection, with the long-term hope of reducing injuries and fatalities. making traffic safer overall.


Viva (or VivaCity as it’s known in the UK) is already well established in Australia and the UK and is now bringing its AI sensors to New York. He will work with the New York City Department of Transportation (NYC DoT) on a new safety data analysis project. Viva’s sensors collect anonymized data showing how different street users move (or not) around the city. They can monitor how many vehicles or people are moving in which direction, where and when traffic jams occur and even detect “near misses” between vehicles or vehicles and pedestrians.

This wealth of anonymized data is intended to help the NYC DoT make strategic decisions that help people move from A to B more efficiently, sustainably and safely. The theory is that if you can predict where accidents are likely to happen, taking steps to prevent them is better off waiting for one – or more – to happen before trying to do anything about it.

“There is a critical need for technology that adapts to the changing mobility landscape. Reactive decision making is not fit for purpose and costs lives. To change, we need data to better understand how people use the roads,” says Mark Nicholson, CEO of Viva. “It helps authorities redirect their billions in annual infrastructure investment to the right places.”

“The main driver for me and my co-founders is fighting climate change. It’s the sad truth that globally, transportation is the most stubborn when it comes to emissions, even with the coming electric vehicles,” says Nicholson. In a nutshell, poor transportation infrastructure kills people in more ways than one. “Making our streets safer means more people can walk or pedal Good for people, good for the planet.

“I am delighted to see the impact this will have on road safety, especially for vulnerable road users like cyclists. The perception that the roads are unsafe is the main reason people don’t cycle more, so anything we can do to change that will have a huge impact on the climate,” says Nicholson.

Nicholson and his co-founders met in college in 2011, when they raised half a million dollars to build an experimental car that was 50 times more efficient than standard road vehicles. Bitten by the entrepreneurial bug, they founded Viva in 2015, seeking to improve road safety and tackle climate collapse.

Since its inception, Viva has deployed more than 3,500 sensors in seven countries. These sensors can detect nine different modes of transport and have accumulated an impressive 20 billion road users. Its latest funding aims to help it grow further.

Viva’s latest funding is led by sustainable infrastructure venture capital investor EnBW New Ventures (ENV), sustainability-focused alternative assets and investment manager for SMEs Foresight group And Gresham House Venturesthe growth equity arm of the specialist alternative asset manager Gresham House. Thanks to this fundraising, Viva says it is focused on continued growth, with two specific objectives:

The first is its internal expansion, of which the collaboration with the city of New York is a part. “We already have a presence in over 100 UK towns and have worked with Australian and European authorities to better understand their routes,” says Nicholson. “With our sensors installed in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens, the NYC DoT is now analyzing this data to prioritize projects in areas most in need of security and other improvements.”

The second objective is to expand the Viva product range. “Our vision is for road transport infrastructure to become data-driven, including real-time systems like traffic lights. The new product portfolio has targeted products that address the three main challenges facing the industry: road safety, sustainable transportation and network optimization to beat congestion,” concludes Nicholson.

Nicholson has no doubts about the value of the data collected by Viva for creating livable cities. “If we look back 10 to 20 years, other industries were revolutionized by data, including advertising, marketing and retail. These industries are now radically different because of the data that has entered their ecosystems. . »

VivaCity’s sensors are privacy-friendly and relatively unobtrusive. Picture credits: liveliness

Collecting large-scale anonymized data will allow analysis of how a city’s roads work: how and when people move, and where bottlenecks and black spots are. Ultimately, this can lead to safer streets and livable cities where citizens aren’t afraid to move actively.

You may have noticed the heavy emphasis here on “anonymized data” – the company tells TechCrunch that privacy-by-design is fundamental to the business, and it says maintaining security and privacy of people’s data is critical to business success.

“I strongly believe that the future of the Smart City must be citizen-centric,” says Nicholson. “As such, we have designed our solutions from the ground up to ensure the privacy of every citizen. The system has been developed using data protection by design principles and is fully GDPR compliant. »


Do you find AfroNaija useful? Click here to give us five stars rating!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button