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V2V Platform HAAS Alert Preps Initiatives to Target ‘Mobility Outliers’

No doubt, cars and cities are becoming smarter and more interconnected by day. But one crucial layer of this ecosystem seems to be left out of the grid: municipal vehicles.

HAAS Alert – a vehicle-to-vehicle communications startup – is set to change that by soon launching several new initiatives, Mobility Buzz has learned.

The platform sends preemptive safety notifications to drivers’ smartphones about approaching emergency vehicles – firetrucks, school buses, ambulances, or roadwork vehicles, for example – through the company’s data cloud. HAAS sources the alert data directly from the municipal vehicles.

“This is a simple way for those vehicles to broadcast themselves in real-time, reduce traffic, and make roads safer,” said Chief Operating Officer Noah Levens. “Those cars have been the mobility outliers for a while, and we are connecting them to the smart grid.”

Currently, the platform runs on mobile devices, but the goal is to integrate with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

“The mobile integration is just a way for us to showcase the product,” Chief Executive Cory Hohs said. “We have already partnered with Ford on a pilot program, and have two other major OEMs interested.”

The startup also partners with INRIX – connected-car platform – providing them with traffic data.

“We saw quickly that the data we have can also work on the smart city side,” Hohs said. “We began providing the data back to Chicago, from their own emergency vehicles, because they couldn’t gather it themselves. This way we can help the cities power the smart infrastructure.”

The company plans to announce several “smart city pilots” this year, which will also include autonomous vehicle initiatives. “We can’t disclose much at this point, but autonomous cars will need to know where emergency vehicles are, beyond using short-range LiDARs, and will need to be able to react to that information,” Hohs explained. “Plus, when cities are ready to deploy the driverless cars, they’ll need a lot of traffic data.”

The company, founded nearly two years ago, is now in the midst of raising its seed funding. HAAS Alert originally launched in Chicago, and currently operates in Detroit; Grand Rapids, Mich.; and Palo Alto, Calif.; with more cities to be announced soon.

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