Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

H2020

SMARTCARS Report Summary

Project ID: 736367

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - SMARTCARS (Low cots Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS): A cost affordable solution for improved road safety)

Reporting period: 2016-07-01 to 2016-12-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

Xesol (http://www.xesolinnovation.com/) is an SME specialized in high-tech solutions for advanced connectivity, telecommunications and smart cities. We search, envision and develop innovative solutions to global societal needs.
The unmet need we identified as a business opportunity in the SMARTCARS project was the market/customer demand for a safer driving and the lack of cost affordable solutions for the great majority of drivers to enjoy the state-of-the-art Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (hereafter referred as ADAS). In view of this opportunity, we began the SMARTCARS project´s a couple of year ago and nowadays we count on a patented prototype (four patents) of the first cost affordable technology for implementation of ADAS in any car manufactured after year 2000. This technology is the one we seek commercially exploiting in the SMARTCARS project.
THE NEED SUSTAINING THE SMARTCARS BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY
Road safety is a mayor societal issue with road accidents being main cause of death in industrial countries. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the total number of road traffic deaths remains unacceptably high at 1.24 million per year, occupying the 9th position in the list of top leading causes of death in the world. It has been demonstrated that ADAS can contribute reducing fatal road accidents by more than 30%.
ADAS are systems developed to automate, adapt and enhance vehicle systems for safety and better driving. The progress in this field has been enormous from the first ADAS like tire-pressure monitoring, seatbelt warning, door open indicator, etc., to the most recent and advanced features like intelligent speed adaptation, collision avoidance system, blind spot detection, driver monitoring, lane change assistance, etc. This impressive ADAS progress can be explained by the actual demand for improved road safety, which has even justified Regulatory actions for their mandatory implementation (e.g. Safety Regulation 661/2009/EU in 2009).
However, in spite of the huge progress so far, relatively few vehicles on the road today have these advanced ADAS systems, and their share of the market is growing at only 2 to 5% annually. This can be explained because ADAS are solutions offered as embedded technologies (integrated in the cars by car manufacturers, OEMs), so drivers can only enjoy the state-of-the-art ADAS when purchasing a new vehicle (10-15 years vehicle replacement rate) and only of the premium/high price segments (>25.000€). However, the great majority of people (70% of all cars registered in Europe each year ) opt for a low-medium price car (6.000-20.000€). Therefore, the great majority of population do not enjoy the most advanced ADAS either because they cannot afford it or because they acquired their current vehicle a few years ago and they are still paying for it or do not consider purchasing a new one.
THE SMARTCARS SOLUTION & EXPECTED IMPACT
SMARTCARS will bring to the market a cost affordable solution for making the most advanced ADAS accessible to any car owner, without the need of purchasing a new vehicle and regardless the price segment of the vehicle they own and/or acquire. Our patented technology is not an embedded system but an external hardware that can be easily integrated to any car manufactured after year 2000 by a simple USB connection. The uniqueness of our technology compared with competing products, is that SMARTCARS is the only not-embedded ADAS capable of triggering automatic vehicle responses (e.g. automatic speed adaptation with no need for user interaction), which are required as assist features for semi-automated driving.
Our solution will enable any car owner paying just 550 € and 30€/year for software license, to enjoy the most advanced ADAS for semi-automated driving including: parking assistance, pedestrian detection, lane change assistance, traffic sign recognition, blind spot indicator, intelligent speed adaptation, driver monitoring, automatic certified accident picture taking, anti-collision and the most recent V2X and VANET (Vehicular Ad-hoc NETwork) connectivity (car-to-car/car-to-infrastructures communication for real time advise on unexpected road events).
As for understanding the market opportunity within this segment, the global ADAS market is expected to grow from €14.8 Billion in 2013 to €60.14 billion in 2020. According to our estimations of a base case scenario, the cumulative cash flow from commercialization of the SMARTCARS product will be €10.78M in less than 3 selling years, meaning a cumulative R.O.I of 379% in 3 years for the participation the project.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

The SMARTCARS Phase 1 project was aimed at performing an in-depth assessment of our business project feasibility under technical, commercial and financial points of view. To this end, the phase 1 project objectives were defined upon a previous analysis of the risks that could endanger our business plan and thus, the activities planned for the phase 1 project were intended as a way for risks mitigation (see figure 1).

Following the planned approach, during Phase 1 we have performed the following activities:
ACTIVITIES PERFORMED TO ASSESS THE TECHNICAL FEASIBILITY OF THE PROPOSED CONCEPT:
a) We have carefully analyzed the current regulatory situation and those standards regarding ADAS and semi-automated driving, in order to ensure compliance with them in our technical roadmap.
b) We have analysed the end user and key stakeholders´ requirements in order to redefine the product specifications based on it, while ensuring the minimum price of the system to guarantee its affordability by a wide share of population (key aspect of our value proposition).
c) We have defined a 2-years technical roadmap to bring our current prototype to a commercial product fully compliant with the regulatory and safety standards, as well as the end users and stakeholders requirements.
ACTIVITIES PERFORMED TO ASSESS THE COMMERCIAL FEASIBILITY OF THE PROPOSED CONCEPT:
a) We have analyzed our value proposition by performing an in-depth analysis of the current road safety problem and of the feasibility of using ADAS to improve road safety and reduce road accidents.
b) We have performed an in-depth analysis of the connected cars and ADAS markets as a way to confirm the business opportunity of the SMARTCARS project in a global market context.
c) We have analyzed the commercial value chain and identified the role of key stakeholders.
d) We have approached potential clients, especially OEMs, and we have confirmed their wiliness to implement our technology in their old and new vehicle models.
e) We have closed agreements with key suppliers for product manufacturing and we are currently negotiating the delivery and purchasing conditions with them.
ACTIVITIES PERFORMED TO ASSESS THE FINANCIAL FEASIBILITY OF THE PROPOSED CONCEPT:
f) We have carefully analyzed the investment needs to reach a go-to-market stage.
g) We have updated our financial projections for a 3 years business plan.
h) We have accomplished a financial sensitivity analysis.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

Thanks to activities performed during this Phase 1 project, we have gained a deeper understanding on those key issues to consider for the success of our business plan and based on it we have adapted our technical development roadmap and our commercialization plan to maximize the success likelihood. Indeed and also thanks to this Phase 1 project and because we have validated our value proposition and our business plan, we have been able to close a second private equity round of €1M at a company valuation of €10M (10% equity share). This means that the immediate impact of this phase 1 project will be on our business plan, which has now entered into a next stage towards the successful market introduction of the SMARTCARS technology in the short-term.
Regarding the potential impact of this Phase 1 project in the EU society, it will come indirectly due to the direct impact of the project in our business plan. This is because if we are able to actually bring the SMARTCARS product to the market in the short-term, EU citizens will benefit from an increased road safety, reduced fatal accidents and enjoy for a safer and more comfortable driving.

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