Blume Technologies - Warning system for pedestrian crossings
Let me ask you, have you ever tried to cross the road, properly, on a crosswalk and been suddenly stopped by a car that popped up out of nowhere? Probably once you drove a car in the fog or rain, or on a poorly lit road, or all together, and slowed down at the last moment when you noticed a pedestrian? Do you remember how you felt? Have you ever thought of how to change it?
If no, first of all, you are lucky, and secondly, you are doubly lucky since Blume Technologies not only thought but also developed a solution, decreasing the likelihood of answering “yes” to all the above questions in the future.
Who are Blume Technologies?
Blume Technologies is a young, enthusiastic team of 4 people, Robert (CEO), Caius (software engineer), Alexandru (CTO), Arpad (design engineer), and Ana-Maria (PR manager), who developed, verified, and brought to the Romanian market a smart system targeted at reducing the number of accidents involving pedestrians at unregulated crosswalks.
To talk about the situation on the Romanian roads and the specifics of the solution that Blume Technology can offer now to improve the situation, we met the CEO of the company, Robert.
How serious is the situation with road accidents in Romania?
Unfortunately, Romanian road statistics are not something to be proud of. Currently, Romania ranks first in the number of road accidents in Europe per million inhabitants , which perceptibly delays the achievement of the ambitious goal to get close to zero deaths and severe injuries on EU roads by 2050 . At the same time, the list of major road traffic accidents in Romania has remained virtually unchanged in recent years, pointing to pedestrians as the most numerous victims, and the situation at unregulated road crossings as the first problem to be addressed.
How does the proposed solution work?
The Blume solution is a dynamic warning system based on AI: it records video of the driveway, processes it, automatically identifies pedestrians, and warns drivers about their presence by lighting up LEDs on the corresponding side of the road. But this is not all the advantages of the system: it also records the pedestrian crossing area, collects traffic data as statistics for public authorities, and contributes to the general illumination of the roads, guiding people in their darkest times.
Who is the target user of Blume Technology?
“Our primary customer is the public sector, more specifically, road administrators” – says Robert – “There is already a working version of our system installed in Dumbrăvița, and currently we have some interest from other big municipalities”. In the short term, Blume plans to approach the Romanian market, covering the biggest cities, villages, national roads, and then expand the solution to the nearest countries, dealing with the same problem as Poland or Bulgaria.
Why target users choose Blume?
Blume Technologies has gone a long way to provide the Romanian market with a high-tech, affordable solution that will not only help improve the situation at pedestrian crossings without traffic lights but will generally improve the well-being of the places where it is implemented. Importantly, the system is designed for mass use, unlike, for example, PDS, which is available only on expensive vehicles. In addition, very appealing to the municipalities is the fact that the Blume solution was developed in accordance with all requirements and regulations of the Romanian government. Thus, if one acquires it, he can just install it on the road without exhausting paperwork – Blume already took care of it.
What difficulties did Blume encounter along the way?
“Despite the fact that the authorities were very helpful and open to our solution, the process of obtaining all the necessary permissions for Blume was the most challenging part for us” – notices Robert – “From a technical perspective, during the engineering stage we, of course, faced some issues, but we resolved them quickly”.
What is next?
“We have several ideas on how to make Blume even better,” – replies Robert. Integration of solar panels to harvest energy, development of automatic detection of accidents with further notification of the responsible authorities, additional warning of pedestrians, and exploration of 5G infra benefits (connectivity, edge computing) in relation to solution architecture—Blume Technologies has great plans ahead, and Orange Fab is excited to be part of them!
Find out more about Blume Technologies from the ZF Tech Day show (a discussion in Romanian):