Why We Created Alertifi
We created Alertifi because traffic accidents are a severely underappreciated problem. We all hear about each and every plane crash, but a much lower portion of car crashes reach the news or are even considered news because they are so common. Many people including us know of good drivers that just happened to be in an accident due to: another driver, a deer or other animal jumping out in front of their vehicle, or something else out of their control. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, over 6 million crashes occurred in 2014 and in 2001 61% of all traffic fatalities occurred in rural areas. One of the major problems with accidents in rural areas is that they’re less likely to be noticed in the critical hours following the crash. Alertifi is meant to help address this problem. In the event of an accident Alertifi will notify the users emergency contacts, and optionally emergency services directly,* that they’ve been in a crash with their location, if they are rendered unable to do so, so they can receive emergency response fast.
*Contacting emergency services utilizes text-to-911 functionality and coverage is limited by adoption of this standard by emergency services, however it is becoming increasingly utilized. See fcc.gov for more information.
How Alertifi Works
The Alertifi application starts its driving service automatically when it comes within range of the Alertifi companion device. This automatic activation is important because it would be difficult to remember to always start the driving service manually each and every time you start driving, and failure to do so might result in an undetected car crash. After all, no one ever expects to get into an accident yet accidents still happen. The driving service then utilizes your phone’s accelerometer to detect sudden impacts indicative of a crash. Since one experiences approximately 1G of acceleration or less when hitting a pothole and severe crashes result in several G’s of acceleration, Alertifi can detect crashes with minimal to no false positives.
Alertifi vs Whole Car Sensor Systems
Whole car sensor systems often consist of accelerometers, GPS, and cellular network connection for outgoing alerts. Luckily due to advancements in mobile computing technology most people now walk around with all of these components in their pockets. While whole car sensor systems have the advantage of being tightly controlled, a mobile application has the advantage of usually having it’s sensors updated every few years when the user upgrades their phone. Whole car sensor systems can be costly to install if not pre-installed, cannot be easily self tested, and usually entail expensive subscription services since they rely on call center operators. In comparison smartphones and the Alertifi companion device are relatively inexpensive, one could easily test their own Alertifi application by accelerating their phone quickly once the driving service is activated to test the accelerometer function (as brought to our attention by our users), and Alertifi obviates the use of call center operators by entrusting many of the users loved ones with their safety.
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