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article imageQ&A: New technology to assess traffic accidents Special

By Tim Sandle     Oct 9, 2018 in Technology
New technology and social networking are being introduced to help assess the impact of road traffic accidents. This approach has been devised by Israeli company Comroads. The company’s CEO explains how the technology works.
Traffic accidents occur quickly, and often times the driver responsible for causing the crash leaves the scene of the incident before proper information can be exchanged. While a single dashcam can help catch some of the details, one dashcam is often not enough to provide a full picture of what happened.
Tel Aviv-based Comroads has launched the world’s first social network for drivers to share vital video evidence when and where needed. Much like Waze did for helping commuters outsmart traffic, Comroads is focused on building a community of drivers who can use the app to easily retrieve, upload and share their dashcam footage, helping fellow drivers prove their traffic cases against those who don’t want to take responsibility for causing an accident.
To discover more Digital Journal spoke with Roy Golombick, the CEO and co-founder of Comroads.
Digital Journal: What are the major causes of road traffic accidents?
Human error contributes to around 95% of road accidents today. The most evident causes are:
Roy Golombick: Distracted driving, running red lights, reckless driving, drunk driving, unsafe lane changes (including cutting off other drivers), and tailgating.
DJ: How easy is it to assign a cause of traffic accidents?
Golombick: Depending on geography, but 40% of road traffic accidents usually result in dispute between the parties involved, which can then result in a lengthy and tedious process which includes investigation and often a court will need to decide the result. Without tangible evidence, it becomes a matter of he said / she said and a judge would need to decide who's story is more plausible, often resulting in division of the blame if a concrete decision cannot be made.
DJ: Can dash-cams help to resolve issues relating to accidents?
Golombick: The dash cam can be viewed as an objective witness that can show exactly what happened in the case of an accident. Both drivers usually know what really happened, with one party simply trying to shake off the blame. In most cases, if the party at fault discovers that the other driver has dash cam footage of the accident, they know their chances of winning are slim, so they'll usually admit fault and be done with it. Most dash cams however only film what's happening in front of the driver, so if for example if someone rear-ends you and takes off, it can be hard to identify the party at fault.
DJ: What was the reason for developing Comroads?
Golombick: Getting the dash cam footage from your dash cam and sharing it can be tedious process, even if your dash cam has WIFI capabilities. There's no technological solution to make it as easy as pressing a button. For this reason, many people, even after witnessing a traffic incident don't or can't share the precious videos with those who really need it. With so many dash cams on the road today, we have a chance here to really help each other create a better driving environment all around us and help people become better drivers, or at least help people not be penalized for other peoples' mistakes.
I bet every single one of us has had a situation with their car where they wished they had footage from someone around them who obviously saw what happened to their car. We hope that with Comroads, drivers will finally be able to access that footage.
DJ: How did you develop the technology?
Golombick: We're a team of software engineers and have been working on this technology for almost a year now. The Comroads app sits idle in the background of the phone and waits for the user to enter the car. When a Comroads user enters their car, the app automatically detects that the user is driving and detects the dash cam. It then starts anonymously mapping the user's route and uses it to map the footage located in the dash cam.
If the user is involved in an incident, the user can then press the location on the app-generated route and the app will automatically retrieve the relevant dash cam footage. In the future, this process will also allow the user to request footage from the Comroads users that were around him/her at the time of the incident.
DJ: Where will the technology be available?
Golombick: The app will be downloadable worldwide. However, we will initially be focusing on the Israeli and UK markets. We are hoping to reach tens of thousands of users within the upcoming year. The app is completely free of charge.
DJ: How did you address security concerns?
Golombick: All videos uploaded are completely anonymous. We also make sure to remove audio tracks from the footage, so private user conversations will never be shared.
Also, users cannot simply request footage from any place and any time. They will only be able to request footage from areas where they were physically present and had the app running (they have a verified GPS position from the app).
More about Road safety, dashcam, Video, Automotive
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