Brisk Synergy invited to join Infiniti Lab in Hong Kong
Artificial intelligence machine is analyzing intersection safety
WATERLOO — About 18 months after it launched a video analytics platform to reduce collisions at intersections, Brisk Synergies has deployed its technology in about 30 cities around the world.
Now, the startup, which is based in the Accelerator Centre in the David Johnston Research and Technology Park in Waterloo, is participating in a Hong Kong-based program for automotive related startups called Infiniti Lab.
Infiniti is the luxury vehicle division of the Japanese automaker Nissan.
Brisk, founded by chief executive officer Charles Chung and chief technology officer and Luis Miranda-Moreno, has broken new ground in traffic management and smart city technology.
Traditionally, traffic engineers and urban planners had to wait five years before there was enough data to determine if an intersection required physical changes to make it safer. The planners had to wait for accidents to happen and then study the collisions in detail.
“It is very reactive, very slow,” said Chung.
Brisk’s platform tracks all vehicles and pedestrians moving through an intersection with a video analytics platform. It highlights the near misses. Traffic engineers will know within days if changes are needed to the roadway, not years. And they will know before anyone is injured or killed in an accident.
“Usually, in a few days we have enough information,” said Chung. “That is a game changer for them because they have never been able to react so quickly to those situations.”
This past summer Brisk Synergies was among nine startups in the Infiniti Lab program in Toronto. The smart city, Internet of Things accelerator program lasted six weeks. After it was over, Brisk was the only startup asked to pitch for entry into Infiniti Lab’s global entrepreneur program in Hong Kong. It was accepted.
During the next three months, Brisk will receive one-on-one coaching from Infiniti’s executive team. Chung and his team will work with experts in branding, product and network transformation, and meet with Asian investors. All of the costs for flights and accommodations are covered by Infiniti Lab.
Traffic accidents are a leading cause of death worldwide so the startup’s technology is attractive to cities in both advanced and developing countries. The platform uses neural networks, object identification, artificial intelligence and machine learning.
“Once we detect an issue on the
road we automatically extract the video for our clients, and they can see and observe what exactly is happening,” said Chung.
Information gathered by the platform is displayed on a dashboard for client cities. During his time in Hong Kong, Chung wants to explore how the technology could be used by other parties.
“From construction companies to autonomous vehicle manufacturers and pedestrians, cyclists and urban planners, there is a strong interest in making the road safer,” he said.
The two founders are graduates of the University of Waterloo.
Chung has a master’s degree in computer
science and an MBA in business and technology. Miranda-Moreno has a PhD in traffic engineering from UW and is an associate professor in civil engineering at McGill University in Montreal.
The two previously worked at other startups but decided to focus on technology that can improve road safety because of the number of people killed and injured in collisions.
The World Health Organization says 1.25 million people are killed in traffic accidents annually.
Traffic accidents are the leading cause of death worldwide for young people 15 to 29.
“It affects almost everyone,” said Chung.
Charles Chung is the co-founder and CEO of Brisk Synergies, a new Waterloo company that uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to improve road safety. Their video analytics platform is used in 30 cities.