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Alert system is one cool tool!
A Belleville inventor is courting the automotive industry with a device that sends an automated alert to motorists in the path of emergency vehicles.
Timothy Newman now has to convince at least one automaker to buy into his concept and install the system into its line of vehicles.
For now, Newman continues to create a buzz on the North American trade show scene, while he awaits patent status for the unique apparatus.
He recently claimed best of show honours for his innovation at the 2011 Blue Line Trade Show, a venue for vendors to showcase products and services to Canadian law enforcement professionals.
Newman, 39, created the device after witnessing a near miss between a racing dumper truck that refused to yield to the blaring siren of a oncoming emergency vehicle.
"It's a serious issue," he said. "I saw the expression on that paramedic's face."
The incident was the driving force behind Newman's quest to construct a device that could provide advance notice to motorists who are in the path of approaching emergency vehicles.
Exhausting what little finances he had, Newman partnered with an engineer to conceive B.R.A.K.E.R.S Early Warning Systems. B.R.A.K.E.R.S, which means Broadcasting to Radios Ahead Keeps Emergency Responders Safe, is an acronym that describes his intent for the system he's pushing for automobile companies to adapt.
"It's not necessarily for the vehicles that are on the road today," he said. "It's going to be incorporated into new cars."
When the responder selects pre-programmed messages on their end, a special receiver — in cars which have it installed — broadcasts the message over the car radio, even if it is turned off or playing something else. Drivers will receive specific instructions as to be aware of exactly what action to take.
The system is able to warn motorists at least 500 metres away and is designed to complement existing lights and sirens on emergency vehicles, increasing effectiveness, Newman said.
He said various customized messages can serve numerous purposes including addressing concerns such as a speeding within a school zone. He has received approval from the FCC in the United States and CRTC in Canada, two regulatory bodies for electronic transmission devices.
The device also caters to Amber alerts and special traffic instructions for construction sites. Newman is also open to investors who are willing back the marketing of the system to automakers worldwide. He estimates the cost of integration to be about $3 per vehicle. He will be trying to grab the attention of automakers at the SEMA Trade Show in Las Vegas in November.
"It may not be North America that picks it up first, it could be India," he said.