An important result for the Rivoli-based startup that exhibits its technologies in Italdesign Climb-E autonomous vehicle
We save lives!
Not just a slogan, but a mission that is now closer. After the positive test campaign and the Easyrain Experience in November, where carmakers got behind the wheel of proof-of-concept vehicles, the time has come for Easyrain to move on to the industrialization stage: the AIS anti-aquaplaning system and DAI detection software are on the way to reach the market.
An important milestone for the Italian startup dedicated to road safety on low-grip conditions, offering OEMs hardware, software and cloud solutions – operating standalone or combined – to improve vehicle safety on wet road, and to eventually restore grip in the event of aquaplaning.
Along with technologies meant for wet and aquaplaning conditions, Easyrain is developing new algorithms to detect loss of tire contact on snow, ice and slippery road surfaces, making driving safer when grip is limited. Together with these new algorithms, the Turin-based startup has begun testing a software to detect wrong symmetry in the car set-up: an essential feature for improving vehicle safety, reducing CO2 and avoiding unusual tire wear. This software activate new safety functions and will lead to a new generation of ADAS systems, capable of modulating the level of driving assistance according to the road surface.
In addition to the software, Easyrain is also working on the evolution of AIS hardware system, which is expected to debut on the market in mid-2026. The first active system to counter aquaplaning is heading towards industrialization and new components are being studied to reduce weight, size, and cost. Such components have been conceived along with Tier-1s: Easyrain is collaborating with them for the development stage and for all the steps of production process. At the same time, preliminary studies have begun on a brand-new hardware product (known internally as Project-X) designed to bring road safety on low-grip surfaces on a next level. The goal is to restore grip not just on very wet surfaces, but also in the event of loss of control on ice and snow. Easyrain aims to develop essential safety systems to help achieve the European goal of zero deaths on the road by 2050.
These innovations, which are requiring further growth of the team, made 2022 a year to remember. Easyrain collected positive feedback from car makers, culminating in the Easyrain Experience in November in Applus+ IDIADA Spanish proving ground: test drives with OEMs showcased the systems effectiveness on various types of cars, including sedan, station wagon and SUV. The participants provided enthusiastic responses: the AIS test was compared to the introduction of stability and braking control systems.
Together with the OEMs, Easyrain has held several technical discussions aimed at integrating its products into vehicles. Easyrain offers many levels of products integration: from detection algorithms to activate new functions or improve assisted driving functions, up to the complete package including DAI, AIS and ERC, to make the most of the enormous potential of software, hardware and cloud.
The Easyrain Cloud (ERC) is also being developed. ERC stores data from the DAI and algorithms; this information allows the refinement of the algorithms and predictive warning services in the event of wet asphalt, aquaplaning, icy surfaces, potholes, and wear of car components. Furthermore, ERC will also be used to update in real time a new database dedicated to road safety, where private companies, agencies and public bodies will find information on dangers on the road network.
Easyrain technologies are ready for today’s cars, but they are already on-board tomorrow’s vehicles. AIS, DAI and ERC are integrated on Italdesign Climb-E, an autonomous vehicle that previews future mobility, being presented at 2023 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The safety of tomorrow passes through the solutions Easyrain is developing today.
GIOVANNI BLANDINA, EASYRAIN FOUNDER AND CEO
“Participating in the CES is an important moment for Easyrain. We are thrilled to see our technologies integrated in a vehicle embodying the future such as the Italdesign Climb-E. This drives us to continue along the path we have approached: we were alone at the beginning, but today we feel the enthusiasm of the carmakers who have tested our technologies and are asking us to bring them into production. Easyrain had an exciting 2022 marked by the success of the new version of AIS and DAI. Let’s head into 2023 with concentration: we have a duty and a great responsibility we are carrying out thanks to an extraordinary team, solid partners, and investment funds ready to support us. In particular, I would like to thank Italdesign and their CEO, Antonio Casu, for the long partnership and believing in our mission”.
EMANUELE PIRRO, EASYRAIN PRODUCT AND BUSINESS DEVELOPER
“Safety, both on the track and on the roads, has always been close to my heart. Accidents mainly happen due to inattention or “ignorance”, which means not knowing the risk you are running, underestimating your speed for a specific road condition, and then reacting inappropriately causing a vehicle loss of control. Every single road accident is avoidable, often with a few precautions. As soon as I learned about Easyrain, I immediately thought of its enormous potential in preventing and/or eliminating loss of vehicle control and consequently accidents in particularly dangerous road conditions. I am very involved in its development, and I am convinced that in the future we will talk about it in the same way today we mention anti-locking braking and stability systems. The more autonomous driving technologies gets popular, the more Easyrain systems will become an indispensable tool for safe driving.”
DAI AND DETECTION SOFTWARES
Easyrain has developed and patented the Digital Aquaplaning Information (DAI for short) detection software, capable of estimating the tires loss of contact with the road surface, not only in the event of aquaplaning but also in other critical situations, such as puddles involving one side of the car – particularly dangerous as they might cause a strong yaw or provoke an inappropriate reaction by the driver.
The DAI provides several warning levels, which can be associated with new safety features. One of these is the integration – successfully tested in the Easyrain Experience – of the software with the adaptive cruise control (ACC), thus able to modulate the vehicle speed on wet surfaces not only in connection with the distance from the car in front, but with the level of water on the asphalt.
The DAI software does not require an Internet connection and it calculates the output according to the tires type, brand, level of wear and pressure. It is very simple to install, does not require specific calibrations and offers maximum accuracy; DAI data transmission speed depends by the CAN network’s. The DAI software can be installed as standard, downloaded from carmaker’s store or developed with features coming from partner companies.
ACTUATOR TO PREVENT ACCIDENTS ON WET ROAD
When the DAI software detects dangerous situations, it triggers the Aquaplaning Intelligent Solution (AIS for short), the first safety system in the world that does not act on the car but modifies the asphalt conditions before the wheel travels over it.
Using small injectors hidden inside the bumper, AIS sprays a small amount of water in front of the front wheels to eliminate the excess of water on the road, allowing the tires to recover contact with the road and restore the functioning of the anti-locking braking and stability systems, which otherwise would not spring into action due to the wheel floating.
Through a patented system, the water used by the AIS comes from the windshield washer fluid tank: this allows not to alter the car’s construction process, but also to not add new components. AIS activation is extremely rapid, and injection is meant to optimize water consumption.
CLOUD PLATFORM FOR PREDICTIVE ANALYSIS
Easyrain ecosystem is completed by the Easyrain Cloud (ERC for short), designed to extend DAI functionalities and to make the most of data sharing: the information collected by the DAI can be used internally, to refine the detection algorithm, or shared with various players to allow services such as predictive maintenance of road network, replacement of worn car components and the creation of databases for road safety. The information collected by the DAI and shared by ERC will be used to inform traditional and self-driving vehicles of a possible danger before they approach it, for adapting driving speed or pre-alerting safety systems based on the level of grip.