The agreement with Marelli solidifies Easyrain’s growth path and represents a significant milestone in the 2023-2030 industrial plan
Zero road fatalitiess by 2050.
This is the ambitious goal set by the EU in 2021′ The Road to Zero’program, after decades of positive results in reducing road mortality. However, data analysis shows that the decline is slowing down, driven by critical situations such as accidents on wet roads: in cities, 19% of the victims occur under wet road conditions (source: European Commission preliminary data on road fatalities for 2022)¹. To reverse this trend, we need technologies and innovations to change the current paradigms of vehicle safety.
And that’s precisely what Easyrain has been doing for years, developing its owntechnologies, which will now be industrialized in partnership with an exceptional partner.
We are proud to announce our partnership with Marelli Marelli, a global automotive supplierthatwill work with us to industrialize our technologies: Aquaplaning Intelligent Solution, the first system for restoring vehicle traction on wet roads, including aquaplaning conditions, and Digital Aquaplaning Information, a platform of virtual sensors for detecting road conditions and calibrating ADAS.
The agreement with Marelli solidifies Easyrain’s growth path and represents a significant milestone in the 2023-2030 industrial plan. In addition to research and development of new products, this plan aims to launch AIS and DAI on the market, scheduled for late 2025 and mid-2027, respectively.
This partnership is a source of great prideas it elevates Easyrain to one of the most promising automotive startups in the global market. This is evidenced by the Most Innovative Road Safety Technology Developer 2023 award from the prestigious Success Knocks, and the growing interest from automakers, sealed by a new agreement with a third carmakerfor the creation of a Proof of Concept aimed at production.
As part of the collaboration, Marelli will focus on industrializing the AIS system’s evolution (called Proto-B), fully complying with automotive industry production standards. AIS Proto-B, to be validated in July 2024, meets carmakers’ production demands and is poised to become a groundbreaking solution for the automotive industry, similar to the impact of ABS and ESP.
Through small injectors hidden in the bumper, AIS sprays a controlled jet of water in front of the front wheels to remove excess water from theroad, thus reestablishing traction. This happens only when the powerful DAI software detects hazardous situations, optimizing water consumption and adapting the system’s response to road conditions. AIS can spray liquid on only one side of the vehicle to counter dangerous yaw rotationcaused by puddles affecting either the left or right wheels. The precision of detection and system speed have allowed the elimination of any additional tank, making use of tiny amounts of water contained in the windshield washer tank, standard equipment on all vehicle.
AIS is the first active system that changes road conditions and makes them safer. Moreover, it is the only system that operates directly on the road rather than on the vehicle, a paradigm shift from currently available technologies.
AIS raises the safety standards of all vehicles, both traditional and autonomous, by enabling the anti-lock braking system and electronic stability control to function where they otherwise wouldn’t, allowing vehicles to safely handle puddles and aquaplaning situations.
AIS is also the world’s first system capable of effectively addressing the problem of accidents on highly wet roads and aquaplaning conditions, a complex issue that has never found a radical solution and is responsible for thousands of injuries and fatalities: in Europe, there are approximately 212,000 such incidents annually.
These are alarming numbers that have driven us to go beyond: Easyrain’s R&D division is also working on an evolution of AIS capable of restoring traction not only in cases of loss of control on wet roads but also in snowy and icy conditions. This greatly enhances driving safety in low-traction conditions and solves a significant problem for both present-day and future autonomous vehicles. Thanks to the adoption of our systems, these vehicles can be not only safer but also more appealing from a market perspective.
As part of the partnership, Marelli will also produce the electronics in which DAI, one of the most advanced virtual sensor platforms globally for detecting wet road safety, will be installed. DAI, which doesn’t require an internet connection or additional sensors, enables the calibration of ADAS and assisted and autonomous driving technologies. It is poised to become the ultimate solution to the challenges of driverless cars, not only on highly wet roads but also in snow, ice, potholes, and gravel conditions.
Furthermore, DAI will become a crucial tool inreducing CO2 emissions and fuel/energy consumption. This is achieved through the feature that detects irregularities in the vehicle’s alignment: in the case of misalignments in the characteristic wheel angles (camber and toe), the vehicle can experience increased rolling resistance, leading to higher consumption and emissions. DAI recognizes these situations and notifies the vehicle.
Additionally, a safety feature is currently under development to prevent the potential loss of a wheel, a dangerous yet often underestimated phenomenon. In the event of a loosening of the wheel fastening nuts, micro-vibrational phenomena can occur, causing the nut to become loose. DAI detects these situations and alerts the vehicle.
Giovanni Blandina, founder and CEO of Easyrain:
I have several reasons to be proud of this partnership, but one stands out—the sense of optimism that has permeated our meetings during the negotiation phase. Perhaps the positiveatmosphere of the Motor Valley Fest facilitated our initial discussions with Miticocchio. However, looking to the future, I amdelighted with how Marelli’s team opened up to us, both from a technical and ethical standpoint, fully embracing our mission and our vision regarding the market potential of our products.
Our nextgoal is to develop the Proto-B version of the AIS system. I have no doubts about Marelli’s technical capabilities in making it an extraordinary product in terms of performance, as well as lightweight and cost-effective.
Today, with a prestigious partner like Marelli by our side, Easyrain can undoubtedly look further into the future and confidently take a seat at the table of automakers. This achievement demonstrates that Easyrain’s strong focus on its mission through sound ethics, which revolves around ourteam, is the right path for tackling the significant challenges faced by a startup in the automotive industry.
The agreement with Marelli is a team result, and that’s why I must thank my team for their incredible energy in facing this challenge every day.I can’t wait to see the results of this extraordinary collaboration and wish our teams the best of luck.
Francesco Miticocchio, VicePresident Strategic Planning, Technology & Innovation of Marelli:
The technology that Easyrain has developed, the AIS system, perfectly fits with one of the strategic pillar of Marelli: vehicle dynamics. We are investing to consolidate our positioning as solution provider in vehicle dynamics, where more and more functions are being developed, also cross-domain, thanks to the increasing presence of electronics in the vehicle. Safety, security, comfort, agility and energy management are new vehicle dynamics features that complement the traditional acceleration and speed. The AIS system is a key safety element that we are very happy to bring to market in partnership with Easyrain.
Besides the technology, we have found in Easyrain a partner that is very easy to work with: although they are a start-up, they have a very clear vision fully aligned with their technology development and with their business development activities. After the initial general discussions I have had with Giovanni Blandina, Easyrain CEO, we have mobilized our technical team that started the interactions with the team of Easyrain: it was very clear from the start that Easyrain had a very precise understanding of what they were able to do and what they needed from us. As it turned out, we were perfectly complementary: Easyrain had already spent a significant amount of time to conceive the AIS concept, basic configuration and algorithms, while Marelli had a long and consolidated experience in the design and industrialization optimization of many key components of the system itself.
It has taken only a few months for our teams to really integrate and start moving fast towards the Proto B.