Canadian Underwriter

Aviva seeks startups for road safety program

July 25, 2019   by Jason Contant

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Aviva Canada and venture capital company Highline Beta have joined forces to launch a road safety and smart city accelerator.

Applications to the Safe × Connected Cities Accelerator were open to early-stage startup applicants beginning Wednesday, with a deadline of Sept. 27. Startups working in the Internet of Things, mobility, urban technology, road safety, pedestrian safety and cycling sectors are encouraged to apply.

The program is expected to begin in November, with a mission to take on the chasm that every startup must cross — access to scale. The accelerator is looking to select startups to design, pilot and scale solutions that tackle road safety, mobility and smart city challenges across Canada.

The accelerator’s first founding partner, Aviva Canada, has taken the lead with its challenge to improve road safety. Through the accelerator and its Take Back Our Roads initiative, Aviva is looking to address the pressing issue of road safety. Over 80% of the Canadian population lives in urban cities, and more than 156,000 people are killed or seriously injured on road every year, Highline Beta notes on its website.

The program takes place in Toronto across two stages; each stage lasts three months (presence in Toronto is not required full-time). The first stage involves tailored programming to help companies design a proof-of-concept with one corporate partner (Aviva is one partner and RBC Ventures is a supporting partner; Highline Beta will announce more partners “soon”). In the second stage, successful proposals get to launch and test the proof-of-concept in market.

“There’s an opportunity to leverage the latest technology to strengthen safety and mobility in our communities, so we can all move around safety,” Highline Beta said on its website. “Some examples include: smart signals that can slow down vehicle traffic in high congestion zones, creating responsive intersections; vehicle sensors that help prevent collisions; software focused on improving drivers’ behaviours in real-time, technology that improves cyclist/pedestrian safety and solutions that improve connectivity between everyone sharing the road.”

Startups working on relevant solutions can apply at