Daytona Beach, FL – Streets could be safer for cyclists and pedestrians using a device created by Embry Riddle Aeronautical University students, seniors Andrew Ferree and Zack Saidman. The pair took part in the Society of Automotive Engineers International’s Connected Vehicle Challenge 2019 earlier this month and came away with a silver medal, worth $5,000, for their creation.
Ferree said that they discovered that cyclists suffer an average 45,000 injuries and 840 deaths per year, with 5,000 of the injuries happening to children ages 14 and under. In their market discovery, they spoke with ERAU Associate Vice President Dan McCune, who spoke with Ferree and Saidman about use the campus as a test market.
During the competition, Ferree said they were questioned Shark Tank style about marketability and feasibility. What they found is the cost of manufacturing one of the devices would be about $150. However, when manufactured in bulk of a 1,000, the cost came down to about $23 per unit. Ferree said simplyfing the device is what really brought the costs down.
After graduation in May, Ferree will pursue his master’s degree while Saidman will start a job as a systems engineer at Raytheon, working in missile-defense. They plan to continue their research using the $5,000 prize from the conference, and Ferree will submit a new iteration of their project – this time with a working prototype – to the TREP Expo, this fall.