Livio Founders Jake Sigal and Massimo Baldini Are Working To Make Cycling Safer With Technology
Jake Sigal and Massimo Baldini were practically pioneers in bringing internet radio to devices outside of the computer and most importantly to the car. I’ve covered the duo, and their company Livio, basically since beginning when we were at thedroidguy.com.
Back in the early part of the decade there weren’t many people making devices to listen to internet radio. This was before TuneIn and the iHeart Radio app were a thing and before after market head units had any kind of phone or Internet integration. Livio made devices for the home as well as devices for the car that had access to thousands of Internet radio stations.
Back in 2010 we spoke with Sigal who had cited a report issued that same year that said over 150,000,000 people would be listening to Internet radio by years end. That number has quadrupled since then thanks to smartphones and apps like Pandora, iHeartRadio, TuneIn and others. Livio was ahead of the Internet radio boom and Sigal and Baldini sold the company to Ford right in the nick of time in 2013.
Since then they started a company called Tome which has been pretty stealth over the last few years. Now the Detroit Free Press has revealed what the Ferndale Michigan based company has been working on.
Tome is developing technology that will make the roads safer for cyclists and motorists by getting the two to talk to one another. The company is working out of the Mcity Autonomous Vehicle test site on the University of Michigan North Campus over the next year.
Like Livio knew early on that there had to be a better way to listen to Internet radio stations than hooking a laptop up to an aux cord, Tome knows there has to be a better way to alert motorists of nearby cyclists than wearing bright yellow vests and having extra reflectors and lights.
Tome hopes to create software that can go into bicycle and car, accessories and apps. The software should be able to alert motorists of nearby cyclists and alert cyclists to nearby motorists. They are also hoping to develop the technology to know when motorists are areas frequented by lots of cyclists. They don’t want to have a bunch of false alarms that would lead to motorists ignoring the warnings.
Sigal and Baldini have teamed up with Trek Bicycle on the project but they are self funding their portion. Sigal predicts the total investment will be between $1 million and $1.5 million dollars.
Sigal is an avid cyclists and feels that this project is based on a problem that everybody talks about, but hasn’t been adequately addressed.
“This is something that will absolutely save lives if we do this,” Sigal told the Detroit Free Press.
Sigal, Baldini and their Tome team of about 20 employees already sees a variety of ways to implement this new technology. For instance it could be embedded in a headlight that could signal a driver when the cyclist is nearby. Sigal sees now as a pivotal time to work on this technology as autonomous vehicles will start hitting the streets in coming years. Something needs to be able to tell the driverless vehicles that there is a cyclist nearby.
We’re confident that just as Livio was the first company to put Pandora in the car, Tome will be the first company to make cycling much safer through apps, sensors and technology.