Founding Year: 2013
Office Locations: R&D Center, via Adda 1/C, Rivoli, Turin, Italy – HQ, via Aurelio Saffi 8, Milano, Italy
“We need to listen to those who think that your idea may not work, but you have to be persistent and strongly believe in yourself when your own has been validated, despite everything, when you are told that it will never work.”
– Giovanni Blandina, Founder and CEO of Easyrain
A dialogue with Giovanni Blandina: Giovanni speaks to The Chief’s Digest about a simple yet brilliant solution for saving lives and preventing road fatalities caused by wet roads and low grip conditions. Easyrain’s team combines technical expertise and the power of innovation to engineer patented safety solutions to make vehicles more secure.
How did you come up with the idea or concept for your business?
As Easyrain, we’ve approached an issue (reducing accidents in the wet road and aquaplaning conditions) that has been around since the cars came out. The idea that we could succeed where the big names have failed was hard to believe. Over time, we have managed to overcome skepticism, and today, car makers are starting to collaborate with us.
Another challenge was to launch a start-up with the mission of developing active safety systems, thus requiring a huge amount of money. Finding the funds to do R&D, staying in Italy, and having no helping channels was certainly one of the most important challenges I had to face. Another hazardous but rewarding choice was to follow the opposite direction of where the automotive industry has been allocated investments: in an era of digitalization, software, and autonomous driving, Easyrain has chosen to develop hardware systems.
What are your company offerings? How have consumer responses shaped them over the years?
Since 2013, Easyrain has been developing
AIS: AIS (Aquaplaning Intelligent Solution) is an intelligent hydro-pneumatic safety system with custom-made nozzles placed in front of the front wheels of the vehicles and capable of cleaning the wet surface of the tires to contract aquaplaning and improve again the road grip of the tires. With the second generation of AIS prototype introduced in the summer of ’22, the system has become smaller, lighter, and easy to be fitted in every type of car, from city cars (with little room in the front end to place the system) to SUV (with higher road clearance), including EV vehicles and autonomous cars.
DAI: The connected virtual sensor DAI secures driving on wet asphalt conditions by recognizing dangerous wet road situations and aquaplaning conditions, and delivering warning levels to the vehicle; OEMs can use warning levels to set up new vehicle safety functionalities, including the automatic adjustment of ACC speed. DAI doesn’t use data connections as they are based on information already present on the vehicle through the CAN (Controller Area Network) and predictive algorithms. DAI can be further integrated into the 5G network to warn nearby vehicles. DAI is the first virtual sensor developed within the EDP platform, which hosts virtual sensors to recognize road hazards like Water – Snow & Ice – Pothole – Gravel. The virtual sensors analyze existing in-Vehicle information and provide alerts to the vehicle, enabling OEMs to introduce new vehicle safety features.
ERC: Easyrain Cloud collects data, coming from the EDP platform and GPS of the vehicle, and processes it to share information on dangerous road conditions, improve fleet management and perform advanced computations for real-time warning on vehicle parts maintenance.
At the moment, our products are not on the market yet, but our customers (some of the main automotive groups) have shown genuine interest in our products, and we have test sessions planned at the beginning of October.
On what ideals are your work culture and business ethics based?
We encourage our employees to express their views and ideas because we need to think faster and more efficiently to quickly overcome problems. We will not get second chances, so it’s our responsibility to ensure we innovate on daily basis. Furthermore, every team member knows that they are essential for the success of the entire project and in the development of the products. The choice is dictated by the desire to be part of a challenge. Skills can be bought and enhanced by paying for master classes, but the willingness to face challenges, the desire to participate in something great, and the attitude to sacrifice cannot be bought. This is why these aspects are a priority in the selection of people both as employees and partners.
How do you define success? Do you think there is a formula to be successful?
We don’t feed personal and company success, nor we will focus to reach it – to us as Easyrain, success is a direct result of fulfilling our mission. Anyway, we cannot deny that our biggest dream is to become a key player in EU strategy for 2050 aimed at zero road fatalities and, ultimately, see ourselves becoming a leading company in the field of car safety.
What do you think is a unique aspect of your business?
We are the first startup in the automotive industry to develop a complete, modular ecosystem for road safety on low grip conditions, which includes a hardware platform, the AIS; a software platform, the EDP; and a data platform, the ERC, improving vehicle safety on every road surface. No other companies offer a product range like ours.
Where do you see your company a few years from now?
The automotive industry is changing, and change is often frightening. On the contrary, Easyrain is living this moment with incredible enthusiasm, because we believe that change is a synonym for opportunity. Over the years, Easyrain has become a leader in the research and development of innovative safety systems, and being close to the iseries introduction represents an incredible success, especially considering that the most positive feedback Easyrain got at the beginning was “nice, but you’ll never make it. The automotive world is inviolable”. Strongly believing in ourselves and in the possibility of succeeding has allowed us to make great strides.
How has your journey been so far?
Very rewarding so far, and the best is yet to come!
Meet Giovanni Blandina
Born in 1979, Giovanni started his career in 2001 as a Testing Methodology and Process Designer for Urmet, a Turin-based company that designs and manufactures integrated building communication and security systems. In January 2008, he became Team Coordinator for MotoGP team FB Corse. In January 2009, he moved to Marelli as SkyTechnology Senior Consultant, designing new testing strategies for automotive products in the telematics area; from September 2013, he became Testing Methodology Designer for Marelli. He founded EasyRain in March 2013: it started as a part-time job for him, but it became a full-time job in July 2018.
“We firmly believe in ourselves and in what we do; the possibility of succeeding has allowed us to make great strides.”