Floods are one of the earth’s most common and most destructive natural disasters. While most floods take a while to develop, giving residents time to prepare or evacuate, some floods happen quickly. The Arab region, especially Saudi Arabia suffer from the latter. The ones that generate quickly and with little to no warning, these flash floods can be extremely dangerous.
That is why the Saudi company Sadeem has created the first multi-patented flood and traffic information system in the world with active networks to save lives and money in real time. The wireless sensing systems startup made its first steps at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology.
Sadeem is a team of four co-founders from four different countries, the multicultural team is something they are not only proud of, but gives them an advantage. The four co-founders are Dr.Ahmad Dehwah, Dr. Mustafa Mousa, Dr. Esteban Canepa and Dr.Christian Claudel. The team developed the idea through the KAUST Entrepreneurship Center accelerator program team led by Gordon McConnell.
Using a mix of sensor networks, mobile apps, and visualization tools, it monitors and forecasts traffic and floods in real-time. Sadeem can provide early warnings between half an hour to six hours before the disaster. In addition to that, it also advises people which routes to avoid in case of flooding and educates them how to react in emergency situations. It could prevent damages by at least 30%, as well as avoid casualties claimed one of the co-founders, Mustafa Mousa.
The project launched last year but the idea formed back in 2009 when there were major floods in Jeddah and Makkah, the worst in 27 years that lead to the death 122 people. They started as a research group of engineers, urban planners and researchers to find a solution. They approached the local authorities in underdeveloped areas looking for investments.
The product is independent of both the cellular network and power grids. Instead, it has its own solar panels and rechargeable batteries to power the sensors, and this helps at times when heavy rain and flooding damage the power grid. The solar-powered sensors detect the water level and monitor the traffic. All the information is sent to the servers via a wireless signal. The potentially dangerous zones are marked on a map to inform the drivers and the authorities.
Sadeem has only been operating since last year, but they have already gotten a lot of attention and recognition. Their most recent achievements are: In December 2016 Sadeem was recognized as the 13th most promising Startup in Saudi Arabia. And in March this year, they reached the top 10 in the Audi innovation award.
Also, check out their cool video.