The Need for an Automatic Escape Route

Say Hello to AWOS:

With such a high fatality rate and so much at stake in a submersion, we need an automatic solution that removes human error by sensing that a vehicle is in water and automatically opening the side windows, ensuring that passengers have a safe way out.

That solution is AWOS. 

Top view photo of the AWOS sensor

The Benefits of AWOS

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Ultra-rapid water detection and lowering of side windows

Every second counts. AWOS is installed where water reaches first: the heavy engine compartment.

It lowers your windows within 3 to 5 seconds after impact. If one or more windows are inoperative, AWOS will still lower the remaining windows.

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Smart safety

With an integrated position sensor, AWOS knows if the car is upside down and only activates after the vehicle rolls into an upright position.

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Safe Exit

Because AWOS lowers windows rather than breaking them, shatter resistant glass types and injury from broken glass are not a problem for AWOS.

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Splash Proof

Because of its custom-designed casing, AWOS only operates when the sensor is fully submersed, giving you peace of mind on the road.

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Automatic Emergency Calling

AWOS can communicate with emergency call systems, such as eCall and OnStar, so that help is already on the way.

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Can Be Installed On Used Vehicles

Not looking to get a new car anytime soon? Not a problem. While AWOS was designed for installation on the production line, it is easily installed on existing vehicles, so that you can link to safety.

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Can Be Installed On New Vehicles

AWOS handles fossil fuel, hybrid and electric vehicles.

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Real Time Crash Data

Combining AWOS with solutions such as eCall and OnStar provides a complete safety solution:
AWOS automatically creates an exit strategy for passengers to safely escape a vehicle while eCall or OnStar provides exit instructions and ensures that help is on the way.

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New Passive Safety Technology

The sensors and ADAS market segments are set for explosive growth and AWOS is the newest passive safety sensor technology.​

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Patent Protected

Patent protected in the USA, Canada, Japan, Europe (pending), South Korea (pending).

A Solution Designed by Understanding the Dynamics of a Sinking Vehicle

Having developed an initial prototype for a system that senses vehicle submersion and automatically lowers windows, we teamed up with Dr. Gordon Giesbrecht.

Our objective: use sinking vehicle dynamics to your advantage in order to provide the earliest and safest opportunity for escape.

The Floating Phase

Vehicle submersion commonly occurs in an upright position.  An upright vehicle can take 2 to 4 minutes to completely submerge below the surface. 

The floating phase begins upon impact with water and lasts about one minute.  During this time, water rises against the doors, applying inward pressure and preventing them from being opened.  The side windows can still be lowered, providing the only opportunity for escape. Once water reaches the side windows and continues to rise, it presses against them, essentially locking them in place. The sinking phase has begun. 

AWOS immediately recognizes that the vehicle is in water and lowers the windows at full velocity, within 3 to 5 seconds.

Inverted Vehicle Submission

Inverted submersion occurs when a vehicle lands upside down. Cars are stable in the upright position due to the mass and low position of the motor.

If a car lands upside down in water and its windows are closed and remain intact, it will right itself by rolling to an upright position. Lowering the windows while inverted causes the vehicle to rapidly sink upside down and is not safe for passengers. Even if the vehicle enters the water at a steep pitch, it will bob back up and settle in the upright position, before the windows open

With a built-in multi-axis inclinometer, AWOS recognizes inversion and delays the opening of the windows until the vehicle rights itself and then lowers the windows.

The Sinking Phase

Once water presses against the side windows, approximately one minute after impact, the sinking phase has begun.  

The passenger compartment will still have air, but the doors and windows can no longer be opened. 

Anyone still trapped in the vehicle will likely drown.

Designed by studying how vehicles sink, AWOS automatically creates an escape route at the beginning of the floating phase.

Side picture of the AWOS sensor

It removes human error by taking the correct actions as early as possible so that drivers and their loved ones have a way out of the vehicle, and only when in a safe, upright position.

Even if one or more windows are inoperative, AWOS will lower the remaining windows. 

Because getting out and getting to shore is all that matters, AWOS is capable of communicating with emergency call systems, such as eCall or OnStar, so that help is already on the way and proper exit instructions can be given.