Innovative and sustainable Uruguayan technology is acknowledged in the world

The HY Project, an initiative of Uruguay's The Electric Factory and Ayax, is distinguished at the World Changing Ideas Awards 2020 for its transformative potential.
Publication date: 13/05/2020

The prestigious magazine for business, technology and innovation The Fast World chose The HY Project as one of eight finalist ideas in the 2020 World Changing Ideas Awards. Together with Ayax Toyota and Curcio Capital -through its president Alejandro Curcio-, The Electric Factory created an acoustic vehicle alerting system (AVAS) for electric and hybrid cars that not only alerts pedestrians, but also benefits nature, with a sound that contributes to plant growth and facilitates animal communication.

The project, which received the support of Uruguay XXI, "combines innovation, technology and sustainability to achieve a better world and generate a creative impact," said the co-founder and head of innovation of The Electric Factory, Juan Ciapessoni.

European Community regulations establish as from July 2021 all electric vehicles marketed in the old continent must have an AVAS system. The system developed by the Uruguayan professionals is capable of adapting to any vehicle thanks to a microprocessor that allows the car sound to change dynamically following its speed. This innovative technology not only complies with the European provisions, but goes one step further and has a beneficial effect on the environment.

Following several scientific studies that demonstrate the plants reaction to certain sound frequencies, a sound range was developed from which positive results were observer at their growth and nutrient absorption. Based on this information, The Electric Factory developed the first AVAS system that contributes to the plants development. 

On the other hand, the creators tried to produce a sound with the smallest possible bandwidth, in order to avoid masking natural sounds. This way, animal species are allowed to communicate with each other more effectively, something that the sound of traditional vehicles tends to distort. "We are giving back to nature all that we have been taking away from it in recent years through noise and air pollution," Ciapessoni said.

A paradigm change

The creation of this acoustic vehicle alerting system, the first to focus on benefiting the environment, heralds new times for the automotive industry, which is looking towards ecological sustainability. In line with that concern, and after a fruitful exchange with scientists and government authorities, Ayax and Uruguay's The Electric Factory launched The HY Project (from the word "harmony"), which seeks to rebuild harmony between man and the environment.

"We are at a time when clean technologies are in vogue. The planet sustainability is on most companies' agenda. This invention is in line with that. We are thinking about how to leave a footprint that will leave the earth in better conditions for the generations to come",  Ciapessoni expressed.

The HY system, which also began to be implemented in Argentina and Brazil, has earned its creators several international awards. In addition to the recognition granted by The Fast Company, the project is a finalist in the SXSW Awards in the category Smart City, Transportation and Logistic.

The notoriety gained by this disruptive invention shows the explosive development of Uruguay in terms of technology and innovation. It also highlights the country's favorable ecosystem for this type of initiative, thanks to the talent of its professionals and the public-private synergy.

"Uruguay has the power to become an innovation hub. Thanks to its scale, infrastructure and costs, the country has a lot to offer as a global platform for testing and prototyping. We have an enormous potential for entrepreneurs from all over the world to come to Uruguay to create their inventions, for world talent to come here to develop, research, prototype and test their projects. Hopefully those projects will be linked to the areas of innovation, sustainability and new technologies ," Ciapessoni said. 

In this sense, the developer highlighted the pioneering nature of the project he is directing. "HY puts Uruguay in the spotlight, as a disruptive country. We are inspiring, we are showing that you do not need a mayor investment to generate an impact that can change the world," he concluded.

To learn more about The HY Project, click here.