Airline to pilot Waterloo contact tracing tech for COVID

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Air Canada plans to test COVID-19 contact tracing technology that researchers at Waterloo Engineering helped develop.

William Melek and Patricia Nieva, both mechanical and mechatronics engineering professors, and a team of students have been working with Facedrive, a Toronto-based company, on an application and wearable devices that use artificial intelligence (AI) and Bluetooth technologies.

“The technology enables the creation and management of safer work environments needed during this critical phase of the pandemic,” Melek said in a media release.

The system, called TraceSCAN, will supplement the COVID contract tracing application sponsored by the Canadian government during a planned pilot project at the airline.

“We are enthusiastic about exploring the use of TraceSCAN because this Canadian technology has the potential to provide another layer of safety for our employees, so they can focus on taking care of our customers,” Samuel Elfassy, vice president, safety at Air Canada, said in the release.