Jim Hutchinson, CEO of Fusion Processing

Moon Consulting are known for their experience in recruiting senior executives and non-executives for software, engineering and technology organisations. In fact, tech-based vacancies represent 51% of our workload for the first half of 2015. We are increasingly providing services for fast - growth companies in high-potential sectors and have developed close working relationships with the business incubators and VC’s that support them. 

Oliver Harrison visits the Bristol Engine Shed to meet with Jim Hutchinson, Chief Executive of Fusion Processing and inventor of CycleEye. Jim tells us about the technology behind the device, his future vision for safer roads and why Bristol is the proving ground. 

  CycleEye mounted on a First Bus Double-Decker

CycleEye mounted on a First Bus Double-Decker

Fusion Processing is the company behind CycleEye: a cyclist detection system mounted to large vehicles. I ask Jim what motivated him to create the device. “In most collisions a driver is unaware that a cyclist was nearby,” says Jim. “Drivers can suffer from ‘cognitive overload’, trying to track too many things at once. It’s not a criticism of drivers, just an acknowledgement of the situation they are in. CycleEye is the most effective device of its kind in the world and will mean far fewer cyclist casualties.”

At the heart of CycleEye is an impressive combined radar and camera system, which can identify cyclists with a high degree of accuracy. “We combined the two because they each have relative strengths and weaknesses,” explains Jim. “Each can compensate for the other depending on changes in the environment on the fly, creating a robust accurate system.”

It has already impressed many people, with First Bus installing CycleEye on their vehicles in Bristol. “This city is an ideal testing ground for CycleEye,” comments Jim: “Bristol heavily promotes cycling via Green Capital and Cycle City, but many potential cyclists are put off by safety concerns. CycleEye can alleviate this.”

So if the public transport market in Bristol is a success, where does Jim plan to go next? “The big potential markets are public transport and logistics,” he replies. “Haulage firms spend a good deal of time in urban environments and have the same concerns over cyclist impacts. I’m especially interested in getting fleet owners to see the benefits.”

Jim Hucthinson 2.jpg

Following the high-profile visit of the newly appointed Business Secretary, I ask Jim about life inside the Engine Shed. “We have been here from the start and it has worked out well for us. I have no shortage of visitors and it is a vibrant place to be. There’s also lots of expertise on hand, both formally with things like review panels and informally by just speaking to other resident entrepreneurs.”

Jim is an engineer by background, with an impressive pedigree in radar technology from the aerospace industry. Fusion Processing concentrates on research and development, so I ask if he finds it difficult to find the engineers needed to drive the technology forward. “The most important resource that Bristol gives us is lots of highly skilled intelligent people. I know the challenges of recruiting engineers, but we have not found it difficult so far. If you have a great product like CycleEye which gets people enthusiastic, they will come to you.”

I was fascinated to meet with Jim and hear his story: Fusion Processing is one of the great companies to come out of the Engine Shed incubator and looks poised for even greater success. Moon Consulting views Bristol as a serious player in the global technology market and has a long history of working with tech companies of all sizes across the UK and Internationally.

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