ASX traffic tech stock SenSen (ASX:SNS) made an Artificial Intelligence foray earlier this week that it says will help stop theft at petrol stations.

The company has signed a deal to acquire Scancam Industries, a company with AI technology preventing drive-offs at service stations.

It will pay $6.5 million upfront – of which $5.5 million will be paid in SenSen shares and a further $4.1 million in deferred consideration subject to the Annual Recurring Revenue hitting $3 million within 24 months after the deal is complete.

SenSen’s has various surveillance technological solutions aimed primarily at roads but at some other markets (one being casinos) enabling things such as ticketless parking, traffic analytics and average speed enforcement but until now it has had little involvement at petrol stations.

Scancam currently services around 250 service stations and SenSen thinks this can be expanded to 6,500 service stations.

It is estimated that fuel theft costs $59 million annually in Australia alone and retail crime more broadly is a $9 million problem in Australia (according to the National Retail Association) and US$60 billion globally.

“They [Scancam] are focused on a menacing problem – currently there is no recourse but they have built a very powerful camera solution that if they drive off once, their licence is shown to all other petrol stations and if they show up to any other they have to pre-pay and blocks further loss for the customer,” CEO Subhash Challa told Stockhead.

“Similar problems exist in the broader retail industry not just in fuel, so this is a strategic acquisition where the combined technologies can address a problem in the industry.”

This is the second acquisition from the company in about six months having bought SNAP Networks Surveillance. Dr Challa says COVID-19 has been a positive for his company’s products and actually made the latter acquisition possible

“[Surveillance] was a nice to have pre-COVID and post-COVID now it’s a must-have, people can’t live without it,” he said.

“Unfortunately for some companies which were focused on certain verticals – SNAP, who we acquired last year, were focused on airports and universities, applicable everywhere but because of COVID those things went down and it got to the situation where we could acquire it.”

Are there any similar traffic tech or AI stocks?

There is no shortage of companies delving in AI generally but only a handful are dedicated to security – at least in the physical world.

One of them is Spectur (ASX:SP3) which has security cameras with AI functionality.

It says AI can process complex scenarios very quickly with a high degree of accuracy and could see other features added including facial and object recognition.

There are a handful of stocks involved in the traffic tech space. One is Redflex Holdings (ASX:RDF) which makes traffic cameras and earlier this year received a takeover offer at a near 100 per cent premium.

Another is Traffic Technologies (ASX:TTI) which has SmartCity technology, an IoT technology which monitors public assets such as street lights and alerts people of incidents such as traffic delays or weather editions.

Rounding out the list of traffic tech stocks is Smart Parking (ASX:SPZ)This company makes parking sensors – including those coloured red/green lights which tell you when a parking spot is occupied or not.

These are all powered by an internet of things gateway called SmartSpots. These can also control lighting and air quality of the car park.

Extracted in full from: This traffic tech stock says it will help stop theft at petrol stations – Stockhead