After former Cleveland Browns defensive end Chris Smith's girlfriend Petara Cordero died in a disabled vehicle accident in Ohio last year, he agreed to promote a new technology that could help prevent similar tragedies.
Startup company Emergency Safety Solutions, known as ESS, reached out to him about its emerging product being developed for automakers and that is under review by safety regulators.
Smith, 28, now with the Las Vegas Raiders in his seventh NFL season, has become a product spokesman for ESS.
"I wanted to team up with ESS to help save the world and have nobody go through what I went through," Smith told Automotive News.
The stakes are high as the auto industry implements new technologies designed to improve safety and save the lives of passengers as well as pedestrians. But regulatory challenges loom.