The combination of cars and connectivity has so much potential, but so far that potential has been largely out of reach for most drivers.
DIY-ers may install “dashcams” that record jaw-dropping accidents, plane crashes, and evenRussian meteors while those who can afford higher-end cars get nifty “driver assist” features like collision detection, automatic parallel parking and their own cellular network connections. But what if the benefits of dashcams and safety sensors were available for less than the price of a luxury vehicle?
That’s the inspiration for CarVi, a windshield-mounted camera that uses machine vision software to improve driving behavior. Pair it with a smartphone in a dash-mounted holder and you’ve got an instant heads-up-display overlaid on the video feed. Between the camera and your phone’s sensors, the CarVi app has everything it needs to provide real-time warnings about possible collisions, proper following distance, unsafe lane changes, and more.
CarVi also collects data about your driving habits which you can visualize and study later — especially useful if you’re trying to break habits like tailgating, hard braking, or “jackrabbit” starts (the lead-foot phenomena of accelerating harder than you need to). Or if you want to let a machine take over the endless task of nagging your teenager about reckless driving.
The camera stores short 720p HD videos when triggering events occur, like a sudden shock or a tailgate warning, so you’ll have a visual record in case of an accident. It can function as an always-on dashcam if you feed it an SD card with enough memory.
CarVi uses Wi-Fi to connect directly with your phone. It also includes a speaker, so it can literally honk back at you if it thinks you’re in danger — as if flashing red symbols on the video overlay aren’t enough.
It’s interesting to think about the possibilities that might open up if technologies like CarVi became widespread. With enough drivers collecting this kind of data, we might see new insights in traffic safety research. And if real-time alerts could be shared between cars, it would essentially make drivers more aware of other cars on the road and might lead to fewer accidents — at least until the cars finish learning to drive themselves.
The team behind CarVi includes experts in machine vision technology with years of experience in the automotive industry. They’re raising funds on Indiegogo through March 20, and hope to ship CarVi in August. Learn more in the video below.