One of the better improvements of newer cars has been the addition of advanced safety features–including things like collision detection, lane change alerts, and more. But if you’ve got an older car, you’ve been missing out on these new improvements. That’s where the crowdfunded CarVi hopes to come in, by bringing safer driving options, as well as driving assessment features, to older or less high-end automobiles.
CarVi pairs an app with a small black hockey puck camera that you pop behind your rear-view mirror–à la your toll transponder. It communicates with your smartphone and uses both that device’s camera as well as its own camera to monitor the road ahead. That means it can perform functions like tracking how close you are to the vehicle in front of you and alert you if you are, say, approaching that vehicle perhaps a tad too rapidly.
Much of CarVi’s features revolve around encouraging you to drive more safely. CarVi actually records your entire drive and processes it with onboard algorithms to figure out your pattern of driving. At the end of each drive, it provides you with what it dubs a “SKOR” about your driving technique, noting how you did in areas like hard braking and hard acceleration, as well as helping you figure out where you can improve to make your driving safer.
Of course, CarVi’s capabilities are somewhat limited; for one thing, it only points forward, so it can’t really help you with your car’s blind spots, for example. But it could be a helpful tool for parents looking to help their newly licensed teens to improve their driving, or for employers looking to monitor the performance of drivers in a commercial fleet.
This being 2015, CarVi is naturally being crowdfunded over at Indiegogo. Pre-ordering it will cost $299; the team behind it is aiming for an August 2015 release, but that’ll really depend on whether or not it hits its funding goals.