Automotive

CarVi brings modern driver assist technology to older cars

CarVi sticks to the windscreen to add driver assist functionality to nearly any car
CarVi sticks to the windscreen to add driver assist functionality to nearly any car
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The CarVi unit sticks onto your windshield to add driver assist features to your current car
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The CarVi unit sticks onto your windshield to add driver assist features to your current car
The CarVi unit sticks onto your windshield to add driver assist features to your current car
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The CarVi unit sticks onto your windshield to add driver assist features to your current car
The CarVi unit 100 mm across and 35 mm high
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The CarVi unit 100 mm across and 35 mm high
CarVi works in conjunction with an app for iOS and Android devices
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CarVi works in conjunction with an app for iOS and Android devices
The CarVi app allows users to tap to save dash-cam vision
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The CarVi app allows users to tap to save dash-cam vision
The CarVi app counts how many times you drifted out of your lane
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The CarVi app counts how many times you drifted out of your lane
CarVi sticks to the windscreen to add driver assist functionality to nearly any car
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CarVi sticks to the windscreen to add driver assist functionality to nearly any car
CarVi app: gives you a daily report on your driving
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CarVi app: gives you a daily report on your driving
CarVi app: gives you a daily report on your driving
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CarVi app: gives you a daily report on your driving
CarVi packs a 720p camera, a three-axis accelerometer, a microphone, a speaker and a Wi-Fi unit
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CarVi packs a 720p camera, a three-axis accelerometer, a microphone, a speaker and a Wi-Fi unit
The CarVi unit: sticks onto your windshiled to add driver assist features to any car
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The CarVi unit: sticks onto your windshiled to add driver assist features to any car
The CarVi app will be available for iOS and Android
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The CarVi app will be available for iOS and Android
The CarVi app can record your entire trip or just the last minute of action
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The CarVi app can record your entire trip or just the last minute of action
The CarVi app keeps data on your driving transgressions, and how fast you're going when you make them
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The CarVi app keeps data on your driving transgressions, and how fast you're going when you make them
CarVi provides real-time video and audio warnings when you're tailgating or approaching the car in front too fast
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CarVi provides real-time video and audio warnings when you're tailgating or approaching the car in front too fast
The CarVi unit 100 mm across and 35 mm high
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The CarVi unit 100 mm across and 35 mm high
The CarVi unit 100 mm across and 35 mm high
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The CarVi unit 100 mm across and 35 mm high

Driver assist technology (like the impressive array of features we reviewed in Ford’s Kuga SUV) is making new cars a lot smarter, and probably safer, every year. But what about older cars? CarVi is a stick-on unit that adds collision warnings, lane change assistance and driver skills assessment to your current ride. But we can’t decide if it’s going to be a nice addition, a missed opportunity or an annoying electronic back-seat driver.

The CarVi, which is currently the subject of an Indiegogo crowdfunding effort, is a chunky black disc 100 mm across and 35 mm high that fits to your windscreen behind and below your rear view mirror by way of an adhesive bracket. It incorporates a 720p camera, a three-axis accelerometer, a microphone, a speaker and a Wi-Fi unit to allow it to wirelessly connect to your smartphone.

As you drive, the camera captures footage from what’s happening in front of you and analyzes it in real time to provide driver assist feedback. For example, it will sound an alert when it feels you’re driving too close to the car in front, or wandering out of your lane without indicating.

The CarVi app counts how many times you drifted out of your lane
The CarVi app counts how many times you drifted out of your lane

All the while, it’s building up a report on your driving skills, taking note of overly hard braking and dodgy "jackrabbit" starts, among other things, to give you a "SKOR" for your driving, the idea being that you should strive to improve your SKOR by following certain driving tips.

Personally, I’ve got a device that comments frequently and frankly on my driving skills, and it’s called my mother. I’m not sure I’d appreciate the CarVi’s opinion, to be honest. While the CarVi’s forward-watch collision warnings might come in handy, probably its most useful feature is that it appears to operate as a dash-cam as well, with a feature that lets you hit a button to save either your entire trip or just the last minute of action.

The CarVi app allows users to tap to save dash-cam vision
The CarVi app allows users to tap to save dash-cam vision

It certainly doesn’t measure up to the in-car ultrasonic safety systems in modern cars, where features like automatic emergency braking and lane-keeping assist take a much more active approach than a simple beepy warning. And it’s disappointing that the CarVi is totally forward focused, when blind spot assist seems like a much more useful system that could be integrated reasonably simply.

Still, without retro-fitting a whole bunch of ultrasonic sensors and hacking into your car, it’s a nice thought that you can upgrade your old car with some modern driver assist features. The CarVi team says the unit will work in 95 percent of cars, and will be compatible with iOS and Android devices.

At the time of writing, CarVi has reached about half of its $100,000 Indiegogo crowdfunding goal, with $274 (not including shipping) the minimum pledge level still available to put yourself in line for the device. The company has given an August 2015 shipping date, assuming all goes to plan.

The team's video pitch can be viewed below.

Source: CarVi

CarVi - Bringing Safe Driving to the World

4 comments
piperTom
I agree this is more likely to be annoying than helpful. But I want OTHER drivers to have and use this. Then maybe they won't follow so closely.
Chris Goodwin
OK All very clever. BUT why is it circular ?? My driving mirror is not circular. No driving mirror I have ever driven with - Mercedes,Volvo,Renault, VW,Mini, Maxi, Ford, and a few others, I cannot remember them all, - they none of 'em have circular mirrors. Driving mirrors are oblong, quite wide, not very deep. SO WHY IS THIS "stick it behind the mirror" THING NOT OBLONG, too? I only ask because I want to know.
Glen Aldridge
I'm not sure what will be more annoying - Mother or this thing however I like the idea of having a second set of eyes especially since most of the new car manufacturers have decided we don't need to see out all 4 corners.
steveraxx
Something not mentioned is the potential to go to prison. Think about it. Someone down the line is going to subpoena the data, which will prove that you were completely at fault. Great idea, and possible product. Though there is this glaring potential for abuse and incrimination. As the worlds becomes less porous, this is the sort of device that will cause problems.
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