The Nauto Dashcam Turns Any Automobile Into a Smart Car

The idea of a smart car is no longer just a wild dream that nobody knows when will come true. We already have connected cars on the roads. Fitted with complex sensors and software, they are able to act like true co-pilots or even take full control.

However, such vehicles aren’t 100% ready for the masses. It’s enough to take a look at how much they cost.

Nauto, a young startup, is looking to change that. Its main product is a next-generation dashcam fitted with software that can turn any car into a smart car.

Read on to find out how it works and if it’s a viable alternative to Tesla’s connected cars, for example.

Nauto Is a Promising Startup from Silicon Valley

Finding more about them on Google isn’t exactly easy. Looking up ‘Nauto’ will make the search engine consider you wanted to search for an anime series.

However, using the exact match “Nauto” will take you to their website. The idea behind this startup is pretty straightforward:

Nauto is an AI-powered networked vehicle system that helps give a complete picture of driver behavior and helps businesses operate safely and more efficiently on the roads.

It’s basically an advanced dashcam that uses AI to learn and observe road conditions in real time. The data it gathers is sent to an artificial intelligence-driven smart cloud where it is analyzed.

Nauto claims this helps:

Prevent accidents before they happen, reduce false liability claims and provide valuable coaching to improve driver performance.

They hope to incorporate the system into a large number of cars, especially since the price is $400 plus a monthly subscription.

How Can a Dashcam Turn Your Automobile Into a Smart Car?

Yes, the system can be fitted to almost any vehicle. Its main component is a small dashcam that sits on the windshield. It is already being used by San Francisco’s Citywide Taxi, for example.

The concept can be a little confusing. Can you compare a vehicle fitted with Nauto’s system with what connected cars have to offer? No, not entirely.

The Nauto dashcam turns your car into a smart car but doesn’t offer autonomous driving capabilities. Instead, the camera and a computer-based vision system with machine learning collect and process data.

Then, all the information is imported to the cloud where it is analyzed in real time.

The system will detect driver behavior such as drinking and driving, and offer warnings. Nauto can also identify dangers and alert the driver. This is a notable feature, considering distracted driving is one of the leading causes of accidents.

BMW, Toyota, and Allianz Jumped on Board

Nauto has a big potential of improving road safety, which is one of the goals of the smart car technology.

Just a month ago, Toyota, BMW, and insurer Allianz announced they will license technology from Nauto. The first step is to integrate the system into their test vehicles and analyze the data with the sole purpose of developing their autonomous vehicle strategies.

The main focus will be on driving habits, difficult intersections, and traffic congestion.

This is big step forward for both the carmakers and the insurer. Nauto’s system can be used to detect and understand the cause of accidents and reduce false liability claims.

What the Future May Hold for Nauto

The fact that important carmakers are on board with the technology developed by Nauto enables them to get one step closer to achieving one of their goals. That is integrating the system directly into a car’s computer.

Nauto’s AI deep learning machine needs accurate data to provide quality feedback and coaching to drivers after each driving experience.

However, they could be closer to acquiring that amount of data than you may think. They’ve already announced that other automakers are allowed to build their own applications on top of Nauto’s system.

Could this be the change that will bring affordable smart cars on the market? What do you think?

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Philipp Kandal