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CarVi Serves as a Driving Assistant for Older Cars

February 6, 2015

New cars are considered safe because they come equipped with a number of safety technologies, such as driver assistance systems. Gone are the days when sensors and cameras were only available in luxury models; at present, even mass-market offerings have these as standard equipment. Older vehicles are without these, so safety may be a concern for people who own them—but not for long. These days, there are products being developed to upgrade older models, and one of these is CarVi.

CarVi is a device that helps make older vehicles safer by providing the motorist some sort of driver assistance system. Of course, it is not a substitute to the advanced technologies found in new models sold in the market today, but it is a driving assistant in the sense that it gives the person behind the wheel an extra set of eyes that will allow him or her to avoid danger.

Created by a company of the same name, CarVi is a black round gadget designed to monitor driver behavior and assess crash risk. The module, which is supposed to be mounted inside the windshield underneath the rearview mirror, comes with a camera that watches the road ahead. It is complemented by an app, also called CarVi, which analyzes the images from the camera and warns the driver depending on what the images reveal. The device communicates with the driver’s smartphone via WiFi.

This is how the system works: the camera takes pictures of the road and compares the images with the data derived from its own accelerometer. This means that the device can determine if the vehicle is veering off its lane or if it is likely to hit the vehicle in front of it. The CarVi app will notify the driver of imminent danger through audio and visual warnings.

CarVi sold the early versions of the module to automotive companies in Korea, and now the company wants to release the technology to an even bigger market. CarVi started an Indiegogo campaign on Thursday with the goal of raising $100,000. The campaign has been a success so far—as of this writing, the company has already raised $34,245.

CarVi will sell the device for $299, but Indiegogo backers will be able to get it for less ($249 for super early donors and $274 for early donors). The module is sold together with the app. Shipment is expected to begin in August.

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