The first standalone, automatic blind spot detector for the aftermarket is due later this year from Steelmate USA.
The company, which specializes in backup cameras, plans to offer a blind spot detector for less than $399 in August or September. It will alert drivers to a car in the next lane if they try to change lanes.
While retailers have expressed interest in blind spot detectors, and while they are growing in popularity in new cars, the aftermarket has yet to provide a standalone product in the category,
Steelmate’s unit would link to the car’s OBD II port. The car’s “brain” knows when the steering wheel is turned, so the system would activate left and right cameras placed around the car if the driver turns his wheel more than 5 degrees in either direction.
The system includes a black box, an ODB II interface and it accepts 4 cameras. It requires professional installation, said Steelmate’s John Lombard.
A survey last year from ABI Research found that the amount of money drivers will spend on blind-spot detection systems will surge by more than a factor of 20 from 2011 through 2016, as car companies such as Ford, include them on budget-friendly cars. Blind spot detector sales revenues should increase from about $570 million in 2011 to $12 billion in 2016.
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