This Dash Cam Has Blind Spot Tech and Waze-Crushing Traffic

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NAUTO is an intelligent dashboard camera/traffic/crash warning device that may give a glimpse of what add-on safety devices may look like as early as next year.

NAUTO, the company, launched this spring as a well-funded startup with execs formerly from GoPro and Apple.

It announced it has conducted tests in 23 cities including New York and Boston and is now testing an advanced driver safety/traffic device in San Francisco for fleets.

A consumer version is planned for fall 2016.

The device provides collision warning, blind spot and lane departure warning and it also helps drivers avoid traffic, and find a parking spot. It additionally provides pedestrian warning and feedback about one’s driving and coaching to improve performance.

Unlike Mobileye, NAUTO is connected to a secure cloud, where data from users are  analyzed and distributed. Additionally, unlike Waze, it requires no fiddling with a smartphone as it uses its own cellular/WiFi connection. A spokesperson claims the device is more intelligent than Waze and other products on the market.

The device plugs into a cigarette lighter or OBD2 port (for power only, not car data) but retail installers may be able to provide more advanced installations, said the spokesperson. For example, some consumers may not want wires dangling and some fleets’ OBD2 ports may already be in use.

The fleet version is expected to sell for about $400 plus a service fee, but no price has been determined for the consumer version.

Specifically, the device includes a dash cam with “computer vision” technology (software for identifying and analyzing images) plus multiple cameras so you are viewing both inside and outside the car. The in-car camera might be useful to parents of teen drivers.

Then there’s a display module for the dash, a network connection and an app. The app is not intended for use in the car, but for extra notifications (such as a notice that if you leave 15 minutes earlier, based on your recent commutes, you would save one hour of sitting in traffic). The device also uses GPS and sonar, plus proprietary algorithms.

The company claims NAUTO will allow any clunker to enjoy the high tech driver safety and convenience features of a new luxury car. “NAUTO gives any driver access to smart network technology in any car. The data we produce will help everyone fix things like [traffic]  congestion and improve safety,” said CEO Stefan Heck.

NAUTO has raised $2.6 million in a seed funding.

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