Intended to increase safety and ease the stresses of everyday driving, road-reading cameras come standard on nearly every brand-new vehicle sold today. But what about the safety of all the people driving old cars? There’s a startup for that. Tech company CarVi created a device that provides safety aids similar to those found on manufacturer vehicles, and it’s not stopping there. Adding to its versatile suite, a new update aims to tackle a seemingly impossible-to-solve issue that has plagued cars for decades: potholes.
Spotlighted by Wired, a CarVi device is a circular camera puck that attaches to the inside of a windshield, much like an iPass or a makeshift Subaru EyeSight. The physical gadget costs $299, while the data service costs about $19-35. Wired says the Carvi is currently in about 60,000 vehicles, though many of them are in fleets.
The puck is part safety device, part data hound. The CarVi beeps when drivers drift out of a lane or are in danger of crashing into the vehicle ahead of it, but it also logs traffic and driving habits. Now, an over-the-air update will add a new feature that gives the camera the power to identify potholes.
Unfortunately, that data would not directly help the drivers with the devices. Unlike Waze’s feature that warns people bout an upcoming road impurity, the CarVi would simply log where they are located. This information could then be passed on to the government to help expedite the process of fixing the roads. It’s a long process, but any help is good. Wired also notes that CarVi has not fleshed out this plan with any government agencies.
Eventually, this could be a technology that is used by big manufacturers, which would up the eyes watching the road and collecting data. But for now, it’s simply a small idea with big dreams.