CarVi wants to help make your old car smarter


One San Jose startup has just unveiled a sophisticated virtual driving system, with advanced safety features.


While several of today’s car are equipped with sensors, cameras and other next-gen technologies, what about that old 10-year-old Chevy Cavalier or Ford Taurus of yours? Though many modern-day vehicles may be embedded with advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) that can aid in everything from parking and navigating to steering and preventing accidents, a majority of drivers are not fortunate enough to have such enhanced mobiles. That was until CarVi came along.

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The San Jose startup has developed a mountable ADAS for older vehicles that simply connects to your smartphone via Wi-Fi. The module — which is affixed inside a windshield below the rearview mirror — uses vision-based safety features to gather real-time data from your mobile device and a single lens camera. This allows the system to communicate with its corresponding app so that CarVi can detect a wide-range of possible situations, giving visual and audio alerts in the event one shall arise.

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While CarVi may not be synced to your car’s computer, it can certainly can provide an extra set of eyes while at the wheel. It knows if you happen to drift outside of a lane and senses brake lights ahead. More impressively, the ARM-based device is capable of learning your driving patterns and can give your car just enough gas to efficiently ease into the flow of traffic. At the end of the day, the mobile app will let you see just how safely you’ve been driving, or not, so you can hone your skills in the future.

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The team has geared the technological co-pilot towards elderly and teenage drivers, as well as those just looking for a little extra peace of mind while on the road. What’s nice about CarVi is that it offers a cheaper, more flexible option for those looking for a more connected ride. It’s compatible with more than 95% of cars and has been successfully tested in Ford, Nissan, Toyota, BMW and other major brands.

Looking to give your old whip some new smarts? Head over to the project’s official Indiegogo page, where the team is currently seeking $100,000. Pending all goes to plan, delivery is expected to begin in August 2015. Those interested in CarVi may also want to check out this latest interview on the future of vehicles in the IoT.

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