Israeli tech alerts drivers to crashes, road hazards

Tel Aviv-based Nexar says it has created a first vehicle-to-vehicle, or V2V, network to make driving safer

Nexar's network detects road event (Courtesy)
Nexar's network detects road event (Courtesy)

Israeli startup Nexar has decided not to wait for autonomous cars to make car travel safer. The Tel Aviv-based company says it has created the world’s first vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) network that aims detect dangers on the road and prevent collisions.

Nexar uses a V2V network that features real-time warning technology, including forward-collision warnings, that can be controlled by smartphone and a dashcam app powered by artificial intelligence.

Considering that in the United States in 2015, 94 percent of the over 35,000 vehicular fatalities that occurred were the direct result of human error, technology that could help drivers avoid mistakes fits right in to the growing quest of automakers to make their vehicles safer.

Driverless car technology and auto technologies that would remove human error from the driving experience have seen an explosion of interest this year by corporations and investors. There have been a dozen venture capital-backed exits in the auto tech sector since 2012, with five in 2016 alone, a report by CB Insights, a New York-based data company, shows.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said in a 2014 report that V2V communications could represent “an additional step in helping to warn drivers about impending danger,” and that such systems could prevent crashes and save lives.

“Given the technology that exists today, the fact that there are still tens of thousands of fatal vehicle collisions in the US each year is unacceptable,” said Eran Shir, CEO of Nexar. “We can’t afford to wait for the advent of autonomous cars to remove human error from the equation. With Nexar, users can avoid unfortunate accidents by getting more pertinent information about the road in real-time, saving lives and making the roads a safer place for everyone.”

The Nexar network crowdsources data from its 50,000-plus users in San Francisco, New York and Tel Aviv to establish a detailed understanding of the road conditions at any given time. Smartphone sensors analyze the direction, speed, and acceleration of surrounding vehicles and road conditions, portraying a road map that shares the information with other cars in its V2V network.

Nexar Technology detects road event (Courtesy)
Nexar Technology detects road event (Courtesy)

So, if there is a multi-car pileup or stalled vehicle on the road, Nexar will alert users of the danger and help them to avoid it.

“Nexar is creating the first vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) network, detecting imminent dangers and providing drivers with critical time to help avoid catastrophes and save lives,” said Shir. “This is the fundamental reason that our safe driving network is available to anyone who elects to drive with the Nexar app. The more drivers that secure themselves by joining in, the fewer tragedies will plague our roads.”

Since its launch in February 2016, Nexar has became popular especially among professional ridesharing drivers with more than 20 million miles driven and more than half a million instances of dangerous driving events recorded worldwide, Shir said.

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