Automotive
CarVi driving assistant lets you keep more eyes on the road

editors-choiceMany folks have been tempted by the high-tech safety features in newer cars, but wish there was a way to get them into their existing vehicles economically.

That is the goal of the makers of CarVi, a small, circular black driving assistance device that attaches easily via a bracket onto the windshield of just about any car. The device adds an extra set of eyes, monitoring a driver’s position in a lane and the location of the car in front of it. CarVi warns drivers if they are too close to the car in front, and if it senses any potential trouble will issue audible and visual warnings.

The device comes equipped with a camera capturing 720p HD video that CarVi analyzes in real time. Owners can set it to record 40-second to one-minute video onto a memory card whenever certain events occur, such as tailgating incidents. The user can then transfer that video to an Android or iOS smartphone for viewing later. Alternatively, CarVi can function as a full-time recorder if the driver desires. CarVi can also provide suggestions via the accompanying app on how to improve driver skills after the car is turned off. CarVi will cost $299 when it ships in August. Its makers are hoping to raise $100,000 by March 20.

The device holds some promise, especially for elderly drivers and the parents of new drivers. But similar products, such as Truvolo and Zubie, have already offered the same kind of functionality with varying degrees of success. While the warnings could indeed help drivers avoid accidents, it remains to be seen if many drivers will actually be willing to hear tips about how to improve their driving once they turn the engine off.