courtesy of Nexar
Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017 | 2 a.m.
Three months after the first statewide vehicle-to-vehicle network to help prevent collisions and enable autonomous mobility was launched, preliminary data is rolling in.
The Nevada Center for Advanced Mobility (NCAM) and Nexar launched the initiative in May. The program is run through Nexar’s free mobile app, AI Dashcam, which features a dashboard camera that provides real-time data while a vehicle is on the road. Drivers get real-time alerts to prevent vehicle, cyclist and pedestrian collisions.
Almost 300 taxicabs and private fleet vehicles in the Las Vegas area use the program, which Nexar officials say is well established in New York City and San Francisco.
“One of the products is reporting traffic scenes in pretty much real time across the city,” said Bruno Fernandez-Ruiz, co-founder and chief technology officer of Nexar. “Also, (it maps) potholes as they appear in the city. So, we can actually track not just where they are, but how those 1,902 potholes are growing.”
Nexar, which doesn’t send data to any municipality, is open to sharing the information in the future. With such a small sample size, Fernandez-Ruiz said the company wants to ensure the information it’s collecting is reliable and reflects all areas of the valley.
Individual users can also use the app in their everyday driving. In addition to the real-time alerts, the app can record a motorist’s entire trip. If an incident occurs, the motorist can have a video record to use for insurance purposes.
The project’s goal is to generate data covering 250 million miles per year, according to Fernandez-Ruiz. He estimates that would require 4,000-5,000 taxi and fleet vehicles using the app.
Having a larger number of vehicles would strengthen the vehicle-to-vehicle aspect of the program. More cars using the technology would mean better real-time driving information communicated among them.
“If one car has an issue, we don’t want that. But if 100 cars in a day take a corner at too high of speed, we can look (to see if) there’s something wrong with the corner or if we need to adjust the speed limit,” said Dan Langford, innovation director for NCAM. “There’s a whole lot of things we can learn the more it’s deployed by the people in the state.”
Nexar and NCAM’s goal is to have more than 10,000 vehicles using the app throughout the state by 2020.
“From the pedestrian level, to helping avoid auto-pedestrian crashes, which is a big problem in Las Vegas, all the way too being able to help a fleet for routing purposes to get an optimal plan looking at traffic light cycles,” Fernandez-Ruiz said. “There’s a lot of things we have right now in the backlog … and we’re looking forward to them as we deploy further.”