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The connected car market is expected to be huge in the coming years, but while we wait for that future, several companies are looking for ways to bring smarts into existing vehicles. One of them is Dride, a San Francisco-based startup that’s kickstarting a Raspberri Pi-based Alexa-enabled dashcam.
The namesake device is a dash cam first and foremost, but it aims to be a lot more — in their words: community, a cloud, a hands-free driving device and a dashcam all in one.
The Dride integrates a real time safety alert system that uses its camera and processing power to warn drivers in case of lane deviation or risk of frontal collision. It also comes with a cloud DVR component that will allow drivers to upload footage with the press of a button, storing GPS coordinates and license plate numbers. The idea is to dissuade other drivers from pulling reckless maneuvers knowing that their actions could be documented and reported — assuming Dride ends up selling a lot of units.
The device can pair with a smartphone over Wi-Fi or Bluetooth for connectivity while it also has a built in GPS that works with Google Maps for turn by turn navigation. The Dride is powered by Alexa for things like message dictation, looking things up online and uploading footage on voice command. And since the device is powered by a Raspberry Pi and designed to be open source, third party developers would be able to create their own apps to expand on the Dride’s functionality.
The team behind Dride is still in the early prototype stage with an aim to start shipping ‘beta units’ by July and starting final production in August 2017. That will largely depend on whether they can raise the funds, however, and as of now they are still $75,000 short of their $100,000 goal with 20 more days to go.