More than 1 million people are killed in car accidents every year. The average age of vehicles on the road in America is 12 years, an all time high, meaning that many cars are outdated and lack the safety technology found on newer vehicles.

AutomobileAI is a low-cost device that can be attached to the front and rear of older cars to turn them into smarter, safer vehicles. Each device includes a variety of components, including an ultrasonic sensor, camera, temperature sensor, infrared sensor, accelerometer, and on-device display, all connected to a single-board computer and protected by a custom 3D printed case. Convolutional Neural Networks, Fully Convolutional Networks, Recurrent Neural Networks, Generative Adversarial Networks, and various other machine learning algorithms are used to analyze the data from these components. This allows the device to detect the distance from obstacles, monitor blind spots, detect lane departure, track the position of surrounding cars and pedestrians, detect cross traffic, predict car crashes before they happen, and more. All the data is synced to a smartphone app, along with a live camera stream to help with reversing and parking.

The device is targeted at owners of older vehicles who don’t want to upgrade their cars, but still want the safety features that come with improved technology at a fraction of the cost. Teenagers, young adults, and seniors are our main focus, as they’re the most likely to take advantage of the safety features, and may also be on a tighter budget than other demographics.

 

What inspired you (or your team)? 

Two years ago, my uncle was involved in a serious car accident when another vehicle attempted to pass him illegally on a one-lane road. The vehicle was in his blind spot, and the cars collided when a truck passed in the opposite direction. This crash left him in the hospital for several days and totaled his car, but could have easily been avoided if his vehicle had blind spot monitoring technology.

The reason was that my uncle was driving a 11-year old vehicle without most of the technology found on newer cars. As it was still functioning perfectly, he didn’t want to spend tens of thousands of dollars to purchase an entirely new vehicle just for a few safety features that he’d rarely need. Therefore, it would make sense for my uncle and millions of other people driving older vehicles to purchase a third-party device that has many of the same features. But when I searched online, I found that there aren’t any available products that provide anything close to the functionality that people like my uncle are looking for. While simple devices like backup cameras or blind spot monitoring kits exist, these often cost more than $500 and generally only have a single feature. This motivated me to build AutomobileAI, which is both low-cost and far more functional than any device available today. Because it costs less than $160 each and includes safety features that aren’t even available on most cars, my revolutionary device far surpasses all third-party vehicle safety offerings.

Even for the owners of new vehicles, AutomobileAI’s device makes a lot of sense. The advanced technology packages offered by car manufacturers usually cost between $3000 and $10000, making my device up to 98% less expensive while providing similar or even better features than first-party options.