Nauto launches new video and AI-based distracted driving detection system

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California-based telematics technology company Nauto has launched the automotive industry’s first aftermarket platform that uses video and artificial intelligence (AI) to detect distracted driving.

According to the National Safety Council’s February 2017 report, traffic fatalities in the USA are rising at the fastest rate in 50 years, with 68% of all crashes annually caused by distraction, and 3,500 of them ending in fatalities. Nauto’s upgraded second-generation windscreen camera-based system can now detect and notate distracted driving and is rolling out to commercial fleet customers in North America.

The distraction feature in Nauto II is the industry’s first aftermarket platform that uses both video and AI to detect whenever a driver’s eyes divert from the road, or they are engaged in other distracted behavior. Once detected, it then automatically uploads it and scores the event’s severity via a secure app.

Nauto is an automotive data platform, powered by AI and an aftermarket dual-camera device, which can equip any vehicle or fleet with sophisticated safety and networking features. The Nauto II system also includes a new windshield-mounted hardware design, updated deep learning and computer vision algorithms, and smart cloud network informed by the accumulation of more than a million miles on urban streets and highways.

Nauto’s scoring system, VERA (Vision Enhanced Risk Assessment), includes a risk rating for the frequency and severity of distraction events. As an example, a distraction event while stopped at a red light would not generate the same high risk score as a distraction event that occurred at a speed of 65mph (105km/h) on a freeway. The system learns from other drivers and detects the road and conditions around vehicles, sharing it with others in the Nauto network.

“Distracted driving is the top reason why our roads are getting more dangerous and more crowded. Our own data shows a distraction event occurs, on average, every four miles. Our commercial fleets and professional driver customers have been demanding tools to detect distracted behavior and provide corrective feedback,” said Nauto’s founder and CEO, Stefan Heck.

“Our new system not only detects instances of distraction, it automatically scores the severity, and uploads video of the event. We provide powerful visual context inside and outside the vehicle, and give drivers and fleet managers meaningful insights. The more accurately Nauto can observe human driving behavior, the smarter we can make the professional drivers who depend on us, and the safer we can make our streets and highways.”

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International magazine and the Traffic Technology Today website since he joined the company in May 2014. Prior to this he worked on some of the UK's leading consumer magazine titles including Men's Health and Glamour, beginning his career in journalism in 1997 after graduating with a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).

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