Tuesday, December 7th | 3 Tevet 5782

May 29, 2015 12:22 pm

New Israeli App Lets Users Shame Bad Drivers on the Road

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

A new Israeli app allows users to report dangerous drivers. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

A new Israeli app allows users to record and report bad drivers in an effort to promote road safety, tech website Geektime reported on Thursday.

Nexar, a new tech startup from Tel Aviv, launched its network of connected drivers in Los Angeles on Wednesday. The app provides users the ability to flag reckless drivers and help other drivers improve their driving skills by providing them with instant feedback. Nexar users will also know which nearby drivers are dangerous, or satisfactory, behind the wheel through real-time alerts from the Nexar network.

The app continuously films the road the moment a user starts driving, according to Geektime. It then records location and speed information from a user’s smartphone. If a user comes in contact with a reckless driver he can press a button and report the offender, which prompts the app to automatically attach a video clip of the incident to the report. The same driver will be flagged if he gets multiple reports.

Reckless driving is also detected at the end of a trip when the entire video is uploaded to the cloud. Nexar uses computer vision algorithms to analyze the video, identify dangerous driving habits, and pull license plate numbers of the cars involved, Geektime said. The report noted that any video clip flagged as problematic will be reviewed by computer vision algorithms and humans who make the final call.

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Over 1.5 million traffic deaths happen every year, according to Nexar’s website. Over 30,000 people die in car accidents in the U.S. alone every year, and over 1.3 million globally. Nexar CEO and founder Eran Shir said the company’s founders were taken aback by the figures.

“The more we learned, the greater our shock at the number of needless deaths that could be prevented,” he said. “We believe in the power of the community to call out and fix bad driving behavior that we all come across from time to time.”

Everything Nexar films is in the public domain and insurance companies will reward drivers deemed conscientious by Nexar, according to Shir. He said Nexar will not pass on information about reckless drivers to third parties, such as law enforcement agencies, and will only use it to warn other drivers. He also noted that the app consumes less battery power on smartphones than navigation apps that make use of GPS, like Waze.

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