Published: 17 November 2016
Nexar has arrived on Android. The feature-rich app goes beyond the myriad alternative dashcam recording apps out there and is striving to create a network of crowdsourced data garnered from millions of smartphones glued to windshields around the world. The app uses machine learning and computer vision technology to “interpret” the direction, speed, and acceleration of every car it sees on the roads, as it looks to understand and predict potential mishaps.
Making Nexar available on Android should go some way toward helping it collect significantly more data.Not only does Nexar record road conditions such as accident blackspots, it can also track specific dangerous drivers by “remembering” their license plate and ranking them — you may receive warnings on your phone if the driver that has just pulled out in front of you has a track record of braking too hard. The app records everything and saves it to Nexar’s servers, while automatically deleting the video from your phone if it’s consuming too much of the available storage space.
There are two notable differences with the Android version of the app. First, it has dual-camera mode, meaning that drivers can record inside and outside the vehicle simultaneously — using the front- and rear-facing cameras — on iOS it’s only possible to record through one at a time. This should help encourage uptake with professional drivers, such as those who work with Uber or Lyft, as they can track what’s happening on the roads while also recording passengers to help settle disputes at a later point.
The second notable difference is that on Android, Nexar can be used in the background, meaning users can switch to whatever other apps they like, and Nexar will still record. This will be important to those who prefer to use other navigation apps, such as Google Maps, in the foreground.
Part of this includes being able to recreate accidents in 3D, using a combination of a phone’s in-built sensors and the footage it captures.
Nexar says that drivers have notched up more than eight million miles in its app since its launch on iOS six months ago, with more than half-a-million “dangerous driving” incidents clocked and more than one hundred crashes documented.