Consumer electronics startup FenSens goes deeper into the development of the potentially lucrative aftermarket for IoT car accessories as it announced this week a US$2-million non-binding investment LOI a major early-stage startup investors based in Hong Kong and Shenzhen.
Known for releasing the world’s first smart license plate frame (with parking sensors), the Seattle-based company more recently is shipping smart wireless backup cameras that come with AI object detection.
“We believe that there is a huge bridge between autonomous vehicle adoption and the investments being made into it when there are a lot of ways to monetise and build the autonomous platforms and tools to be used by the majority of drivers today,” said Andy Karuza, CEO of FenSens.
He pointed out autonomous vehicles need the right data - with the right context and exponential volume to clear the massive safety hurdles that exist with the today’s technology – that real-world drivers can provide.
“It’s crazy to me that everyone is investing billions into pie in the sky ideas that may or may not pan out 10 years from now, but practically nobody is getting the helpful data that can be gleaned from the vast majority of drivers today,” Karuza said. “We are the only company today that can provide the real-world data from real drivers to any autonomous technology.”
FenSens’ next AI powered dash camera called the SocialCam allows drivers to safely capture fun, crazy, or helpful video clips while driving with a focus on making it easy to capture and share on social media. Its patented TAP QuickLaunch button allows users to mark a specific point of time in their dash cam footage for content they deem worthy of sharing.
The collected video data can help drivers detect bad driving habits, spot objects in their blind spots, and build helpful mapping and human behaviour data in real-time for semi-autonomous future.
In the coming years, FenSens also plans to launch 360-view camera products that enable enhanced and intelligent mobility to existing cars.
Getting pro-active customer involvement
FenSens said it will focus on the customer experience first, because capturing on-the-road data doesn’t happen unless it can produce a quality product that customers want today.
With consumers’ distrust of companies collecting data, FenSens plans on including its customer base in the revenue share model. Together, FenSens believes that drivers today can help build a substantial database of driver habits, mapping, and AI visual analysis, that will better assist machine learning technology in autonomous vehicles today and in the future.
“Why leave the machines to do a human’s job when humans have been driving for over 100 years and only a human’s actual behaviour can predict the best and worst driving that autonomous vehicles need to learn from,” said Karuza.
He added that while wutonomous technology is the future, but it can only be reliable when it’s effectively paired with human knowledge and habits.
“Consumers aren’t buying autonomous rides today, but they are buying dash cameras, backup cameras, and other accessories that enhance their driving experience,” Karuza said.
Meanwhile, FenSens is seeking more partnerships in retail, technology, and investment to help grow its AI based product line in the next two years for intelligent mobility.