Dash cam

Nexar is building a ‘digital twin’ of cities using data from outsourced dash cams – TechCrunch

Nexar, a company known for its line of smart dash cams, raised $53 million in a Series D funding round led by Qumra Capital. The funds will be used, in part, to scale its “digital twin” service built from outsourced dash cam footage for automotive OEMs and cities.

The round also saw participation from State Farm Ventures, Catalyst, Banca Generali, Valor and previous investors Atreides Management, Corner Ventures, Regah Ventures and Aleph.

“We had this vision when we launched Nexar to be the Google of the physical world,” said co-founder and CEO Eran Shir. “We believe that over time this will become more and more of a necessity, as more and more machines and algorithms need data about the world.”

Nexar’s first foray into furthering this project was with “Live Map” which it launched in 2019. The service provides real-time street imagery and uses computer vision to mark construction, traffic signs and other features for users. Since then, Nexar has introduced more layers and features to the service. The company, which was founded in 2015, now captures 150 million kilometers of footage every month.

Recent funds will be used to increase the availability of the data platform to more locations and improve the “digital twin” product so that information is updated within seconds after a dash cam detects a new feature, such as a pothole. The Southern Nevada Regional Transportation Commission is already using Nexar’s CityStream platform to reduce traffic from work areas, for example.

The features could also help cities after natural disasters identify accessible roads or roads that have been cleared of snow in the winter, Shir said.

But there could also be a use case for auto companies, Shir suggested. “If you’re an OEM and want to enable features like autopilot or Supercruise, you want to know that on a certain stretch of road, it’s clear, there’s no interruptions, no construction And you want to know on the other hand, if there’s a build, when it’s finished so you can re-enable those features.

Nexar’s data could also be used to train AI models used in autonomous vehicle systems, identifying edge cases, collisions and unusual road features.

“When you look at where cars are going in the next three, four, five years, they’re pushing all the limits of what’s possible from a range perspective, and those use cases will require a new kind of mapping.” , said Shir. noted. “The level of Google Maps […] cartography is not enough to know where we are heading.