Back at CES in early 2022, Nextbase officially announced the iQ. This is a new range of dash cams that offers more than just recording your journeys.
With an in-house digital assistant and nifty tech that can predict what other vehicles are up to, it should be worth the steep price Nextbase is likely to charge for the iQ when it goes on sale in early 2023.
Development of the IQ has taken longer than expected: the company originally announced that it would go on sale before the end of this year, but that has now been pushed back to the second quarter of next year – from March to June.
One of the main features of the iQ is internet connectivity. It’s not the only dash cam to have a built-in SIM card – Thinkware’s T700 LTE already has one – but it will have more features and offer higher resolutions. The flagship model will record in 4K, with an interior and rear camera recording in 2K.
At the IFA show in Berlin, Nextbase revealed that it would use Vodafone’s IoT platform to deliver the connected aspect. It’s not just a Vodafone 4G SIM card. Unlike consumer SIM cards, this one has the ability to switch to other mobile operator networks so you can stay connected wherever you drive.
Unlike previous Nextbase dash cams, you’re not dependent on a paired smartphone, meaning connected features such as speed camera detection, smart parking and emergency SOS will be more available than if you use your phone.
The first detects the presence, direction and distance of other road users from your vehicle. This works in conjunction with Roadwatch AI which monitors the speeds and trajectories of other vehicles to anticipate and record incidents whether you are driving or parked.
Smart Sense Parking is very similar to existing parking modes, but uses the same capabilities to predict when another car is about to hit yours. And the Vodafone IoT SIM means you’ll be able to use the app to see what’s going on wherever you are – much like Tesla’s Sentry mode.
Being able to add all this technology to any car, regardless of age, is a real boon for drivers. There will be a range of subscription options to cover the cost of the SIM card, but no details are available yet. All we know is that pricing will be announced “early 2023”.
Nextbase also points out that the IoT platform does not share the architecture of the public mobile phone network: it is “industrial-grade” infrastructure and security.
The company also promised that the iQ would be a “living” product that would gain additional driver safety features over time. He worked with Ambarella, a well-known supplier of dash cam chipsets, to produce a custom “AI-enabled” chip that is powerful enough to handle future additions, as well as recording from three cameras to these high resolutions.
Two of them, which will be added after launch, are Driver Aware and Vehicle Aware. The first, also known as DMS, will monitor the driver using infrared sensors and provide modifications to combat distracted and/or drowsy driving.
Vehicle Aware, also known as ADAS – advanced driver assistance system – monitors the road and cars ahead, warning drivers of danger from vehicles and pedestrians.
Richard Browning, CMSO for Nextbase says: “We simply wouldn’t be able to deliver the industry-leading consumer experience and unlock the product’s potential without the security and consistency provided by the Vodafone IoT Platform.”
“The intent of the Nextbase iQ is to bring the safety and security seen in new premium vehicles to all drivers. The barriers to this new automotive technology are too high, so we are focused on bringing this innovation to the vast majority of people who don’t own or can’t afford a new premium vehicle.With the Nextbase iQ, we have created a durable and highly connected hardware solution that can offer all drivers a level of innovation that was not possible before.The power level of the hardware will allow us to continue to enhance the product offering in the future with new AI-based services and functions, such as sophisticated ADAS powered by AI, DMS, V2V communication and community incident awareness.
The iQ is already on Nextbase’s website, where you’ll find the latest feature updates.
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