Can't Afford a Tesla? Try This Driver Assistance System

Can't Afford a Tesla? Try This Diver Assistance System

A Tesla or other self-driving car may be out of reach for most drivers, but there's a novel add-on alternative from a familiar name and it costs less than $100. General Magic, which was a player in the Apple Newton days, has reinvented itself and is Kickstarting a project called Safety Lens. The hardware and app offering makes heavy use of the iPhone's camera to detect road signs, cars, lanes, and more. Combined with the windshield mount and your iPhone (in landscape mode), you can be alerted to important updates using visual indicators, sound effects, and text to speech.

Safety Lens

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I don't often recommend crowdfunded projects because of the potential downsides, but this seems promising and could make roads safer. Safety Lens is not to be confused with truly autonomous cars; there is no hardware other than the windshield mount, so you don't get infrared cameras, night vision, or any way to automatically brake for example. Those features are becoming more popular on average cars, not just high-end self-driving cars, but in conjunction with Safety Lens, you can increase the safety of your existing car for less than your car insurance deductible.

Safety Lens

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Todd Bernhard's picture

Todd Bernhard is a bestselling (6+ million downloads) award-winning (AARP, About.com, BestAppEver.com, Digital Hollywood, and Verizon) developer and founder of NoTie.NET, an app developer specializing in Talking Ringtone apps including AutoRingtone. And his profile photo is of the last known sighting of Mr. Bernhard wearing a tie, circa 2007!

An iPhone is almost always attached to his hip or in his pocket, but over the years, Mr. Bernhard has owned an Apple Newton, a Motorola Marco, an HP 95LX, a Compaq iPaq, a Palm Treo, and a Nokia e62. In addition to writing for iPhone Life, Mr. Bernhard has written for its sister publications, PocketPC Magazine and The HP Palmtop Paper.