Nexar: Delivering Revolutionary Deep Learning Solutions to Improve Safety

September 10, 2018

Eran ShirNexar aims to make roads safer for drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists by creating a mobility network and providing real-time alerts to prevent collisions. The company leverages dashcams and smartphones to understand everything that is going on in real-time on the road and helps to protect drivers. Applying deep learning and artificial intelligence technologies over millions of crowd-sourced road miles, Nexar provides a series of data products and services for the Automotive, Insurance and Mapping industries.

The company’s technology impacts consumers, automakers, municipalities, fleets, and insurers in unique ways. Consumers benefit from safer driving and increased road safety through the Nexar app or dashcam and from the V2V network. Automakers can collect vast data to make smarter road insights from Nexar’s deep learning algorithms. By scanning and processing traffic patterns and urban dynamics in real-time, Nexar turns every vehicle into a city surveyor, offering municipalities’ a new perspective for urban planning. Finally, insurance companies save vast time, money, and resources with Nexar’s automatic collision reconstruction reports as it instantly generates a comprehensive report including visual footage when an accident occurs, removing any bias or delay in claims processing.

More than 1.2 million people die on the road every year. This is a huge problem that Nexar believes can solve with today’s available technology, even before the arrival of autonomous vehicles. Nexar was created with the goal of eliminating car crashes and making the roads safer- not in a few years, but now. The company accomplishes this by utilizing smartphone sensors, dashcams, and the free app to provide drivers with advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) to fuel its AI-powered safe driving network which gives advance warnings about upcoming hazards on the road.


Experienced and Visionary Leadership

Nexar was Co-founded by Eran Shir, CEO and Bruno, Fernandez-Ruiz, CTO. Eran is a serial entrepreneur and investor. Prior to Nexar, Eran was the Entrepreneur in Residence at Aleph, a VC out of Tel Aviv where he was focusing on fields like the Internet of Things, big-data, cryptocurrencies, marketplaces and networks disrupting important markets like transportation, healthcare, education, manufacturing, and finance. Before Aleph, Eran ran the global Creative Innovation Center for Yahoo!, where he was responsible for Yahoo!’s ad creative technologies strategy and portfolio, and the development of its next-generation native advertising platform. Eran joined Yahoo! in Oct. 2010 when Yahoo! acquired Dapper, dynamic ads and semantic web, the startup he co-founded in 2007. Previously, Eran who also has a Masters in physics, founded the DIMES Internet research project, and Cogniview, a machine learning start-up.

Bruno was a Yahoo Senior Fellow where he oversaw the development and delivery of Yahoo’s personalization, ad targeting, and native advertising teams. He has also founded OneSoup (acquired by Synchronica), served as Enterprise Architect at Fidelity Investments International, and was Manager at Accenture’s Center for Strategic Research. Bruno holds an MSc degree in Operations Research and Transportation Science from MIT, a MEng in Computational Structural Engineering from the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (Spain), and has studied applied mathematics and computer science at the École Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées in Paris (France).


Harnessing Deep Learning for a Guarded Drive

Together with Berkeley Deep Drive, Nexar recently released the world’s largest dataset of annotated visual driving scenes to help researchers and companies train self-driving cars. The BDD100K dataset is the largest and most diverse open driving dataset for computer vision research, consisting of 100,000 videos.

“With a large and geographically diverse body of drivers, Nexar has over 150 million recorded miles driven from cities all over the world, from New York to New Delhi. Its database has recorded and analysed driving situations from a wide range of real-world, often bizarre, edge-case driving scenarios, inconceivable weather and lighting situations, which will play a key role in the development of autonomous driving systems, as to create fully safe systems, needed to be ‘driven’ in all different types of scenarios.” Says Eran.

The unique ways in which Nexar collects and analyses data benefits its clients and users in a number of ways. For drivers and insurers, Nexar has been able to reinvent the way they detect and process collision claims. Traditional methods of detection rely on embedded sensors but lack cameras to capture the accident’s context, so the data is incomplete and often bias. Nexar realized the sensors on most smartphones are sensitive enough to capture high-quality data, and by combining this data with video context captured by the phone camera, comprehensive collision reports are created in minutes.


Driving Growth Through Product Innovation and Networking

Nexar’s goal is to democratize safety and make it available to everyone, so while other companies require the purchase of separate hardware or systems, Nexar offers advanced safety features for free on its mobile app that can be downloaded by any driver and optionally paired with their dashcam.

Other differentiators include that the company has the first and largest vehicle-to-vehicle network dedicated to reducing road collisions, its technology is hardware agnostic, so drivers in any type or model of vehicle with either Android or iOS devices can benefit from its features without an extensive and expensive integration process through Nexar’s biggest dataset of miles driven and analyzed (over 150 million miles).


Significant Milestones and Awards

Nexar is proud to have reached significant and noteworthy milestones so far. A few of the notable ones include:

•  The company currently has drivers in 160 countries and has logged more than 150 million miles driven by users. In NYC alone, 10% of rideshare drivers use Nexar, and collision rates among Nexar drivers in NYC have decreased by 30%.

•  The company started 2018 with the announcement of a $30 million Series B funding round, which was instrumental in growing its network globally.

•  Nexar announced Lights API, the first in a series of data products coming as part of its new data platform, which will create a new type of map. The platform will roll out features including traffic light monitoring, congestion, road hazards, infrastructure malfunctions, stopped cars, pedestrians, street signs, cyclists, emergency vehicles and more, enabling the next step in safety and vehicle coordination.

•  Nexar’s insurance solution was recently chosen by Efma and Accenture as the winner in the annual Innovation in Insurance Awards for its ability to reconstruct accidents via mobile phone.


Turning Challenges into a Roadmap of Opportunities

A growing number of drivers, insurance companies, and OEMs are starting to depend on Nexar, and as a result, there is a need to keep growing the Nexar platform to meet their needs, while at the same time, continuing to keep the drivers happy and increasing the safety capabilities. An additional challenge often perceived as the biggest opportunity is to improve its capabilities for predicting collisions based on the company’s V2V network and then close the loop by preventing them ahead of time. The company had a great success and strives to be better as that is the only path to its ultimate goal to eliminate fatalities on the road.


Fostering Relationships for Future

The main focus for Nexar is to expand its driver network among professional and everyday drivers and create new relationships with dashcam providers, insurance carriers and other entities that are looking to raise awareness around road safety. The company offers a unique set of AI-powered tools to aid in the claims process created specifically for the insurance industry, such as comprehensive collision reconstruction reports. Nexar is already working with several providers not only to streamline their processes but effectively eliminate the opportunity for fraudulent claims and encourage safer driving overall.

The company is also looking to partner with state and municipal entities to better manage infrastructure and traffic to make roads safer through data-powered insights collected by its users. For example, it can analyze traffic flow and help create workarounds for problematic streets or infrastructure, as well as monitor the city’s streets in real time.