Carloudy

Carloudy

As the youngest MBA, I can’t say I’ve used old-school GPS systems, but I am more than aware of the Palm OS-based Garmin iQue 3600. An overpriced PDA with an antenna, that had maps of the ENTIRE U.S. on it. You could now travel anywhere without getting lost for hours holding a map. Gosh, I feel old saying that—holding a map, reading a newspaper, or unlocking your car without a button. Traditional GPS systems were then easy to use, but there were still times where it was a major distraction (music in the background, passengers tuning along, honking from every side, keeping an eye on the road of course, and the navigation system itself. Listening to Siri tell you to turn in 150 feet is useful, but visually seeing the turn is so much more helpful. The dual integration of voice and visual navigation was game-changing, though taking your eyes off the road even for a second was a major risk for you, your passengers, and all other traffic on the road. So, we’re left to choose between safety or convenience, or are we?

Founders of Carloudy loved the idea of using smartphones to navigate around the city, however, after seeing the National Safety Council statistic that cell phone use while driving causes 1.6 million crashes each year, they knew it was time to put their brains to the test. (On a side note, did you know there is a crash caused by cell phone use while driving every 20 seconds!) Carloudy is a smart, portable, completely wireless head-up display (HUD) that’s designed to provide drivers with the necessary information for their on-road experience. All you need to do is place the system on your dashboard and wait for it to connect to your smartphone through Bluetooth. The transparent display and voice control make driving with a smartphone safer and more convenient.

Carloudy head-up display

So, how exactly does Carloudy work? First, the device automatically connects to your iPhone or Android and overwrites the media connected to your steering wheel. The system utilizes existing applications on your phone like Google Maps and other APIs such as Yelp and ParkWhiz. You can then talk to your car through voice command (which we all do or have done before, so don’t act like it’s weird), and the app will interpret your needs and deliver the relevant information above the dashboard on the window. Carloudy has the ability to display everything from directions to a destination, the speed limit of the location you’re driving in, find nearby parking and show you the prices, search for restaurants along with their ratings, and update you on the latest traffic information along with an entire suite of other use cases.

Carloudy head-up display

Why is this different than a standard GPS system or using your smartphone? Carloudy was designed to optimize the on-road experience to be a lot smarter and safer by combining the transparent display, voice input, and mobile app integration. Founder, Dr. Kong, completed his Ph.D. dissertation on visual/spatial cognition. While at Cognitive AI Technologies, Dr. Kong focused on how artificial intelligence can augment people’s cognitive abilities. Carloudy was built upon the same scientific studies and theories of how human cognition uses external visual information to facilitate spatial reasoning in highly demanding mission-critical tasks, such as navigating a Navy vessel or flying a fighter jet. Carloudy is also one of the few smart HUDs that works under sunlight and in the evening. Daylight mode reflects all of the relevant information visibly on your window, while Night Time Mode uses the ambient light sensor to activate the LED back-lit for the display. Consider Carloudy your personal co-pilot that can save your life. Will we see even more innovative and safer technology in the future, I’m absolutely sure. In the meantime, think twice before using your phone while driving.

10 comments

  1. Oh those college days. I remember using the old bulky GPS device to travel home to Orlando from South Carolina and it was useful if you ask me. Although, taking it down and storing in a safe space in your car was an annoying process, but overall I was pleased. Today, many car manufacturers are adding the head up display in their newer models. However, I can see Carloudy being used for value-based consumers that didn’t purchase a premium vehicle with head up display. The installation also appears simple and easy to use given it can easily connect to a persons Apple Maps or Google Maps. Great post.

    1. A premium BMW or Audi for a couple grand or a Carloudy for less than $300. I choose the car, but many can only have the Carloudy. Thanks for sharing!

  2. I think products like Carloudy are great short-term 3rd party solutions for customers until car manufacturers make this tech standard. Being able to strip down all of these different GPS applications and only display the needed data on the HUD is such a simple yet desperately needed innovation. And like you said, it is a legitimate safety addition that every driver should be utilizing. Based on the other technology that car manufacturers have been implementing, I wouldn’t be surprised to see more effective GPS/HUDs like this as standard features in the near future; but I’m glad these options as 3rd party products are available until that day comes. Drivers around here could definitely use it!

    1. Bryan I totally agree with you! I can totally imagine a car manufacture purchasing the Carloudy technology and having it be a stand in feature in their cars. I also wonder if a company like Uber in Lyft might back Carloudy, as not only does it provide a safer rider it, offers a bit of transparency as the directions are right there on display for the passenger to see.

  3. Great post! Going off of Bryan’s point, I wonder if Carloudy might look into selling it’s technology to car dealerships? Or even facilitate the creation of Carloudy technology onto an iPhone (considering the devastating statistics between phone use and car accidents)? I’ve driven a car before with the GPS dashboard technology and can personally attest to its safety; my eyes were much more focused on the road then on my phone’s GPS. However, people will continue to look at their phone for other reasons (i.e. messages, social media, etc), so it’ll be interesting to see if the range of services -provided on the dashboard tech- will increase over time.

  4. The semi-transparent display intended to sort of integrate the info you need on top of what you’re currently looking at instantly brought me to the idea of smart glasses. A quick search shows me there is an existing product, but seems more designed for walkers than drivers (https://www.hackster.io/news/these-diy-smart-glasses-provide-turn-by-turn-gps-navigation-instructions-41c3974807f00). I wonder if someday you won’t need it projected onto your car windshield, but if it could safely be right in front of your eye. Seems dangerous to me, but curious to hear others’ thoughts.

  5. I think this makes a lot of sense and will be the kind of thing that evolves into just being integrated into cars (much like those early clunky GPS nav devices were supplanted by in-car services.)

    Heads up displays are common for pilots (as I mentioned in my presentation) and it makes sense to propagate down to the consumer driver. I do think this Carloudy could be seen as clunky compared to what will come, but for now, it seems a good start.

  6. What a great product, I think the price point is just right as well. I can definitely see Carloudy being bought by a major car manufacturer at some point in the future. The fact that it works with so many different apps is a major bonus, it seems like they’ll easily be able to pivot as apps and data availability change. I agree with Bryan that this tech will certainly be an industry standard in the future, so Carloudy has to act fast while they have a window. It would be really interesting if insurance companies considered giving drivers with a HUD a discount on their rate. I suppose a lot more data is needed to support that.

  7. I like the fact that HUDs keep your eyes on the road! I do wonder whether people focusing on that distracts them from seeing the full picture. It sort of seems like built-in multi-tasking, which I learned drastically decreases the proficiency in both tasks (here, reading directions, etc. and driving). Professor Kane mentioned in class that more accidents were caused by people trying to hide the fact that they were texting and thus were putting their head way down!

    I also wonder how these displays work in the sun/dark, etc. My car has the center display screen, which, although requiring a little head turn I supposed, is always visible no matter what time of day or what weather is hitting my windshield.

  8. I liked the fact that Carloudy displays the speed limit for the area you’re driving in! This is especially useful for when driving on a highway where the speed limits change. While its a cool innovation and has a lot of potential, it would be more distracting (for me at least) if I had a display on the windshield rather than have the directions displayed on my phone or my cars navigation.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: