Nextbase officially announced the iQ at last year’s CES. It’s a new range of dash cams that do more than simply recording your journeys.
With a home-grown digital assistant and nifty tech that can predict what other vehicles are going to do, it should be worth the high price when it goes on sale in spring of this year.
At CES 2023, Nextbase confirmed that the iQ would start from under $500 and, in the UK, would also be under £500. We’ve since had further clarification that all iQ models will cost less than £500, but don’t yet have any details on what the ‘entry-level’ model will cost, or what its specs will be.
That’s because Nextbase has so far only really talked about the flagship which will record in 4K, with interior and rear cameras recording at 2K (1440p).
Developing the IQ has taken longer than expected: the company had originally said it would go on sale before the end of 2022, but that’s now been pushed back to ‘spring’ with no mention of a particular month, let alone actual date.
One of the iQ’s key features is internet connectivity. It isn’t the only dash cam to have a built-in SIM – Thinkware’s T700 LTE already has one – but the iQ will have more features and offer higher resolution video.
In the UK, the iQ will use Vodafone’s IoT platform to provide the connected aspect. This isn’t simply a Vodafone 4G SIM. Unlike consumer SIMs, this one has the ability to switch to other mobile operator networks in order to remain connected wherever you drive.
We now know – from CES 2023 – that Nextbase has partnered with T-Mobile for US models, though there’s no word on what the costs for the connected aspects will be. All we’ve heard from Nextbase is that it will be a few pounds or dollars per month and that there will be a range of subscription options.
Unlike Nextbase’s previous dash cams, there’s no reliance on a paired smartphone, which means connected features such as Radar Detection, Smart Sense Parking and Emergency SOS will be more available than if you did use your phone.
The first of those – Radar Detection – monitors the presence, direction and distance of other road users from your vehicle. This works in conjunction with Roadwatch AI that monitors other vehicles’ speeds and trajectories to anticipate and record incidents whether you’re driving or parked.
Smart Sense Parking is much like existing parking modes, but uses the new capabilities to predict when another car is about to hit yours. And the Vodafone / T-Mobile IoT SIM means you’ll be able to use the app to see what’s going on wherever you happen to be – much like Tesla’s Sentry Mode and Ring’s new Car Cam.
Being able to add this tech to any car regardless of its age is a real boon for drivers. Nextbase also points out that the IoT platform doesn’t share public mobile phone network architecture: it’s “industrial-grade” infrastructure and security.
The company also promised that the iQ would be a ‘living’ product which will gain extra driver safety and security features over time. It has worked with Ambarella, a well-known supplier of dash cam chipsets, to produce a custom “AI-capable” chip that’s powerful enough to handle future additions, as well as recording from three cameras at those high resolutions.
This is one of the reasons the iQ will cost more than most dash cams.
Two of the features that 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 alters to combat distracted and/or drowsy driving.
Vehicle Aware, also called ADAS – advanced driver assistance system – monitors the road and cars in front, warning drivers of vehicle and pedestrian danger.
Richard Browning, CMSO for Nextbase says: “We simply would not be able to deliver the cutting-edge experience to consumers and unlock the product potential without the security and consistency that the Vodafone IoT platform provides.”
“The intention of the Nextbase iQ is to offer the security and safety seen on new high-end vehicles to all drivers. The barriers to this new vehicle technology are too high, so we are focused on bringing this innovation to the vast majority of people that don’t own or can’t afford a new high-end vehicle. With the Nextbase iQ, we have created a long lasting, highly connected hardware solution that can offer all drivers an innovation level that was not previously possible. The powerful 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 AI powered ADAS, DMS, V2V communication and community incident awareness.”
The iQ is already on Nextbase’s website, where you’ll find the latest updates on its features.
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