Nexar – Building the Next Vision-Based Data Platform

By Gayathri (G) Radhakrishnan - 2020-04-30

Before these times of social distancing, the average American commuter wasted 54 extra hours a year in traffic delays resulting in lost productivity and higher fuel consumption. These outcomes, combined with injuries and fatalities from poor driving, changes in traffic patterns and construction activities, point to a big need for better safety solutions on the road.

When we first met with Nexar to evaluate a potential investment, we were truly impressed with both the team and the sophistication of Nexar’s platform. Nexar’s focus on addressing the problem of road safety and traffic congestion from multiple vantage points resonated well with us. The company has also built an extensive vision-based data platform, which made the prospect even more exciting. So, yes, we did decide to invest.

To understand why, let me peel a few layers of their solution so you can see its value. Those layers include road safety, mapping, connectivity and privacy.

Road safety is important to consumers — and also insurers

For the consumer leveraging the Nexar dashcam, the platform provides real-time alerts on road conditions, blocked lanes and other potential problems. And in the event of collisions, the platform allows drivers to submit claims with their insurance companies with a single tap. This capability could lead to discounts and other incentives for safe drivers. For the insurance company, it means money saved from less fraud, faster resolution of insurance claims and superior service for their customers.

Dashcam footage of collision warning assistance and a rendering of accident reconstruction
Collision Warning and Accident Reconstruction

Mapping data is critical to making autonomous mobility a reality

Delivery companies are said to be losing $6 billion annually due to a lack of accurate map information such as traffic signs, construction closures, detours, fuel costs, missed or delayed delivery and parking availability.

The world is ever-changing, and mapping it is definitely not a one-and-done effort.Nexar’s deep learning and computer vision-based platform are aggregating anonymized street-level data that has multiple areas of application. Nexar’s data has grown tenfold since launch, and now Nexar regularly indexes an astonishing 50% of U.S. roads every week!

Image of a live street map showing accidents and obstructions
Nexar’s Live Map

Today, Nexar’s Live Map is the company’s answer to Google Street View — but with street-level images taken minutes ago by drivers on the company’s network.

Smart transportation begins with a connected vehicle network

Nexar’s CityStream feeds an essential part of the smart city infrastructure to enable incident response, traffic optimization and traffic rerouting. The Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) of Nevada, called its pilot using Nexar City Stream a groundbreaking project. Nexar’s artificial intelligence (AI) platform helps provide near-real-time road inventory tracking for customers like the RTC and determine the effects of construction cones and lane closures on traffic.

We are very excited about the launch of Nexar’s new data platform, Nexar Virtual Camera, which pulls a feed of anonymized frames from any location on the Nexar network. Nexar will be making the platform available for free during the COVID-19 pandemic to help institutions monitor key areas such as traffic at hospitals or crowd levels in public spaces.

And “what about privacy?” you ask

What was clear from the very first meeting was the importance the team placed on data privacy. The Nexar platform leverages computer vision and machine learning to carefully detect and blur out faces and license plates so that neither people nor cars can be identifiable systematically.

What about location data? Does Nexar track users the entire duration of their rides? The simple answer is no. By using federated learning, the Nexar platform randomly picks frames from multiple users, so a single user and location cannot be tracked. Nexar is also very clear that the user owns the data — what Nexar receives is just the blurred and anonymized data that has no link to the user.

Why did Micron invest?

Micron is powering the next generation of infrastructure that makes AI possible. We are focused on enabling the “intelligent edge” where the data resides. The Nexar team has a multidisciplinary focus on optimizing the platform across hardware, software and the AI engine. An investment in Nexar allows to be a part of this fast-evolving space. And we are excited to be an active part of Nexar’s journey!



Gayathri (G) Radhakrishnan

G is with Micron Ventures, investing from our AI fund. She invests in startups that use AI and ML to solve critical problems in manufacturing, health care, automotive and beyond. She brings 20 years of multidisciplinary experience across product management, product marketing, corporate strategy, M&A and venture investments.