CES

CES: High-tech display aims to make driving safer

The Navdy, a device designed to help busy drivers use their phone and simultaneously pay attention to the road, is on show at CES this week.

The display lets users connect their phone, dashboard and center console into a single device projecting images on the road and prevents drivers from looking down.

Navdy was founded in 2013 with the idea to create a better way to keep people connected while driving.

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"Trying to split time between the dashboard, the center console, and your phone, we thought there should be one immersive experience that brings all the information that you care about and projects it into the distance,” Doug Simpson, Navdy's CEO told FoxNews.com.

To use the display, users turn on a Navdy phone app and place their smartphone in the car’s cup holder or passenger chair. The Navdy itself sits on top of the dashboard behind the steering wheel. It has a camera pointed back at the driver and a small clear panel that projects phone calls, maps, messages and car information. The idea being that the driver can continuously look forward at the road and while using their phone.

"Any time you take your eyes off the road it’s bad. If you’re going down the highway at 60 miles an hour in just four seconds, you've driven an entire football field basically blind. With Navdy we keep your eyes forward so you can both look forward and stay connected at the same time and access all the information you need," said Simpson.

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Users control the phone using hand gestures and a small knob on the steering wheel they can turn with their thumb. Phone calls can be answered or declined with a wave of the hand, like a Jedi using the force. The knob can be used to change music, scroll through contacts and go in and out of the map.

When Navdy is used for navigation, the system uses Google maps and built-in offline maps. The map is displayed in front of the driver so it appears that the directions, which look like any other GPS display, are on the road. The system can reroute drivers if it finds a faster route. The device is also connected to the car so it can reroute the driver to a gas station when they're running low on fuel.

Incoming text messages can be read to the driver and the driver can dictate text messages to be sent out.

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The Department of Transportation is currently taking public comment on proposed guidelines meant to encourage developers to design devices that reduce the potential for distracted driving. The D.O.T. wants developers to make devices that have a driving mode or pair with the car's systems.

"With driver distraction one of the factors behind the rise of traffic fatalities, we are committed to working with the industry to ensure that mobile devices are designed to keep drivers' eyes where they belong - on the road," said National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Administrator Dr. Mark Rosekind, in a press release.

Navdy launched for sale in October and already the customers have driven a cumulative 5 million miles. Navdy costs $800 but can be financed for $33 dollars a month.

Update 2/22/17: Navdy's price has been changed to $599. Financing is now $27 a month.

 

Andrew Craft is a Fox News multimedia reporter based in Las Vegas, Nevada . Follow him on twitter: @AndrewCraft