DRIVE: Safe Messaging and Driving
DRIVE: Safe Messaging and Driving
DRIVE enables in-car messaging only when your hands are on the wheel. No voice commands. No buttons to press. No screens to touch.
DRIVE enables in-car messaging only when your hands are on the wheel. No voice commands. No buttons to press. No screens to touch. Read more
What is DRIVE ?
DRIVE reads out your messages and notifications from your phone.
No voice commands. No buttons to press. No screens to touch.
You interact with DRIVE by simply swiping your fingers.
DRIVE won't work if your hands are not on the wheel.
Drive can be installed within seconds into almost all vehicles using a magnetic base on the steering wheel column.
How is DRIVE different ?
DRIVE uses a unique and patent pending technology that motivates drivers to keep their hands on the wheel while interacting with DRIVE.
While many solutions use voice commands or touchscreens to enable similar interactions, we believe the combination of simplicity and enforced safety in DRIVE's technology is a winner for cars old and new.
Get started with DRIVE in a few minutes
- Install DRIVE's magnetic base on your car's steering wheel column.
- Pair DRIVE with your smartphone and the app initiates a calibration sequence of the hardware sensors.
- Register DRIVE on the messaging service specially built for it. This enables bridging messages between various phone manufacturers and their systems.
- DRIVE will start reading out all the messages and notifications from your phone and you can start swipe-commanding DRIVE to send voice messages.(Here's a quick reel showing the different things you can do with it out of the box)
DRIVE Development APP Demo
Here is a quick demo of the DRIVE app mostly showing the 3 main areas of risk mitigated:
- Bluetooth communication and discovery with an iPhone (Android app to be available when we ship) and,
- the voice messaging service to allow a driver to respond to almost anyone without worrying about how and with which messaging service to reach them.
- Back end cloud and user data management as well as sending voice messages.
Control DRIVE with a swipe of your fingers
DRIVE uses a patent-pending finger swiping scheme to ensure your hands remain on the wheel when interacting with it. Simply swiping your fingers interrupts a pair of pulsing infrared beams on the left and right side which in turn invokes specific actions based on the context (See demo below)
Here's a demo of me testing DRIVE in the car browsing through the menu.
Capacitive Touch ButtonsBuilt in three capacitive touch sensing buttons (concealed beneath top cover) for volume control, force power on/off, password
pattern entry for anti-theft measures and best of all a proximity
enabled middle button for muting those embarrassing messages (see demo below)
Voice quality and Speech recognition
- Incorporates the most sophisticated microphone processing in any car
built to date using 3 microphones to form a voice beam
targeted at the driver for superb voice quality and accuracy when using a
voice assistant such as Siri.
Here's a demo of the audio benefit of using multiple microphones. Take note that the biggest return on the investment of designing with 3 microphones comes in with prolonged use. The person you are sending your voice message to or having the phone call will complain far much less to listening fatigue. This "fatigue" is often due to noise cancellation or suppression techniques done in software rather than in investing in the hardware. We often call these band-aids.
Simple and Elegant Car Integration
- Installation in any car is a snap - literally -
- Its super easy to do: magnetically snaps into its very low profile base (see video demo below)
( Video demo: Listen for the snap of the unit to the base - also showing that you can just simply drop the unit and it auto locks itself into place)
Why DRIVE ?
- DRIVE truly enables you to stay connected while you focus on driving.
- The ability to keep your hands on the wheel yet control a smartphone is one of its kind. The cognitive load is simply that of listening to the audio prompts - very similar to listening to the radio. No speech recognition to fuss around with, just send messages with your voice and swipe your fingers. Done. Could it get any easier ?
- It's designed by an Apple alumni who has the credibility and track record of delivering quality products on time.
- There's nothing out there that comes even close to competing with DRIVE, unless you are willing to spend $20,000+ on a new car and crossing your fingers that it works with your choice of a smartphone. Even then, you're driving distracted anyways, reaching out to that colorful touchscreen each and every time.
- The app integrates a service to enable voice and text messaging that works seamlessly across a multitude of phones - iOS, Android, Windows.
- DRIVE's technology is protected with 2 pending patent applications.
- By backing DRIVE you are enabling a platform that will allow anyone to contribute to one of the most advanced car based user interface devices ever developed. Imagine what you can do with the wit.ai and IFTTT APIs for enabling voice services in a car !).
- I could go on, but you get it by now.
- Of course, there's a rechargeable battery - capacity to be determined.
About RISE Devices: The Development of DRIVE
With the number of distracted drivers reaching epidemic levels, driving has never been more dangerous. And, while some believe that shutting technology out of the car is the only solution, I believe that technology is the answer and therefore started working on DRIVE. I launched RISE Devices in December of 2013 in a shed in my backyard after a 5 year marathon at Apple.
Before RISE, I never understood how folks could launch companies from their garages - during the day its way too hot here in California - so I opted for this mini looking Apple store in my backyard that I built before leaving Apple. To beat the heat I added a window A/C (not seen here) and, in the winter months, it also gets really cold - so the heater shown under my desk has turned out to be super effective at making a comfy workspace, not to mention far cheaper than heating or cooling a garage.
I wrote most of the firmware using this original prototype board but ran into some issues with the IR proximity design that prompted designing a new main board, shrunk and laid out to the proper form factor with a separate flex circuit.
At this point, we've also made our functional prototypes from SLA parts.
The next step in the process is to optimize the design to make everything smaller. The two main reason are - cost and even better integration into all cars. Here is a CAD sketch of the new DRIVE as it fits into a fraction of the space of the original model.
I've also eliminated the flex circuit, which was far too expensive to mass manufacture, and split the design into 3 rigid boards. These boards have already been designed and first prototypes are back from fabrication. They can be seen in the images below.
Path to production
I've been bootstrapping this project so far and I am excited to bring DRIVE to market, with your help I know we can make this happen. Based on discussions with contract manufacturers and my previous experience, the following schedule graphic shows how we plan to develop, manufacture and ship an extremely high quality end product.
To assess the manufacturing and production feasibility of the DRIVE design we engaged the services of the Dragon Innovation team.
The Dragon team reviewed DRIVE design and conducted a 6 factor review which included: a mechanical tear down, DFM analysis, BOM review, packaging consideration, estimated costs of domestic and Far East manufacturing and a pro-forma manufacturing schedule. This details of this review can be viewed by clicking on the Dragon logo below.
About Dragon Innovation
Dragon Innovation works with entrepreneurs to launch hardware products and scale companies. Founded by a team of hardware experts, Dragon provides a clear path from prototype through production with unmatched manufacturing expertise and trusted connections. Dragon's client roster includes Coin, MakerBot, LIFX, Scout, Romotive, Sifteo, Orbotix, FormLabs and over 100 additional companies paving the road for how new technology gets made.
Please feel free to ask any questions that I might have missed to share with you. It is my intent to be very transparent about this project and gather as much feedback as possible. Get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please pledge to make DRIVE a reality.
Risks and challenges
While every project or endeavor entails risk, the art of navigating manufacturing is not an easy one to say the least.
We are very confident of the design and the engineering that has gone into DRIVE, derived from the various prototype runs of both the electrical and mechanical parts. It is to be noted that DRIVE has several complicated mass production technologies including but not limited to audio (both microphones and speakers), optics (IR sensors), capacitive touch sensors and wireless (Bluetooth).
Each of these technologies has its unique production challenges such as EMI interference on the capactive sensors, poor frequency responses of the mic and speakers.
The absolute right way to mitigate these risks is to conservatively commit to a production schedule that is attainable.
While we believe we have done so in the schedule provided, things happen and in such a situation, backers will be kept promptly updated along the way if any significant delays are experienced.
- (30 days)