2018 is shaping up to be in an important year of accident and damage prevention technology in the P&C space. Nationwide is the latest firm to make a splash, announcing in a press release a $30 million investment Nexar, a Tel Aviv-based startup that makes a dashcam app focused on reducing on-road risk through an artificial-intelligence-based V2V (vehicle-to-vehicle) network.
Like many smart home systems and telematics programs, Nexar’s app is focused on accident and damage prevention. By working with insurers, automakers and local governments, Nexar integrates smartphones and car cameras through its app, using its V2V network to eliminate the risk of auto accidents and help drivers avoid highly concentrated traffic areas. Users must set their smartphones up like a dashcam, and through the V2V network, Nexar devices communicate, providing real-time alerts and notifications. The dashcam employs computer vision and sensor fusion, giving the driver insight into potentially dangerous on-road objects or situations. The network’s collision reconstruction and report feature allows insurers to streamline the claims process.
Nexar is not the only V2V mobile app available to drivers. Competitors Mobileye and Nauto, both AI-based dashcams and apps use a V2V network and have gained considerable investment over the last few years. However, since the app’s launch in 2016, Nexar is currently used in 160 countries and has raised $45 million in investment. The company’s largest markets to date are New York City, San Francisco, Tel Aviv and Las Vegas, with emerging interest from ridesharing services such as Uber and Lyft. With ridesharing insurance still in its early stages, Nexar has the potential to significantly improve the landscape.
Nexar has received Series B funding from Alibaba and Tusk Ventures among other venture capital firms. Nationwide’s $30 million investment comes as part of the firm’s recent commitment in August 2017 to invest $100 million of venture capital with the goal of supporting customer-centric insurance solutions. Additionally, the firm launched Nationwide Ventures in early 2016 to invest in startup companies that are transforming the insurance industry through technology. Nationwide has also invested in Sure, a personal on-demand insurance app, and Cambridge-based Insurify, a car insurance quote comparison platform.
With its latest investment in Nexar, Nationwide is banking on an AI-dominated road. As the future of autonomous vehicles comes closer to a reality every day, look for P&C firms to continue to bank on AI-based V2V technology.