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Nextbase has announced its next-generation iQ series of smart dash cams at CES 2022. The new iQ models boost safety and security with the addition of 4G LTE connectivity, but can also help prevent accidents in the first place, thanks to an evolving suite of AI-powered, advanced driver-assistance technologies.
The Nextbase iQ is a two-camera smart dash cam system and will be available in three different versions depending on the resolution of the front camera. There are two cameras integrated into the unit's housing, one pointed forward that captures in 1080p, 1440p or 4K resolution and another monitoring the cabin in either 1080p or 1440p. There is also an optional third wired remote camera that points out the rear window, capturing at 1440p.
The compact iQ is designed to be discrete and low-distraction, so it doesn't feature a screen. Instead, users will interact with the device using voice commands that allow them to capture clips or activate the new Witness Mode, which notifies your chosen emergency contacts and activates a real-time stream of video to the cloud during "vulnerable road situations" like road rage or police stops.
Witness Mode is powered by the iQ's built-in 4G LTE and Wi-Fi connectivity. This always-on data connection also powers what I reckon is the iQ's most important new feature, Emergency SOS Response. If an impact is detected and the driver is incapacitated or unresponsive, the smart dash cam can send precise location and heading information directly to emergency responders, along with optional medical information like blood type.
4G also enables the Valet mode, if the vehicle exceeds a certain speed or leaves its location boundaries, and the Live View mode that lets users check in on a live video stream from their car while it's parked, via the new Nextbase iQ app, and even broadcast their voice to the car using the iQ's built-in speaker. Users can also receive alerts when their parked vehicle is bumped or if the onboard AI detects would-be intruders looking into or loitering around their car.
That's right -- Nextbase says that there's artificial intelligence built into the iQ series' processor that allows it to recognize animals, pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles using spatial awareness that allows it to understand the world around it. In the event of an impact, for example, the Roadwatch AI feature can detect the velocity of vehicles and pedestrians within 2.5 mph accuracy, then use that data to build an analysis of the incident.
AI also powers the Vehicle Aware driver-aid features, which add audio lane departure warnings or front collision alerts, as well as the Driver Aware driver alertness monitoring feature. Nextbase says that the iQ series is also over-the-air updatable, which means that its suite of driver-aid features and functions could even grow over the lifetime of the product.
It'll be a while yet before I can get my hands on the Nextbase iQ to test what should stack up to be an impressive list of features. The iQ series should be available starting in the fall of 2022. Nextbase hasn't settled on pricing for the camera's three resolutions, the optional rear camera or any of the three data subscription tiers that will be required for most of the advanced features.