Made-in-Ottawa invention aims to take worry out of driving
Raven by Ottawa tech company Klashwerks tracks vehicle's every move, even when you're not on board
An Ottawa entrepreneur has developed a different kind of smart car technology that allows users to stay connected to their vehicles, whether they're driving or not.
Russell Ure, co-founder and CEO of Ottawa-based design and technology company Klashwerks, said he came up with the idea for Raven after worrying about his daughter, who had to drive home through a snow storm from Montreal, where she goes to school.
Ure said his daughter had neglected to charge her phone, so he was unable to keep track of her during the treacherous trip.
"As a parent, you know, you worry yourself sick thinking about all kinds of stuff," Ure told CBC Radio's Ottawa Morning.
Fortunately his daughter arrived safely, but Ure said the experience made him realize that car manufacturers still have a long way to go when it comes to connectivity.
"In this world, we're so connected now, we're so used to knowing increasingly where we all are, and what's going on in our families."
Raven includes a GPS-enabled device about the size of a taxi meter that sits atop the vehicle's dashboard, and an app that sends updates to the user's smart phone.
Raven can track the location and speed of the vehicle, and monitor for road and weather conditions. The invention's security features include built-in video cameras allowing both interior and exterior views.
Ure is currently showcasing Raven at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.
CES is where tech companies go to show off their products, and is one of the biggest exhibitions of its kind, with over 3,900 companies registered.
Raven has already received an honorary designation for design and innovation in the intelligent car category.
It's the second time Ure has received an award at CES: his home security app, called Piper, was recognized in 2014.
Raven is currently available for pre-order online, with shipping scheduled to begin in February.