This startup leverages dash cam tech to make Indian roads safer – ET Auto


This startup leverages dash cam tech to make Indian roads safer – ET Auto

The journey of SafeCams began with a simple observation by Vanesh Naidoo, its co-founder, during his time in India in 2008.

New Delhi: In the bustling streets of India, where traffic can be chaotic and accidents all too common, one company is revolutionizing road safety through innovative dash cam technology. SafeCams, founded by visionary entrepreneur Vanesh Naidoo, has embarked on a mission to transform the way dash cams are perceived and utilized in India and internationally

The journey of SafeCams began with a simple observation by Vanesh Naidoo, its co-founder, during his time in India in 2008. Having previously lived in London, where dash cameras were ubiquitous, he was struck by the absence of such technology in Indian vehicles. Recognizing the pressing need for reliable evidence in case of accidents and the prevalence of reckless driving on Indian roads, Naidoo saw a market ripe for disruption.

“I got the idea when I had come to India and I was driving my car and I was seeing how badly some of the guys were driving. I had been in London for around 14 years before that. There dash cameras and cameras were common in the car, on streets and everywhere,” Naidoo recalls.

However, bringing dash cam technology to India was not without its challenges. Naidoo encountered skepticism and a lack of understanding from local vendors when searching for dash cameras. Undeterred, he saw an opportunity to introduce advanced dash cam technology tailored to the unique needs of the Indian market.

SafeCams leverages AI and advanced camera technology to develop solutions that catered to both commercial fleets and individual owners or drivers. Its flagship product, the ScAI four, integrates cutting-edge AI algorithms capable of monitoring driver behaviuor in real-time, thus enhancing road safety and mitigating accidents.

Naidoo said, “What we’re offering is across different types of vehicles and ours can record. A lot of OEMs don’t record everything because of privacy concerns. There’s always this gap for third-party people. The fleet owners need to standardize something across their entire fleet. So that’s kind of the space that we are playing in.”

One of the key challenges that SafeCams faced was the cost sensitivity prevalent in the Indian market. Recognizing this, they innovated to create more budget-friendly options without compromising on quality. By leveraging partnerships and optimizing their supply chain, SafeCams introduced a variant of dash cams tailored for the Indian market, offering affordability without sacrificing functionality.

“Our price for the GPS type will be between INT 10,000 and INR 12,500. Compared to INR 50,000, INR 40,000. it is a lot cheaper,” Naidoo said..

Moreover, SafeCams has actively pursued collaborations with Indian OEMs and dealerships to integrate dash cam solutions directly into new vehicles. By positioning dash cams as essential safety accessories, they aim to penetrate deeper into the mass market and drive widespread adoption of their technology.

Naidoo emphasized the importance of education and awareness in fostering the adoption of dash cams in India. “We’re kind of in that level of the industry where people need to be educated about what these cameras are. And we have to show to people that, yes, there’s cost, but there’s an effectiveness to it,” he said.

Looking ahead, the company envisions a future where dash cams are standard features in vehicles across India, contributing significantly to road safety and accident prevention. With advancements in technology and a growing awareness of the importance of safety on the roads, SafeCams is poised to lead the charge towards a safer driving experience for all.

As Vanesh Naidoo succinctly puts it, “Road safety is becoming more and more important. So with all of these things coming through, the dash camera is now solely being seen as a safety device rather than just some luxury item that you put in your car for a drive or something like that.”

Growth plans

Naidoo gave insights into the company’s growth trajectory and future plans. Despite witnessing significant revenue growth, Naidoo revealed that Safe Cams has thus far relied on bootstrapping for funding. However, with the recent surge in revenue, the company is now in talks with potential investors to explore further opportunities.

Addressing the challenges faced by fleet operators in India, Naidoo discussed Safe Cams’ plans to transition towards an operational expenditure (opex) model. This shift aims to provide fleet owners with a more financially feasible solution by offering services on a rental basis over an extended period.

Naidoo emphasized the importance of leveraging the data collected from Safe Cams’ GPS devices and other sensors. By integrating AI technologies, the company intends to offer clients actionable insights into their operations, including route optimization and fuel efficiency improvements.

Crucially, SafeCams is committed to collaborating with clients to develop customized AI solutions tailored to their specific needs. Naidoo highlighted the company’s dedication to provide not only access to data but also building robust AI algorithms to extract meaningful information for clients.

  • Published On Mar 27, 2024 at 04:03 PM IST

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