A 'super dash cam' that's set to make vehicles much smarter is on its way

"Super dash cam" company gets Ministry of Justice approval

Insurtech company ThingCo (opens in new tab) has received authorisation from the Ministry of justice in the UK to offer claims management services for Theo – its upcoming "super dash cam" that's packed with telematics technology, connectivity and smart AI. 

Powered by telematics data and the Amazon Lex conversational interface, installing a Theo will in effect make your vehicle smart. 

The dashcam's ADAS (advanced driver assistance systems) include a high-definition camera with night vision, built-in sensors, connectivity to smart road infrastructure, voice alerts, and it can even coach you on your driving style, going way beyond the scope of the best dash cams (opens in new tab) on the market right now, which are mainly aimed at recording evidence.

Last year ThingCo partnered with CarVi (opens in new tab), which boasts Samsung as an investor, to provide the collision detection system at the heart of Theo. 

CarVi uses an advanced AI algorithm to provide real-time collision and lane departure warnings. It's a device that's vying for the best dash cam (opens in new tab) crown.

CarVi's collision detection system is at the heart of the Theo "super dash cam" (Image: GizmoEditor.com)

CarVi's collision detection system is at the heart of the Theo "super dash cam" (Image: GizmoEditor.com)

While Theo's is designed to provide users with a greater degree of safety, from ThingCo's point of view its most valuable function is the way it uses telematics to give drivers more control over their insurance cover – as well as the FNOL (first notification of loss) process in the case of accidents or claims. 

According to The Insurance Times (opens in new tab), "It can talk to the customer in the event of an accident and alerts emergency services if necessary.

"It gives immediate and ongoing assistance following an accident using a 'smart' First Notification of Loss process."

Between its connectivity, data collection and voice interaction, Theo "guides customers through the claims process, assisting, where possible with the provision of credit hire, credit repair and legal services for personal injury claims, which is supported by its partnership with Industry Insights."

No official date has been announced, but Theo is due to launch in Q1 2019. 

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James Artaius

The editor of Digital Camera World, James has 21 years experience as a magazine and web journalist and started working in the photographic industry in 2014 (as an assistant to Damian McGillicuddy, who succeeded David Bailey as Principal Photographer for Olympus). In this time he shot for clients as diverse as Aston Martin Racing, Elinchrom and L'Oréal, in addition to shooting campaigns and product testing for Olympus, and providing training for professionals. This has led him to being a go-to expert for camera and lens reviews, photographic and lighting tutorials, as well as industry analysis, news and rumors for publications such as Digital Camera Magazine (opens in new tab)PhotoPlus: The Canon Magazine (opens in new tab)N-Photo: The Nikon Magazine (opens in new tab)Digital Photographer (opens in new tab) and Professional Imagemaker, as well as hosting workshops and demonstrations at The Photography Show (opens in new tab). An Olympus and Canon shooter, he has a wealth of knowledge on cameras of all makes – and a fondness for vintage lenses and instant cameras.