Eyes on the Road

With DriveCam, Mom and Dad can monitor what happens when their kids are behind the wheel.

By Jeanette Borzo, Business 2.0 Magazine

(Business 2.0 Magazine) -- Teenagers can drive parents crazy, but an upcoming service may help the elders enjoy the ride. DriveCam already helps truck, taxi, and shuttle companies monitor the road skills of their fleets, and soon it hopes to give moms and dads that power too.

The San Diego company sells a camera that mounts on rearview mirrors and captures what's going on inside and outside. The USB- and Wi-Fi-enabled gadget continually saves 10 seconds of video and records another 10 seconds if a driver triggers the system with a sudden move - say, swerving or slamming on the brakes. With units in about 50,000 commercial vehicles, DriveCam's 2005 revenue was $14.8 million, up 51 percent from 2004, and the company says it's on track to double sales this year. Meanwhile, DriveCam claims to have halved its customers' average crash costs, measured through statistics such as vehicle damage and lost work time.

Now DriveCam wants to cash in by doing the same for the fleet in your garage. By 2012 the market for driver-assistance systems in consumer vehicles will reach $304 million, according to Frost & Sullivan. With that in mind, DriveCam is testing a product that keeps tabs on teen driving and lets parents review footage on a secure website.

DriveCam hopes the new service, expected to launch next year, will help drive profitability in 2007. By then, maybe someone will invent ChoreCam and DateCam and really make parenting easy.


DriveCam shows how accidents develop. Teens in a DriveCam pilot program improved from five reckless incidents per week to one per month. Top of page

To send a letter to the editor about this story, click here.