The Challenge

Help Nauto, a vehicle technology startup, design their artificial intelligence-powered camera to assist commercial drivers.


The industrial design for the startup’s latest device, which can be retrofit into almost any vehicle.

Nauto, a startup in the automotive industry that’s building a system to help make driving safer and smarter, approached IDEO to collaborate on the design of their latest device. It includes a proprietary dual-camera system that can be directly installed in just about any vehicle to enable safety features. Through real-time data analysis, high-definition recording, and LTE connectivity, Nauto’s device records and analyzes activity inside and outside the car, and automatically uploads information to a smart cloud.

The device can detect if drivers are distracted based on their eye and head movements, risky maneuvers such as tailgating or swerving, and dangerous environmental conditions such as unexpected obstacles. In these scenarios, the product alerts the driver through audio feedback inside the vehicle.

Over time, the data collected by Nauto reveals bigger insights and trends in driving behavior, ranging from causes of collisions to patterns in driver distraction. These insights are stored in a secure cloud platform and made accessible to both drivers and fleet managers. Drivers can benefit from Nauto’s VERA score—personalized feedback based on their driving performance—and fleet managers can gain access to a complete picture of how each of their drivers are performing across locations. Through these data-driven insights, Nauto gives drivers and fleet managers the tools to stay safe on the road.

To help launch Nauto’s device, IDEO prototyped several iterations of the product’s housing, cabling, and ergonomics, resulting in a clean aesthetic and an easy installation process for users. The engineering team also prioritized materials that would protect against extreme temperatures and sunlight exposure. Most importantly, IDEO helped design a camera device that can be seamlessly integrated into almost any model of any vehicle, greatly expanding its potential in the market.

Nauto’s latest system began rolling out to commercial fleets and strategic OEM and Insurance partners in late 2016.

Nauto’s device is designed to peek over the rearview mirror.

Photos by Nauto.

Transportation and Mobility