Android creator will offer free dashcams in exchange for drive data

Andy Rubin wants more eyes on the road. Photo: Google

Andy Rubin wants more eyes on the road. Photo: Google

Andy Rubin, who co-founded Android before leaving Google in 2014, is building dashboard cameras that he wants to give away for free. But in exchange for an extra eye on the road, Rubin wants you to give up all the data your dashcam collects.

Dashcams have become immensely popular in Russia, where people use them for protection against phoney road collision claims — but they’re also growing in popularity elsewhere. One of Rubin’s projects since leaving Google is a new dashcam that will be totally free for all.

Rubin isn’t really interested in watching your morning commute, but he is interested in the wealth of data the dashcam can collect, such as real-time traffic conditions. According to The Verge, “the dream is to potentially build a real-time visual map of the world.”

The dashcams could deliver a Street View-like service that’s updated more regularly than Google’s service, and more accurate traffic data for other navigation services.

There will likely be a lot of privacy concerns, of course, but Rubin didn’t address these in his interview with Wired, so we’ll have to wait until he delivers more information on the project. There’s no word on when the dashcams will be available yet.

Rubin also refused to comment on rumors he’s building a new Android-powered smartphone — or any of his other projects.