WATCH: Bentley's new 467kW Continental GT

The new third-gen Bentley Continental GT boasts 467kW, 900Nm and a top speed of 333km/h.

Meet VW's SA-bound baby SUV, the T-Cross

A disguised prototype of the T-Cross, VW's new baby crossover SUV, is being tested on public roads.

Sky eye: Awesome drone app for drivers

2014-12-11 06:32

HOW COOL IS THIS? The Eye in the Sky, winner of the Onramp 2014 Challenge, lets drivers record their vehicle from above via a drone. Pictured here is the display using video and datea from the drone. Image: Toyota

SILICON VALLEY, California - Imagine driving your car with a dedicated drone following and videoing your progress from above.

It’s an idea that's proved a winning innovation in Toyota’s Silicon Valley App Design competition, earning its creators, the Eye in the Sky team, a R100 000 prize.

Toyota hosted the contest from December 6-7 2014 to find the best new app for its CAN-Gateway ECU* platform which uses data from vehicle sensors.


Eye in the Sky is a "vehicle companion drone" equipped with cameras that follow and video the vehicle.

Team member Nathan Schuett said: “We were excited about the unique opportunity to access this car data on a closed course. To combine that with a drone following the car was too great an opportunity to pass up.”

Schuett' colleague David Witt added: “Our idea was to prove that the concept of parallel design and development would quickly bring a great product to life.”

The winning concept was created as part of the Onramp 2014 Challenge, a coding competition entered by 20 teams of top-level developers from Silicon Valley’s IT start-up communities.


Each team had 24 hours to develop apps, using a fleet of six Scion FR-S (the US equivalent of a Toyota 86) on a driving course to gather data. The event provided the first public access to Toyota’s new vehicle data visualiser, a system that provides vehicle-app connectivity.

The VDV allowed participants to receive real-time vehicle data on mobile devices via Bluetooth to interact with cars on the course.

More than 20 apps were produced in three categories; safety, fun, efficiency.

Toyota managing officer Riki Inuzuka said: “We are seeing a new generation of automotive enthusiasts emerge, one that thrives on open innovation and connectivity.

"Our goal with this event was to communicate the joy of driving to this generation so Silicon Valley, as a hub for cutting-edge IT, seemed like a natural fit.”

*Controller Area Network-Gateway Electronic Control Unit - a platform that enables app developers to make use of vehicle data.

For more information, visit the website here.

The winning team, Eye in the Sky receives the equivalent of R100 000 for their amazing app.
Read more on:    toyota  |  green  |  tech  |  drones

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.