A CAR collision warning system that can be mounted on the dashboard has been developed by a Dorset company.

Innovative Vehicle Solutions (IVS) Ltd is looking to raise £100,000 investment to enable the prototype device, called the Distanc>>>er, to be taken to the next stage. The company is also working on a smartphone app.

Managing director George Ferrie, from Bere Regis, explained how the idea for his safety device, to reduce the chances of rear-end bumps, came after his wife witnessed the aftermath of a fatal car accident.

He said: “We wanted to come up with an effective, affordable and reliable system that could be fitted by any driver, in the same way they might fit a satnav system.”

The prototype, produced in conjunction with Dr John Haddon of Panther Vision Ltd, is powered by the vehicle’s cigarette lighter.

Mr Ferrie says it has been successfully trialled in conditions, including sunshine, cloud, heavy rain and spray, and at night.

The Distance>>>er features a small camera which tracks and locks on to number plates of vehicles ahead. Mr Ferrie says that since the number plate, its numbers and letters are defined sizes, measuring their height allows the system to calculate how far away the vehicle is.

Using the speed, the device can give the driver real-time warnings if the distance between vehicles suddenly starts to close.

Dr Haddon explained: “We have made use of camera technology that has been used extensively in industrial applications and adapted it for commercial use.”

The company is looking to raise the £100,000 via CrowdCube, an online funding platform allowing the sum to be built from multiple investors, both large and small in return for equity.

“In this way,” said Mr Ferrie “Everyday investors can pledge from as little as £10 towards helping businesses to raise the finance they need to grow.”

However, in order to benefit from the scheme IVS Ltd needs to reach its target by May 15, so Mr Ferrie is urging people to check out the proposals now.

Visit crowdcube.com/ investment/innovative-vehicle-systems-14167 for information.