There’s Now a Shazam for Cars


We’ve all seen a gorgeous vehicle idling in traffic, but can’t get a good enough view to identify the make and model. State Farm Insurance, rather ingeniously, is on its way to creating a solution to that First World problem.

The company has created Car Capture, a smartphone app, that can helps users ID cars through photos. By taking pictures of the cars and uploading them, the app uses algorithms to match them with vehicles in their databases. You’ll then get safety info and consumer reviews courtesy of Edmund’s and, naturally, a link to State Farm for insurance info.

There are a few bugs, though. A minor issue is that pics should be taken of the back of cars, not the front (there’s more distinguishing features in the rear). A larger problem is that Car Capture’s database only includes cars made since 2000, so older beauties are out of reach (which are usually the ones we’re fixated on). The biggest caveat: accuracy. Wired tested the app and found it only worked about half the time, though the mistakes were usually different models of the same car (e.g., a Fiat 500 v. Fiat 500 Abarth).

Similar to apps like Shazam, which identifies songs through sound, Car Capture should get more user-friendly with time. We’re anxious for a something that can give us all the details on a classic car vrooming past us at 40 m.p.h.