A new application is hitting the street, designed to turn the Android smartphone into a “visual radar device” to warn drivers of potential vehicle collisions.

Courtesy of software development firm Picitup, the iOnRoad VisualRadar app takes advantage of the processing power and multi-tasking capabilities of high-end Android handsets, according to Picitup, using the smartphone’s camera and sensors to detect vehicles in front of the vehicle to alert drivers when they are in danger.

The app allows the phone to map objects in front of the driver in real time, calculating the user’s current speed using native sensors. As the vehicle approaches danger, an audio-visual warning pops up to warn the driver of a possible collision, allowing them to brake in time.

The app can be used in “background mode,” allowing users to use the navigation app or take phone calls while still remaining safe on the road, the company said.

Picitup said that there are other iOnRoad apps drivers can tap into as well:

  • Notification narration: Using text-to-speech to read incoming notifications in order to ensure the safety of the driver.
  • Social integration: Allowing drivers to share their driving achievements with others through Facebook and Twitter.
  • Road snap shots: Allowing drivers to take a snapshot of a hazard or reckless driver and automatically post it to Facebook.
  • Personal web dashboard: Allowing users to improve their driving skills by viewing their latest drives and alerts.