Garmin Dash Cam HD driving camera doubles as black box
At CES this week, GPS giant Garmin has added a new HD camera to its growing line. The Dash Cam mounts to any car's windshield, taking footage of the drive and acting as a data recorder in the event of a collision or other incident.
The Dash Cam is the latest in Garmin's line of aftermarket auto electronics and an addition to its stable of POV cameras. After suctioning to the vehicle's windshield and plugging into its power outlet, the Dash turns on automatically when the engine starts, and films wide-angle driving footage in a user's choice of 1080p, 720p or WVGA. The camera comes with a 4 GB microSD card for storage and will work with cards up to 32 GB. It shuts off automatically when the engine is turned off.
While the Dash could be useful for filming outings on twisty roads and fast tracks, it's designed more as a safety recorder. Its integrated G-Sensor detects incidents, such as hard braking and crashes, and saves the current, last and next recordings so that you can review them later. The Dash Cam with available GPS also records the time, location, speed and direction of travel.
The Dash's microphone allows the driver to record notes and other audio inside the vehicle. The cam can also be pulled off the windshield and used as a stills camera for taking photos of the scene and damage.
"Garmin Dash Cam is like a personal eyewitness that never misses an incident and provides proof of what happens on the road," says Dan Bartel, Garmin vice president of worldwide sales. "It is fully automated and gives drivers peace of mind knowing any events that might occur will be captured. Features such as an internal microphone and GPS add valuable context to the video files."
The Dash Cam will go on sale next month. The Dash Cam 10 (without GPS) will retail for US$219.99, while the GPS-equipped Dash Cam 20 will retail for $249.99. Each model will come with an integrated 2.3-in color display and vehicle power cable.
About the Author
Upon graduating college with a poli sci degree, Chris toiled in the political world for several years. Realizing he was better off making cynical comments from afar than actually getting involved in all that mess, he turned away from matters of government and news to cover the things that really matter: outdoor recreation, cool cars, technology, wild gadgets and all forms of other toys. He's happily following the wisdom of his father who told him that if you find something you love to do, it won't really be work.
All articles by C.C. Weiss
It is just my impression, but it seems like more and more companies are marketing dash cams. I think they are definitely a neat idea, expecially as a tool to collect incident data.
I wonder how long it will be before auto manufacturers install them as an option on new vehicles. Many cars already have an HDD in the dash and hardwired backup camera. It would not be a stretch to have a grill or overhead console mounted camera facing forwards.
The benefit to having it mounted above the rear view mirror and behind the windshield would be having the wipers keeping the viewing area clean.
Well, I spoke too soon in my earlier comment. General Motors will be offering this as an option on the 2015 Corvette. It is a more track oriented system, but still a factory option.
"The 2015 Chevrolet Corvette will have a new system that lets owners record their drives and share the video with friends.
The system uses a windshield-mounted camera, a microphone and a recorder to track data. Drivers can edit the videos to include their speed, location, lap times and other stats.
The video can be viewed on the Corvette’s eight-inch colour touchscreen when the car is parked or downloaded to a computer. Drivers can record up to 13 hours of driving time."
(quoted from www.theglobeandmail.com)
I think that is really nice. It would be cool to record a drive that is done to take in the scenery and one can view later to see and share where one has been.
It seems like the civilian version of what police have in their cars. Help with incidents that happen on the road or any encounters of the strange kind that might happen to drivers at night.
In Illinois, any recording of police is illegal, so if you're behind a police car you can legally get a ticket and your recorder confiscated.
In Illinois, the courts have ruled that police do not have an expectation of privacy and preventing such recordings is a violation of the First Amendment:
The federal courts have made this decision, but it does not prevent Illinois law enforcement from bringing charges.
Recording Cops Is No Longer Illegal in Illinois
I already have a dash cam. I got a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2.0 7" and put it on a dashpad mount. I run Autoguard (background) for the dash cam and Torque for extra gauges. Oh yes, I got a bluetooth OBDII dongle from dx.com for a couple bucks (one of the new low-profile ones). Awesome setup, I use it to monitor my coolant temp by °C so I know when it's finally warmed up enough for the heater.
Also, I can compare the GPS speedometer to the engine speedometer (practically bang-on, but the dash gauge reads about 5 km/hr fast - must be a speeding preventative measure!)
I have had dash cams in my car for a number of years. The problem I find is that the quality is not always there. They seem to last about a year then fail although I may have just had some bad luck.
I prefer the type which offers two cameras recording simultaneously.
The one I have now in my car is like that. A main unit in the front window and a bullet cam for the rear which has a long cable and jack. I think Gizmag may frown upon listing retailers on their site, however, if you're interested, my username at hotmail..and I'll tell you where I got it.
American store. Good staff and service...
There is a wide selection on E Bay as well.
I find having it makes me a calmer driver. Instead of getting hot under the collar when someone pulls a bonehead move, I have the satisfaction of knowing that if there is a resulting collision, I'll be vindicated. I've been a professional driver my whole life...paramedic, tour buses, trucks...and the driving habits of many on the road are appalling. At present, I drive a snowplow for a regional municipality north of Toronto. I have a dashcam in the truck as well. Can't be too careful....
A popular scam is for a driver to back into your car and claim that you rear-ended him. A standard front-facing dash cam will catch the real story. Your footage will prove your innocence.
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