The highest incidence of use of dash cameras is in Russia where almost all cars have one. To quote Jalopnik.com, “It's better than keeping a lead pipe under your seat for protection (but you might still want that lead pipe).”
While they are “highly regarded” by police and insurance companies, footage from dash cameras is not yet admissible as legal evidence in Australia due to the chain of custody and privacy issues. In the US, where laws are administered at the state level, dash cam footage is usually denied due to high recorded incidence of tampering.
I simply say that because so many retailers are using FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) to sell you one. But as the ever responsible Navman puts it, dash cam footage may be used to clarify your position with an insurance company or a police infringement. So what does a dash cam add to your life?
Navman invited journalists to a “Crash Course” to demonstrate the use of dash cams – in a responsible way of course. No cars were harmed during the complex manoeuvres but some journalists looked a little green around the gills afterwards. Navman also released the 2016 range of GPS units (iTWire article here).
This is what its Dash Cams do:
- Lane Departure Warning System – LDWS (ADAS models only) activated at >60km/h when you deviate away from your lane. This does not only use the “white lines” used by many other brands but cleverly monitors the horizon for changes as well.
- A built-in 3-Axis G-Shock Sensor measures impact and automatically locks the recorded video footage, impact location and date/time into an events vault.
- Following too close Alert – FCWS (ADAS models only) This alert chimes when you are travelling too close to the vehicle in front, reminding you to allow more space to brake.
- Front Departure Alert – FDWS (ADAS models only). Let’s you know when the vehicle in front has moved off without you noticing.
- Safety Camera Alerts.
- GPs Tracking, Photo Geotagging. Records the direction, location and speed travelling as well as capture still images so you can save and download EXIF data to assist in insurance claims.
- Still photo mode.
- Headlight/low light alert.
- Manual recording when you feel threatened e.g. road rage or any other reason.
Navman has a range of devices ranging from the low-cost MiVue 630 ($159), 660 (A$199), 680 ($249), 690 ($329) and the dual cam (front and back) 698 ($429). It also has a dash cam in its MiVue Drive FHD ($299), GPS. You can take it as a given that all have at least 1080p recording (or less to conserve SD storage), F2.0 lower light apertures (not infrared) and will record all incidents with GPS coordinates, time, etc.
I was taken by the MiVue 690/8 with its ADAS Safety Features that just make things easier.
The top device is the MiVue 698 that has two cameras – one for the front and one for the rear (or side etc.). It is handy for rear-end collisions.
The MiVUE Drive FHD combines dash cam with GPS in car navigation and includes with lifetime monthly map updates.
Despite the lack of “evidence,” dash cams are a skyrocketing category with a 45% increase in Navman's sales last year and more expected with this new range.