Russia is arguable the undisputed kings when it comes to capturing dashboard camera footage, as you can’t click through three pages on YouTube without being served up a link to hairy truck driver footage or a moose on the loose.
Thanks to Garmin’s new Dash Cam Series, South Africans too can capture all the action that is part of our commuting journey – taxis and all. The new Dash Cam Series forms part of Garmin’s Automotive range of products.
“Dash Cam is a high-definition camera that mounts to any vehicles’ windscreen to continuously record a 120 degree wide-angle view of the road while driving. Once the Dash Cam is installed, the camera remains fully automated and it will start recording when the engine is turned on and stop when it is turned off,” Garmin said in a press statement.
Walter Mech, CEO of Garmin sub-Saharan Africa explained that it’s a great way for drivers to capture what is going on around them, and if something had to happen they would be protected by their camera footage.
“Garmin Dash Cam is like a personal eyewitness that never misses an incident and provides proof of what happens on the road. It is fully automated and gives drivers peace of mind knowing should any event occur, it will be captured with detailed information like time and date embedded into the recording. Additional features such as an internal microphone and GPS add valuable context to the video files that puts the Dash Cam in a league of its own.”
Of course, whether or not dash cams are legal in South Africa may be open to debate. They’ve certainly caused controversy and fallen foul of the law elsewhere in the world, raising issues of driver safety while being operated.
The camera records in Full HD 1080p, 720p or WVGA video files in a continuous loop to a 4 GB microSD card, which can also be upgraded to 32GB. The camera integrates a G-Sensor so that it starts or stops recording as a car is moving or stops – and saves the current, last and next recordings.
It has a 2.3-inch colour display, GPS tracking functions and retails for about R2 600.
Of course, if you have a mobile phone, you already have a great hands-free way of capturing those “I can’t believe you’re really driving” moments on South African roads. Our preferred method is to leave the camera rolling, then tap your steering wheel when you see something ridiculous ahead. That gives you a nice edit point to collate the highlights/lowlights of your drive home into a naming and shaming YouTube video.