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Dash Camera for Model S

Discussion in 'Model S: User Interface' started by Prime Mover, Dec 14, 2012.

  1. Prime Mover

    Prime Mover R Sport #1029; S #2117

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    I recently had Tesla install a dash camera in my Roadster. Driving in most major cities has become a constant near-accident experience and I have found it comforting to be recording what is in front of me if something were to go wrong.

    Has anyone considered a dash camera for their Model S and where it could be located?

    I would also love to see the back-up camera permanently being recorded on a looping-SD card. Then if the vehicle was ever rear-ended there would be good evidence of fault. These cameras and digital storage capabilities are not that expensive and could be invaluable in an accident investigation. I think some day all cars would have cameras (like now found in most police cars).

    After the dust settles next week on my Model S delivery, I hope to work with Tesla to see what they could mount and power around the rear view mirror to record what is happening in a wide field-of-view in front of the vehicle. Anyone have any comments or experiences with this technology?
     
  2. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    Can you post picture of your install and the specs on how it works?
     
  3. Prime Mover

    Prime Mover R Sport #1029; S #2117

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    Some of the features I was looking for in a dash camera were:

    - 1080p resolution (1980 x 1080 pixel) at a reasonable frame rate (30fps or greater)
    - Must support looping (ie: when the memory card is full, the camera erases the oldest footage but keeps recording)
    (My understanding is that the Go-Pro cameras do not support this feature)
    - Support for a large SD memory card (8GB or more)
    - Automatically turns on when the car starts and turns off when the car is turned off
    - Able to provide a wide field-of-view and filming in low light conditions (ie: day or night)
    - Have a monitor for playback on-the-spot (so that the police could be shown footage without having to upload to a computer)
    - Be small enough to not block the driver's vision
    - Powered by the car (not batteries)

    The Tesla rep was able to hide the USB power cable in the car's molding panels. He decided to hang it in the rear window looking forward and made a bracket that he mounted by replacing a bolt in the rear window frame. The camera films over my shoulder and shows a bit of the cockpit as well as the view through the front windshield. Although it is a little more visible than I would have liked, there is not much room to work with inside the Roadster. I am very pleased with the results. I don't have to think about it, the camera just automatically records all my driving.

    I will have to take some photos of the unit in its mounting bracket and see if I can post a frame from the video.
     
  4. contaygious

    contaygious Active Member

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    That's a good idea. I got hit in my old car and the lady lied and said I swerved into her when I actually changed lanes twice to get away, but to no avail.
     
  5. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    In the past (at least here) Tesla was not doing any non factory-approved work on Roadsters. Legal, crash testing and other excuses.

    Perhaps that corporate attitude. has changed
     
  6. Laumb

    Laumb smrtass.

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    Even my S Delivery is 10+ months In the future I have already placed an order for "Blackvue 400 HDII" (missing a couple of letters from the name, but youll find it googling that) as a windshield mounted camera.
    It provindes the ability to record and delete oldest video, GPS logging, movement sensor to record when parked, if someone bumps into you, start recording when you drive off etc... All In 1080 HD.


    _____
    Tapatalkin' from iTalatut.
     
  7. wycolo

    wycolo Active Member

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    On Walmart site no mention of a REMOTE for the GoPro camera. Last thing you want to be doing is fiddling with a dash mounted camera. Even a wired remote would be fine. It can be set for shots every 1/2 sec up to 60 sec, so most trips could fit on a largish sd chip, obviating the re-looping mode. Even running constantly it could probably record more than a few hours on each sd. I found a spider tripod for use on dash w/o drilling or sticky tape, but was not too excited about using it with my every day camera (point n shoot with flip out screen). This GoPro camera seems much better for dedicated dash use. Thanx for bringing it to my attention.
    --
     
  8. NielsChr

    NielsChr Member

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    I too have wounded about a front/left/right cam and a endless loop recording these.
    How-ever not shure if [email protected] fps is the way to go, slower framerates tendt to capture more lights, so will be better at low light conditions - and worse would require some CPU from the infortanment to stream/encode streams at [email protected], [email protected] would be mutch lighter in respect of memory and CPU and file size.

    at work I manage meny video survaliance devices - here my prefered settings are 3-5 fps witch are sufficient since its moving people (not moving fast), in a moving car a litle more speed would be needed but not 30fps - [email protected] fps - would do fine, and leave space for longer records [email protected] would only allow a short loop, while [email protected] would allow 6 times as long a loop (per stream) -
    another is takeing a high res video (1080p) for 30 sek while and alarm is registered (when parking) would also be nice - this should maybe be 1080p, since more details are needed (e.g. reading number plates, face detection ect.)

    anyway Tesla could let the user/owner select and select between 480p,720p,1080p and frame rates 5,10,15,30,60 . - then all would be happy, prefereble select induvidual settings for each cam.
     
  9. Prime Mover

    Prime Mover R Sport #1029; S #2117

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    Here is a frame from the video capture.
    Camera View.jpg

    A single frame doesn't do the picture quality justice, but you can tell in the image the speed I'm driving (nice hand placements on the wheel!), where the driver is looking (via the mirror) and you can even almost read the song title on the Sirius radio. There is a date and time stamp on the video. License plate numbers are easily visible when a car is right in front of you. I am using a 32GB Category 10 SD card so there are several minutes of video recorded before the card has to erase old footage. Usually, if you get into an accident, you only need the last couple of minutes (or seconds) so I record at the highest quality and frame rate. At night, the headlights help with illuminating the picture.

    It is too bad that half the frame view is the inside of the roof (so there is a lot of wasted pixel space) but those of you who have driven a Roadster know, the field of view out the front is not very great. I usually have to lean forward to see if the traffic light has changed.

    In the Model S, I am hoping to have a more complete forward view but I will miss capturing a bit about what is happening in the cockpit. Some cameras (like for Taxi driver safety) film both the interior and exterior of the vehicle. That could be helpful in an accident investigation, but it could also be a little grisly in a serious crash.

    There is always a risk that you capture yourself doing something wrong or being at fault in an accident, but I still think the benefits outweigh the disadvantages.
     
  10. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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    That would be the Blackvue DR400G HD II. I wonder if this could be mounted on the pano roof crossbar to document not only the street view, but also the dashboard? It's only a matter of time before someone gets a ticket for accelerating too quickly, even if he never exceeds the legal speed.
     
  11. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the info.

    Is it easy to stop after you have been hit? It would be (extra) terrible to find that the system recorded the accident scene for 20 minutes or the tow truck drive home while the driver was taken away in an ambulance.
     
  12. Prime Mover

    Prime Mover R Sport #1029; S #2117

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    The camera recording process could be easily stopped by pulling the USB plug out of it but since the recording stops when the car is turned off, I would expect the vehicle would be powered off if towed or in an accident.
     
  13. Laumb

    Laumb smrtass.

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    The Blackvue uses the built In accelerometer to identify a crash, go to battery mode for a short while and the safely shut down to conserve the memory card/video files.


    _____
    Tapatalkin' from iTalatut.
     
  14. Jaff

    Jaff Active Member

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    Could you add a couple of phasors to deal with slow moving traffic? :wink:

    Cool idea David...I'll see you next Thursday, I'd like to find out more about your Roadster's setup...


     
  15. Prime Mover

    Prime Mover R Sport #1029; S #2117

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    Traffic phasers sound like a great upgrade for either the Roadster or the Model S.

    I see they found your Sig and you now have a VIN. You are #2120 and I am #2117. Not sure why our VINS are in the 2100s when we should have been early in the batch, but since all the cars are being delivered at once, I am fine with the VIN. Hopefully I will get to see you at the delivery party (is it okay to drink Champagne at 9am and then get behind the wheel?).

    It will be interesting to see what might be missing from the Canadian Sigs (parcel shelf, cubby, spoiler, jump seats?). This should be under another thread but, oh well.


    Back on topic, here is a link to the latest variant of the camera I purchased (and the company I got it from):

    1080P HD Infrared Dash Camera with LCD (60FPS - 4 IRs) | Helmet Camera & Helmet Cam Shop - StuntCams

    Here is the link to the manufacturer's spec sheet for the dash camera:

    DOD-Dream Of Digit-tech PRODUCTS


    I will try and get pictures of the Roadster mount for anyone interested. It was a Tesla rep who installed it, but the installation was not officially sanctioned by Tesla. I am hoping the larger front windshield of the Model S will make for an easier location to install but I like the suggestion about possibly mounting it, if possible, around the pano roof.
     
  16. Todd Burch

    Todd Burch Electron Pilot

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    Wonder how many 20 minute record/re-record cycles the SD card will take before it fails? In a typical day of driving for me, your drive would go through about 7 re-record cycles.
     
  17. Babylonfive

    Babylonfive Power12

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    So, at 25K cycles, thats... 5 years if you drive every day and actually more like 10+ years if you average half of that.
     
  18. Todd Burch

    Todd Burch Electron Pilot

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    I guess SD cards have many more cycles than solid-state drives? I dunno, haven't looked up the latest technology specs but solid state drives initially had a relatively low number of rewrite cycles. I figured SD cards might be similar. Anyway. Nothing to see here...carry on with Dash Camera talk!
     
  19. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    Can you PM some details and/or contact information? I've been considering something like this and would love to have Tesla do an install rather than have some 3rd party do it.
     
  20. alset

    alset Member

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    #20 alset, Dec 15, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2012
    I am not a lawyer but be aware that there are some unclear legal issues state by state with using a camera like those discussed here, in a car or on a bike helmet. The complexity is higher when a conversation takes place, audio could be/is recorded and when the camera is "secret" (not declared to those involved).

    On recording the police specifically (e.g. if you're pulled over), this is a good read: 7 Rules for Recording Police

    The MA law on this is explained here: Massachusetts Recording Law | Citizen Media Law Project

    Also, someone already mentioned that any (known) recordings inside your car could be subpoenaed for use against you in the car of an accident or other situation.

    Be careful out there and look into an umbrella insurance policy (no, I'm not in the business). :)
     

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