TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker or making a Paypal contribution here: paypal.me/SupportTMC

What do you do with your dashcam? Why did you get one?

Discussion in 'Model S: Interior & Exterior' started by Andyw2100, Jan 6, 2015.

  1. Andyw2100

    Andyw2100 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2014
    Messages:
    5,387
    Location:
    Ithaca, NY
    This is a serious question for those of you with dashcams, as I am considering getting one, and am wondering how others are using them.

    Do most of you have them mainly as "insurance policies", hoping to have some sort of proof in the event of an accident or damage to your Model S? (I think that would be the main reason I'd be getting one.)

    I'm wondering what else is done with them, if anything? I mean I understand that you can record videos of your drives and save them, etc., but realistically how many videos like that do you save?

    I know the good dashcams have parking modes, and record while the cars are parked, so conceivably might catch someone dinging the side of the car, but that seems somewhat unlikely, and even if the offender was caught on camera, seeking restitution would probably prove difficult or impossible.

    Are there other uses I'm not thinking of?

    Also, is there a potential downside? If you're involved in an accident where you're actually at fault, can the dashcam footage somehow be used against you, without your consent? (Could it be obtained via court order? I'm guessing it could be.)

    Thanks for any insight you'd like to share.
     
  2. David99

    David99 Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2014
    Messages:
    2,048
    Location:
    Brea, Orange County
    I had several for many years. I got in a few close call situations and I realized it is a small cost compared to the high cost when having an accident and the other side is making false statements. Another reason I got it was because I was pulled over by police once and got verbally abused by an officer with anger issues. Cops these days are aware of dash cameras, they will look for it if they pull you over and look inside your car. You are perfectly legal to record and they know so they will conduct themselves professionally. So in a way it prevents being abused. So far, fortunately I have never had an accident where I would have needed it.

    I never even bother looking at the video. Every once in a while I check the files on the card to see it's still working properly. Here and there I caught a few funny moments in traffic.

    In case you are at fault you can try to keep quiet about the video. I'm not sure what the legal situation is. The fifth allows you to remain silent when the answer could possibly used against you. There are some exceptions to this, though. I'm not a legal expert, so I don't feel qualified to give advice. In that context, there is a good side effect on having a camera. Once I installed it I became more aware and conscious about my own driving because I knew that I was 'being watched' all the time.
     
  3. RiverBrick

    RiverBrick Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2014
    Messages:
    1,365
    Location:
    Québec
    Yes, for the laughs I wish I had a 360° dash cam with mic when I was pulled over Monday for driving in an HOV lane. As a pilot project, for six weeks now, only a whopping 4-mile HOV stretch in my province is open to single-occupancy EVs and not all the police are used to it.

    Officer: Hello, license and registration. You were driving in a lane reserved for buses, taxis, and car-pooling.
    Me: And electric cars.
    Officer: This is an electric car!??

    He then walked back to look at the green license plate with EV logo (standard ones are blue), returned, apologized, and even offered an escort so I could quickly get back into traffic.

    At least the forward-facing camera with no sound protects me in case of incidents like this one:

    http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2014/06/16/get-marty-man-questions-traffic-ticket-after-stop-caught-on-camera/
     
    • Informative x 1
  4. tga

    tga Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2014
    Messages:
    2,192
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    In Massachusetts, people have been arrested and charged with illegal wiretapping for recording the police without their knowledge.

    IANAL, so don't take this as legal advice, but I believe the outcome of Glik v. Cunniffe was that you can record the police openly in MA, but secret recording is still considered wiretapping, as you haven't received the officer's consent to be recorded. Is a dash cam out in the open considered "secret"? I don't know, but I wouldn't want to find out the hard way:

    The secrecy rule: Recording police and Massachusetts wiretap law | masslive.com
    Police fight cellphone recordings - The Boston Globe
    7 Rules for Recording Police - Reason.com
    Glik v. Cunniffe - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
  5. scottm

    scottm Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2014
    Messages:
    1,262
    Location:
    Canada
    #5 scottm, Jan 7, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2015
    Just got dashcams for all the cars in the family at Christmas. All the same model. Got one out of curiosity / boredom / for fun. In only a few days, wondered why I hadn't done this sooner.

    Here are some tips:
    - just use the cam as a possible source of evidence if needed. Think of it as a security cam nothing more. Set it and forget it. You want hands-off reliability day over day so you can forget about it. Autostart each time the car starts. Mount it where you can't notice it too much behind the mirror.
    - get a battery-less model with a capacitor instead, enough to save open files and power off, that's all you need. Some cheap cams hastily switched designs over from battery to capacitor and in the process, lose all settings between drive cycles, including TIME/DATE. Don't settle for that, get one designed to retain settings designed for just a capacitor.
    - get a full HD model, 1080, there is no excuse to settle for 720 these days
    - get the largest SD card that fits the cam, mine is 32GB.. this is about 6 hours of driving. Class 10 card. Some cards are still Class 4 out there, don't buy that. Cheap Class 10 memory seems to work well, skip the "Gold Label" stuff.
    - format the card using the camera, not a PC. Format every few weeks.
    - don't go for too wide angle camera.. things get small and seem very far away with 170* cams, even when they're just a few car lengths ahead of you. About 140 degrees is what I got. This gives me A-pillar to A-pillar viewing. I see things on the videos that my peripheral vision doesn't catch or is hidden behind the A pillars. I'd say anything down to 100 degrees would probably still be perfectly fine. My camera is mounted high enough on windshield on Tesla that it actually catches my speedometer on the video showing speed clearly... and if signals are being used. Extra evidence.
    - night viewing quality is important... our nights are long in winter here. Some cams lose everything into the shadows at night, and can barely show what your headlights are illuminating. CMOS is best chip technology.
    - Made in Korea cams are better than China cams in general. Buy from a local source that is willing to take return if not satisfied.
    - IR LEDs on cams are a gimmick, don't need them.. that is so last year.
    - turn OFF the G-sensor, if it has it. It'll always be triggering no matter how insensitive you set it, and locks files and fills up your card over time, and reduces the looping span. If you've had an accident or want to extract a video, you'll know well enough to stop the recording the card out and transfer to PC.
    - don't bother using motion sense feature when parked unless you are parked in a garage not pointing at sky (clouds activate camera chewing up all your space). In a very busy parking lot, every passer by triggers cam... You may as well leave it constantly on.
    - I spent $90 and am totally amazed at the quality of video, even at night.. detail in the day, clarity... These things have arrived to the masses I'd say. That's why I got another for the other car. It even has a little 2" touch screen to navigate options.
    - Don't bother with models that have 2 lens for catching things from 2 different directions. Just get 2 cameras instead. I am thinking of sticking another one on passenger side filming the inside of the car, pointed at driver window. And possibly a third, out the back window. ... for less than $400 you could have 360 coverage if you wanted to go crazy.
    - Look for ones that that auto-dim the display after a minute of turning on. Look for the auto-record on power-up feature.
    - Most have microphones, look for ones that you can turn off. I think most do. Some wiretap laws say stuff about recording conversations.. but not video.
    - Neat thing about Tesla is that it is so quiet riding, and when the HVAC fan is off... the sound capture is quite good! In other cars, it's much more garbled.
    - Mine is just suction cupped to the windshield for now, comes with it. I will be custom 3-D printing a bracket soon to mount it to the mirror stem instead. If demand is there I'll put it on Thingiverse.
    - Most will have USB port to connect to PC for downloading video, I just pop the SD card out if there was an even of interest I want to save.
    - Like the guy who drive right across the intersection in front of me on a green a light as he was running his red... heads down in texting. I turned right and caught up in a minute, to capture his license plate on the same video...
    - Or like the teenager who begins doing a spontaneous burn out at the stop sign as I'm waiting behind him.. I think he spotted a hot car in his rear view mirror and testosterone took over the controls of his clapped out Mustang. Then when the cross-traffic clears he lifts his brake pedal and shoot across the intersection about 10 feet behind the trailing bumper of the last crossing car that passes by... actually it was a white van. Got his license plate number, as he drove away. I was just waiting to get a rock flung at my windshield and would have had that evidence... rock hitting and the reason caught right there on video. But it didn't happen.


    You come to realize driving events like this happen EVERY DAY. "If only I had that on video..." Well, now you do. Make a library of it. Post it to your own youtube channel call it "idiots in my area". Send a link to the police station.

    Cheers
     
    • Informative x 1
    • Like x 1
  6. Andyw2100

    Andyw2100 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2014
    Messages:
    5,387
    Location:
    Ithaca, NY
    Thanks for all the responses so far. Please keep them coming.

    As for the dashcam itself, if I get one I'll probably go with the Blackvue 650, as that seems to be the model of choice among a lot of people here. I'm not all that concerned with the small differences in cost between units, in light of what I've already invested in the car, and the fact that I'm going to have to pay to have the dashcam installed somewhere. (This is not something I would attempt myself.) I'm just interested in getting the best, most useful, most unobtrusive installation possible, and knowing what I can do with it once installed.

    Thanks!
     
  7. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2012
    Messages:
    8,552
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    I got mine primarily to avoid any "he said, she said" crap in the case of an accident. I've also saved a few clips of crazy or weird stuff I've seen on the roads. In one case I was cut off by a commercial van who passed me on the right on an exit ramp, then swerved in front of me back on to the freeway, causing me to have to slam on the brakes. I could see the company name and was going to follow up with the firm, but cooled down and never got around to it!
     
  8. pinguhk

    pinguhk Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2014
    Messages:
    296
    Location:
    hong kong
    For me I use it for insurance policies and police.
    I have a spare SD card ready if I need to keep that footage and if the police is involved they will take the cam away for proof.
    As for the accident it dose not matter who fault the image will show who fault it will be and also they will see how you drive before the accident so yes if it is your fault then it will 99.9% against you for your own footage.
     
  9. Pilot_51

    Pilot_51 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2014
    Messages:
    529
    Location:
    Metro Detroit, MI
    I've mostly used mine for Model S sightings, but have also captured one instance of road rage between two vehicles. I think of it more as a way to record interesting events on the road, with insurance benefits and whatnot being a bonus that I hope I never need to use.

    Mine is a Mobius ($80) with a 64GB microSDXC card ($33). Excellent bang for the buck. The main feature that sold me is that you can use an Android device with an OTG cable to configure it, preview the image, or pull recordings. Here's Techmoan's review; be sure to check his other reviews.
    I was considering the Blackvue, but the large size and price was a big turnoff. Once I found the Mobius, it didn't seem worth the extra $150 or so to basically use wi-fi instead of OTG.

    I installed it the quick and easy way, very similar to how Newscutter did it except without adhesive, 12v splitter or tools, and instead over the visor and under the foot mat (starting toward the front to hide it better under the dash) directly to one of those small USB car power adapters. I'm happy with it, the cabling is not much more noticeable and don't need to disassemble the dashboard for the fuse box method (I'd probably ask Tesla to do that on my annual service if I wanted it enough).
     
  10. Newscutter

    Newscutter Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2013
    Messages:
    711
    Location:
    Wexford, Pennsylvania, United States
    #10 Newscutter, Jan 8, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2016
    Cool! I had a similar "loose" version until I was sure I wanted to take the extra time to really wire it in. Even so, I could uninstall in under 5 minutes with no ill effect.

    I did a blog post on the camera too, with more detailed pictures: TESLA Pittsburgh.com: Getting Big Brother On YOUR Side

    DO CHECK your state wiretapping laws. The concerns for privacy will overrule any accident footage you might otherwise capture. Even if your state doesn't require 2 party consent, if you regularly travel in one that does it would be wise to disable the audio just in case.

    As for the "why"-- well, I outlined my reasons thoroughly in the blog post. Bottom line, with entry prices around $65 self-installed how can you not make the investment to save you from the deductible expense later?

    I also get a kick out of catching the thumbs up, the waves, chasing my friend's Tesla and OF COURSE the potential for accidents.


     
  11. Andyw2100

    Andyw2100 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2014
    Messages:
    5,387
    Location:
    Ithaca, NY
    Great video you posted there. If you had hit the speeder pulling out in front of you at least the officer would have been close by to write things up!
     
  12. CHGolferJim

    CHGolferJim Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2014
    Messages:
    841
    Location:
    Chapel Hill, NC
    If you sent video to the Highway Patrol, would that be sufficient evidence to prosecute reckless drivers? A major pet peeve is people pulling asshat maneuvers at high speed around me on the highway. Puts me into video game mode. Plus would be great for travel movies (like Bjorn).
     
  13. caps04

    caps04 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2014
    Messages:
    237
    Location:
    NJ USA
    Sorry if I missed it but which models did you get/recommend?
     
  14. JPP

    JPP Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2013
    Messages:
    1,841
    Location:
    SF Bay area, CA
    I have had a Blackvue 550 (dual front/rear) HD system installed for about a year and a half. Just an added layer of insurance. I had seen a TMC member's video from a serious accident where he was t-boned and the video was valuable evidence. FWIW, I believe that in the USA and some countries you can't have a video display running while driving (some dashcams including the Blackvue 750 have built in ones), so why buy what you cannot use. Be careful to judge actual video quality--a cheap camera that does not resolve a license plate is worthless. I do use the g-force sensors (set to a reasonable threshold), and do use parking mode. Search these forums for lots of info including installation instructions. And yes, in some jurisdictions, you cannot record audio without consent (..though I keep my audio recording mode on).
     
  15. David99

    David99 Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2014
    Messages:
    2,048
    Location:
    Brea, Orange County
    Here in California you are supposed to report drunk drivers and I assume that same is true for anyone that poses a serious safety threat to the road. Reckless driving is one of those. I caught several crazy drivers in camera, but so far I never bothered pulling the video and reporting them. Maybe I should because it's really dangerous and the reason people do it because they feel like they can get away with it as long as there is no police around. BTW, I'm not talking about people going fast on an empty desert road. I'm talking about crazy boy racers that think they are invincible.

    - - - Updated - - -

    That's why these cameras have the option to automatically switch off the screen after one minute after starting up.
     
  16. Johan

    Johan Took a TSLA bear test. Came back negative.

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2012
    Messages:
    6,890
    Location:
    Drammen, Norway
    I (inadvertently) filmed my whole service appointment yesterday... Very unexciting:

    [video=vimeo;116299784]https://vimeo.com/116299784[/video]

    But the reason I have it is for accidents and if someone hits my car while it's parked.
     
  17. seandudley

    seandudley New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2015
    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Loudon, TN
    I use a mirror one that I can place over the existing mirror in the car. It just looks like a regular mirror until you press a button and then a display comes in the mirror, allowing you to view video, delete video, etc. I don't yet have an Tesla, but I use the dash cam on my Nissan Altima. Anyway, the reasons I like having a dash cam are:

    1. If a flying saucer lands in front of the car, I'll have some killer video! :)
    2. If I get into an accident, it is always good to have proof of what really happened.
    3. There are idiots out there that intentionally throw themselves in front of your car so they can sue you.
    4. If a meteor flies across the sky, I'm covered.
    5. Might get some amazing video of one of those once in a lifetime things. One that comes to mind is when I was driving down the interstate one time in the left lane of 3 lanes, I started hearing this squealing sound. At first I wasn't sure what it was, and then I noticed that the card in front of me somehow started rotating in the lane ahead of me. It was so strange, they were going straight down the interstate, then squealing as the car does a 180, and is not going backwards down the interstate. The car skidded out of the left lane into the center lane right in front of an 18-wheeler truck, and was so close, the truck driver apparently didn't even see them because he never even touched his brakes. They somehow managed to skid out of the way of that truck, and into the right lane, and then onto the shoulder and stop. I looked over at the car as I was driving past, and there were 4 girls around high school age who were all just sitting there looking like they were in total shock. I'm so glad that they didn't get obliterated by the truck, and ended up being physically just fine. I still don't know what the heck happened to make the car do that. A blowout perhaps? Anyway, I've always wished I had that on video since it turned out ok, it was just an amazing thing to see happen.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Sorry, that should be, "now going backwards down the interstate", not "not going backwards down the interstate". Couldn't find a way to edit it.
     
  18. HankLloydRight

    HankLloydRight Fluxing

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2014
    Messages:
    5,747
    Location:
    Connecticut
    While alot of this advice is good, it does vary from person to person, so don't take every piece of advice as gospel. Everyone has different experience with the one or two cameras they bought... and no experience with the hundreds of other dashcams out there.. there are units to address many of the issues posted.

    For instance, I have a LUKAS 5900 duo (front/rear) dashcam... it has a parking mode with motion detection that works very well. Some people here might choose not to have/use one, but I like it, it works very well and doesn't use up memory -- the software allows you to partition how much memory is used for regular recording (driving), parking mode, and "Event" mode (triggered events). So I think I have it set for 80/10/10% so each type of event recording doesn't clobber the other.

    Also, I like how both front and rear are recorded in sync, in one video file. With multiple seperate cams, you'd have to take the video and sync them up yourself.

    My g-force sensor is adequate and works.. doesn't constantly trigger.. and even if it did, it can only take up 10% of storage space.

    1080 is good for reading license plates, and in some cases it might be necessary. But if you're using the video for an insurance claim or proof of fault, it's not a hard and fast requirement. 720 cams work just as good. You're not watching a full screen HD movie or live action sports, you're collecting evidence in case of an accident. It's your call of course, based on your individual needs, but 1080 is not required.

    The bottom line is, decide what features are important to your needs, and then find a product that fills those needs. There is no "one-size-fits-all" here, so take everyone's advice as just that -- their personal experience, not necessarily as a set of universal requirements.

    My question is, if you're in a state that has such wiretapping laws, can't you just erase the audio track on the video before sending it off to the authorities or insurance companies? How can they prove their audio was recorded?
     
  19. jcaspar

    jcaspar Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2013
    Messages:
    792
    Location:
    Sacramento
    It seems it would be hard to with the quality of the video posted above. License plate appears to be unreadable. Seems it would help prove fault in an accident including the fault of the dashcam owner!

     
  20. tsarlsy

    tsarlsy Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2013
    Messages:
    114
    Location:
    Richmond Hill, ON
    I noticed this too. Is this normal or just due to a budget dashcam?
     

Share This Page