The Evolution of the Dash Cam – Don’t be Stuck Without One
Like with most other technology, the dash cam started off big and bulky, but has evolved into a must have for every driver.
Now they are small, discrete, affordable, and well, pretty much necessary.
Let’s take a look at this every increasingly popular gadget.
The dash cam or car dash camera sitting on your car’s dashboard is so different than the first cameras found on Texan police cars in the late 1980’s. Those cameras were analog cameras that didn’t have memory cards, but everything was recorded on VHS cassettes.
The cameras then also weren’t actually ‘placed’ on the dashboard, but were mounted on tripods on the front or back windows. These earliest car cameras were not as small and sleek as today’s cameras.
Bulky and Expensive
The car dash cameras then were very bulky and costly when compared to today’s cameras. This is why most police departments were not that excited or interested in investing in them. Besides just being expensive, they also had poor video clarity and quality, making it rather difficult to recognize personal features, license plates and vehicle models in the recordings.
Initially they were only used by US police departments to ensure officer safety. The tables turned in the early 90s when everyday citizens began installing them and using them to record the police officers instead, as well as other driving instances. This way, if you were unlawfully stopped, you would have definitive proof of what happened.
This in turn, prompted the police departments to increase their own usage of dash cams, as a sort of proof against the claims of the people they were stopping.
The advancement of technology led to better and cheaper car cameras so that police departments across the country started using them to record everything the police personnel went through on duty. This led to Fox producing entertaining shows like Cops and World’s Wildest Police videos in 1998.
Becoming Famous in Russia
Despite the low prices, back then, Americans were still not that interested in using dash cameras. It was the Russians who paved the way and popularized the use of car cameras after their Interior Ministry permitted citizens to install in-car cameras in 2009.
This regulation was passed because there was an increasing number of insurance fraud being committed in the country, forcing drivers to pay large amounts, even though they weren’t at fault. People would purposely throw themselves at cars just so they could sue the drivers for damages.
With this new regulation, it was reported in 2013 that over a million Russians drivers used at least one dash cam in their car to protect themselves against these false claims. This number continues to increase each year.
Videos started surfacing and attracting the attention of the rest of the world. The car cameras captured everything from shocking drivers, insurance fraud, beautiful scenery, meteor showers, and more. These shocking videos became so popular that it led to a 918% increase in car camera sales in the UK and a 200% increase in sales in the US.
Watch a compilation of insurance scams caught in Russia below
With this surge in demand and popularity, dash cam manufacturers realized they needed to make these gadgets better- and they have.
Changes over the years
Dash cameras have come a long way since its early basic units. You now have cheaper, smaller and much better quality cameras. Capture your road trip in Full High Definition Digital Video Recordings, GPS stamp your location to send for help, or remember what you passed on your road trip. The cameras now offer seamless loop recording, can be program to start automatically, store hours of footage in micro SD cards and hold up to a whopping 128 GD capacity.
The New Norm
This is why you now find not only police cars, but also taxi companies, bus services, trucking firms and even the general public using dash cams in most countries across the world.
If you’ve been in an Uber or Lyft recently, you’ve mostly likely noticed many drivers now have a dual channel dash cam installed.
They are easy to install; come with a user friendly design, and can be used to capture hit and runs, break ins, and unlawful stops. With a onetime install job, you’re potentially saving yourself hundreds if not thousands of dollars and installing a little peace of mind for yourself as well. You can’t put a price on that.
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Tags: dash cam, history, insurance fraud
Categorised in: Tips