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January 07, 2014

US Getting What Russians Already Have: Dash-Mounted Cameras

If you enter the phrase “Russian dash cam” on YouTube, the video-sharing site comes back with an astounding 455,000 results. That leads to the inevitable question, “Why do so many Russians have dash-mounted cameras in their cars?”

The answer, according to one report, is quite simple: Russia has the highest car-accident rate in the world, and guilty drivers are more likely to flee the scene of a crash (if they can) than stay around and face the consequences. Because Russian courts demand evidence of a crime, drivers have taken to running their cameras while running their cars. Result? Video evidence when a crash occurs.

Now American consumers will be able to enjoy the same evidence-gathering technology with the rollout of Garmin’s new Garmin Dash Cam, a high-def camera that can attach to any vehicle’s windshield. Debuting at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in South Hall 4, Booth #35812 in Las Vegas, the unit is available with or without a Global Positioning System. But if you opt for the unit with GPS, the receiver will time-stamp and geo-tag all the footage it records, so users will know exactly when and where recorded events happened.

Image via Shutterstock

"Garmin Dash Cam is like a personal eyewitness that never misses an incident and provides proof of what happens on the road," noted Dan Bartel, Garmin VP of worldwide sales. "It is fully automated and gives drivers peace of mind knowing any events that might occur will be captured. Features such as an internal microphone and GPS add valuable context to the video files."

According to the company, the Garmin Dash Cam records 1080p, 720p or WVGA video files in a continuous loop, using the included 4 GB microSD card. (Users can also add a larger microSD card, up to 32 GB.) When a collision or even a sharp-braking incident occurs, the Dash Cam’s G-Sensor intuitively knows to save the current, last and next recordings. Other features recorded and saved include latitude, longitude, date, time, speed and direction of travel. 

Without GPS, Garmin’s Dash Cam is expected to retail for $219.99; with the GPS, it’ll sell for $30 more. But by springing for the extra GPS, you’ll not only be able to record any unfortunate accidents, you will also know exactly how far from your destination you were when it happened – if that’s any consolation.

For other breaking news from CES, be sure to visit TMC’s site for ongoing CES news and updates.

Edited by Blaise McNamee

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