A dashcam, dashboard camera, car DVR, driving recorder, or event data recorder (EDR) is an onboard camera that continuously records the view through a vehicle's front windscreen and sometimes rear or other windows. Some dashcams include a camera to record the interior of the car in 360 degrees inside camera, usually in a ball form and can automatically send pictures and video using 4G.

EDRs and some dashcams also record acceleration/deceleration g-force, speed, steering angle, GPS data, etc.

A wide-angle 130, 170° or more front camera may be attached to the interior windscreen, to the rear-view mirror (clip on), or to the top of the dashboard, by suction cup or adhesive-tape mount. A rear camera is usually mounted in the rear window or in the registration plate, with a RCA Video output to the display monitor/screen.

The resolution will determine the overall quality of the video. Full HD or 1080p (1920×1080) is standard for Dash HD cams. Dash cameras may have 1080p, 1296p, 1440p, or higher definition for a front camera and 720p for a back camera and include f/1.8 aperture and night vision mode.

Dashcams can provide video evidence in the event of a road accident. When parked, dashcams can capture video and picture evidence if vandalism is detected 360° parking monitor and send it to the owner usually employing 4G.


By targeted field of view:

  • exterior view such as for recording the front view only, the back view, etc.
  • cabin or inside viewing mode sometimes also called a taxicam and Uber/Lyft cam.

Some cabin cams include a screen also known as a rear view mirror dash cam) that can be attached to the rear-view mirror employing usually rubble rings or straps or as a direct replacement of the rear view mirror itself. Others attach to the windshield, dash, or other suitable interior surfaces

Many dashcams include rechargeable batteries not needed when connected to car battery wire or capacitors.


To ensure that recorded video files are not tampered with once they have been recorded, videos can be timestamped in a tamper-proof manner, a procedure termed trusted timestamping.

To ensure a reliable 24/7 parking surveillance when capacity is an issue, a motion detector may be used to record only when an approaching human/vehicle is detected, in order to save power and storage media.[1]

Advanced driver assistance system ADAS and park location save can be included.

G sensor

Dashcams with a G-sensor ensure that recordings of a collision are not overwritten by new data usually by storing them in a separate folder and/or making them read-only. The G-sensor ensures that the dashcam makes separate recordings.

Radar detector

The integrated radar detector responds to police radars and warns the driver about approaching them, as a rule, with a sound signal.


Some dashcams include touch screens, which vary in size the wider ones are usually mounted on the rearview mirror.

SD, satellite and wireless

Dashcams usually use class 10 or above MicroSDHC or MicroSDXC cards usually 16 GB or higher or internal memory to save videos.

The port to connect the GPS antenna can use a micro USB or 3.5 mm jack connection. The antenna is usually 1575 to 1568 MHz and 3.0 to 5.0 V.

GPS coordinate stamping capability is included in most dashcams (some need an external GPS antenna, but other dashcam systems have built-in GPS), and others include GPS (online and offline) navigation.

Some dashcams include Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and 4G connectivity.

For Bluetooth and voice commands and recording, a built-in microphone is included.

4G triple-cam (also called triple-lens and three-way-cams) sets on rearview mirror are becoming more available (2 front cameras - one 170° to mainly record road, one 360° for sides and doors and a rear camera).

4G is used to send messages, calls, pictures, and videos in parking surveillance mode. Usually a second 360° camera is employed to record the car's sides front doors and windows and inside.

Also, 4G is used to send message when car battery is low.


Dashcam units usually operate via the vehicle electrical system, converting the 13.8V to a 5V USB connector. Dashcams can be plugged in via the cigarette lighter socket, or may be hardwired directly into the electrical system, freeing up the power outlet for other uses.


Dashcams are widespread in Russia[2] as a guard against police corruption and insurance fraud, where they provide additional evidence.[3] They have been called "ubiquitous" and "an on-line obsession," and are so prevalent that dashcam footage was the most common footage of the February 2013 Chelyabinsk meteor,[4] which was documented from at least a dozen angles. Thousands of videos showing automobile and aircraft crashes, close calls, and attempts at insurance fraud have been uploaded to social sharing websites such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Yandex, and other websites.

In the United Kingdom, sales of dashcams rocketed in 2015, which was the fastest growing consumer electronic, with sales increasing by 395%.[5]

In China, dashcams were well known by a dramatic event of a road rage.[6]

Dashcams have also captured numerous aviation accidents, such as National Airlines Flight 102[7] in 2013, TransAsia Airways Flight 235 in 2015[8] and the Shoreham Airshow crash[9] in 2015.


While dashcams are gaining in popularity as a way of protection against distortion of facts, they also attract negative attitudes for privacy concerns. This is also reflected in the laws of different countries in different and conflicting ways:

  • They are popular in many parts of Asia, Europe particularly the United Kingdom, France, and Russia, where they are explicitly allowed by regulations issued in 2009 by the Ministry of the Interior,[10] Australia, and the United States.
  • Austria prohibits their use if the main purpose is surveillance, which may carry fines of up to € 10,000. Other uses are legal, although the distinction can be difficult to make.[11]
  • In Switzerland, their use is strongly discouraged in public space as they may contravene data protection principles.[12]
  • In Germany,[13] while small cameras for personal use in vehicles are allowed, posting footage from them on social-media sites is considered a violation of privacy and thus forbidden, if personal data is not blurred in the footage. Recently, the Federal Court of Justice ruled that although the permanent recording of traffic events is inadmissible under national data protection law, the recordings made may nevertheless be used as evidence in civil proceedings after careful consideration of the interests involved.[14] It can be assumed that this case law will also apply under the new basic European Data Protection Regulation.
  • In Luxembourg, it is not illegal to possess a dashcam but it is illegal to use one to capture videos or still images in a public place which includes in a vehicle on a public road. Recording using a dashcam may result in a fine or imprisonment.[15]
  • In Australia, recording on public roadways is allowed as long as the recording does not infringe upon one's personal privacy in a way that may be deemed inappropriate in a court of law.[16]
  • In the United States, at the federal level, the video taping of public events is protected under the First Amendment right.[17] Videotaping of non-public events and videotaping-related issues, including sound recording and matters related to time of the day, venue, manner of recording, privacy concerns, implications on motor vehicle moving violation issues such as whether the windshield view is being blocked, are dealt with at the state level.
    • In the state of Maryland, for example, it is illegal to record anybody's voice without their consent, but it is legal to record without the other party's consent if the non-consenting party does not have a reasonable expectation of privacy with respect to the conversation that is being recorded.
    • In other states, including Illinois and Massachusetts, there is no reasonable expectation of privacy clause, and in such states, the person doing the recording would always be in violation of the law.
    • In Illinois, a law was passed that made it illegal to record law enforcement officers even while in the performance of their public official duties. This was struck down when, in December 2014, then-governor Pat Quinn signed into law an amendment that limits the statute to the surreptitious recording of private conversations and electronic communications.
  • In Russia, there is no law allowing or prohibiting recorders; courts almost always use the video recorder attached to the analysis of the accident as evidence of guilt or innocence of the driver.

Police use

Police departments use dashcams in police vehicles to gather evidence during traffic stops and car chases.[18] Some dashcam systems can be automatically activated when a police car's emergency lights or siren are turned on.[19][20][21] Freedom of information laws mean that the footage can be released under some circumstances,[22] and this can be an important tool in reporting on police actions.[23] TV shows like World's Wildest Police Videos have frequently featured car chase videos shot from dashcams.

Some police officers accused of police brutality tamper with their cameras to disable audio or video recording.[24] In Chicago, 80% of the police dashcams did not work properly. Among the causes were that officers destroyed antennas, hid microphones, and removed batteries.[25]

See also


  1. "What is the best dash cam that can record while at parking mode for few days without draining car battery?". Retrieved 2017-05-13.
  2. Lavrinc, Damon (2013-02-15). "Why Almost Everyone in Russia Has a Dash Cam". Wired.
  3. Galperina, Marina (2012-06-13). "Why Russians Are Obsessed With Dash-Cams". Jalopnik.com. Archived from the original on 18 Feb 2013. Retrieved 2014-02-12.
  4. "Russian dash cam video: From stunning to bizarre". CBS News. 2013-02-18. Retrieved 2014-02-12.
  5. "Dash cam sales grow faster than tablets and digital cameras in 2015". Retrieved 2016-07-08.
  6. "Most Chinese internet users think female driver who was brutally assaulted in road rage attack DESERVED to be beaten after video shows her aggressive lane changing". Retrieved 2017-05-13.
  7. AEROpress BG (2013-04-30), National Air Cargo's Boeing 747-400 freighter crash in Afghanistan, retrieved 2018-07-15
  8. McCormick, Rick; Vincent, James. "Dashcams capture dramatic footage of Taiwanese plane crash". The Verge. Retrieved 16 August 2019.
  9. playboy17220 (2015-08-22), Shoreham Air Show, Sussex Plane Crash Record by dash cam, retrieved 2018-07-15
  10. "Приказ МВД № 185 Об утверждении административного регламента МВД". www.stopca.ru. Retrieved 2018-07-15.
  11. "Private Videoüberwachung: Datenschützer warnt vor Selbstjustiz". help.ORF.at. 2013-05-04. Retrieved 2014-02-12.
  12. "Guidelines on video surveillance in vehicles (Dashcams)". edoeb.admin.ch. Retrieved 2014-04-21.
  13. "Gerichtsurteil zu Videokameras im Auto: Dashcams verstoßen gegen Datenschutzgesetz". Der Spiegel. 2014-08-12. Retrieved 2014-11-03.
  14. "Urteil des VI. Zivilsenats vom 15.5.2018 - VI ZR 233/17 -". juris.bundesgerichtshof.de. Retrieved 2018-08-31.
  15. "Les caméras de surveillance installées dans les voitures sont-elles licites ?". www.guichet.public.lu. Archived from the original on 2015-07-08. Retrieved 2016-02-03.
  16. "Dashcams 101". Dashcams. 2013-12-01. Retrieved 2016-01-07.
  17. Opinion granting motion to dismiss. Maryland v. Graber. Retrieved 15 March 2016.
  18. "Cross-Examining Film". ssrn.com. SSRN 1202043. Missing or empty |url= (help)
  19. "Local police support dash cam policies, protecting citizens and officers". KHOU. 25 April 2012.
  20. "LAPD officers tampered with in-car recording equipment, records show". latimes.
  21. "Court orders state police to hand over cruiser dash cam video of crash scene". PennLive.com.
  22. "Court rulings bolster public access to police videos". splc.org.
  23. "How a little-known, Uber-driving freelancer brought the lawsuit that forced Chicago to release a police shooting video". Columbia Journalism Review.
  24. Samuel Lieberman (2016-01-27). "Chicago Police Have Been Sabotaging Their Dash Cams". Nymag.com. Retrieved 2016-10-07.
  25. Time: Chicago Police Officers Sabotaged Dashcams to Block Audio, Report Says
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