Instead of just recording what’s happening on the road in front of a car, Garmin’s new Dash Cam Tandem has a second rear-facing lens that also records everything happening inside the vehicle at the same time. It won’t make the job of an Uber driver even easier, but it will provide irrefutable proof of unruly passengers should they ever dispute their bad behaviour.
Available now in the U.S. for $US300 ($432), the Dash Cam Tandem makes technology that’s found in most taxi cabs available to those working for rideshare services. Using included mounting hardware it can be attached to a vehicle’s windshield like an aftermarket GPS nav unit, or mounted to hang below a car’s rearview mirror, while a power cord plugs into a vehicle’s USB port or cigarette lighter socket for older models.
Editor's Note: Stay tuned for news of an Australian release.
Each camera uses a 180-degree field of view lens to capture a wide vista of what’s happening both outside and inside the vehicle, but while the front camera captures video at 1440p resolutions using a feature the company calls “Garmin Clarity HDR”, the rear-facing camera sacrifices resolution for Garmin’s NightGlo technology which is essentially night vision capable of recording in near-complete darkness by relying on infrared wavelengths of light.
Once powered up the Dash Cam Tandem instantly starts recording to an included microSD card, but videos are only permanently stored when a user specifically wants them to be, either by pressing a button or making a hands-free voice request. There doesn’t necessarily have to be anyone in the car for an incident to be documented though. Using motion sensors the Dash Cam Tandem should automatically detect and record an incident, such as someone sideswiping a parked vehicle, or a break-in attempt, even when the car is off. Each video is also tagged with GPS coordinates so that the exact time and location of an incident never comes into question during an investigation.
After an incident, the Dash Cam Tandem’s microSD card can be removed and popped into a computer to offload video files. But Garmin says it also wirelessly connects over Bluetooth to Garmin’s Drive app allowing videos to be synced and stored on a mobile device like a smartphone, which should streamline the process of sharing footage with law enforcement. Just keep in mind that should an accident occur because you were texting while driving, there will be no denying the real reason you rear-ended a Beemer.