Advancement in technology is making a considerable contribution towards road safety. Progressive investment in research and development has led to inclusion of safety features in a vehicle and increased the ability to evaluate and measure driving behavior. Vehicle telematics has its applications in fleet management and logistics purposes. Additionally, it is used for scientific measurement of driver’s risk in the insurance industry. Dashboard camera is a segment of vehicle telematics. Dashboard Cameras (dash cams) are also called as In-car cameras or Digital Video Recorders (DVRs). A dashboard camera is a specialized portable on board camera which is attached to the interior of the vehicle’s windscreen by a supplied suction cup or a tape. Most dash cams records both audio and video simultaneously.
Dashboard cameras are primarily fitted by the vehicle owners to obtain video evidence if there is an event of an accident or to maintain insurance claims. Globally, motorists have dashboard video cameras installed in their cars for a wide range of applications: to stamp out police corruption, protection from baseless accusations, evidence in court; form of surveillance and insurance fraud. Recently, the market has seen dashboard cameras being used to against crash for cash or flash for cash scams. This aids in preventing a fraud based on deliberate collisions to achieve fictitious claims. With increasing cases of road accidents with cyclists, pedestrians and other road users, the market for dashboard cameras in vehicles have seen growth traction.
Various types of dashboard cameras are available in the market ranging from basic cameras that capture only videos to advanced versions captures and records various aspects including date and time, G-forces, speed and location which is provided by an inbuilt GPS. Recent trends in dashboard cameras include; recording speed of vehicle along a particular route; plotting the exact location via a Geographical Positioning System (GPS), equipping cameras with infra red sensors that enable recording in the dark, Moreover, many dashboard cameras are fitted with shock absorber sensors to automatically store the video shot in an event of a physical jerk from an accident. Additionally, some cameras are capable of recording in high definition (HD) format. There has been a considerable rise in the interest amongst vehicle users towards installing a dashboard camera in their cars. For instance, in September 2013, the horrific truck accident in Pinetown, captured using a dashboard camera, has sparked interest in South Africa and is expected to propel the growth of the market in near future,
Furthermore, in some regions, the regulatory bodies have mandated the use of dashboard cameras which is anticipated to fuel the market exponentially over the forecast period. For instance, in February 2011, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Department of Transportation (DOT), U.S. has issued an advance notice of proposed rule making to install dashboard cameras to enhance a driver’s view in a motor vehicle with a view to reduce injuries and fatalities associated with back over incidents. Dashboard cameras are used by car insurance companies to avoid issues related to insurance claims. Car insurance companies can offer discounts to cars equipped with dashboard cameras similar to the discounts offered to vehicles with tracking devices. For instance, insurance company Adrian Flux, from U.K., has been offering a discount since 2012 to car owners who install an authorized and approved dashboard cam.
Some of the major players in this market are Hewlett-Packard Company, DOD-Tech Co. Ltd, Panasonic Corporation, Aiptek Inc., LG Corporation, Qrontech Co.Ltd, Pittasoft Co.Ltd., Satechi Baravon, Bulls-I Vehicle Drive Recorders and Car Black box.
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