In view of the dangers one may encounter on the road, both to oneself and to others, I believe it is appropriate to install a pair of dash cams in one’s car, one on the front windshield and one on the rear window. Many models of different features and prices exist, and after a research, looking for the right balance between functionality provided and my own needs, I decided to purchase one of these : Viofo Dashcams
It is basically a small 12V->5V transformer that connects to the fuse box in the passenger compartment via 2 adapters : one connection should be made to an outlet that receives voltage only when the car is on and the other (for parking mode) that always receives voltage, even when the car is off. The transformer has a selector switch that allows you to set the threshold of voltage received below which it automatically turns off the dash cam to avoid deplete the car battery charge.
Another important feature of this dash cam is the presence of a capacitor, which, when power is cut off to the dash cam, is able to provide the necessary current to the dash cam for a clean shutdown, allowing it to save the recording properly, without the risk of losing data or corrupting the file system of the sd card.
In my installation, I added 3 small switches that allow me to completely cut off the power to the dash cam transformer, when, for example, the car is in a safe parking lot.
Based on my experience, I believe that it would be very useful to have the following provisions on the cars to allow for simplified installation of the dash cam of your choice and also a possible replacement :
- a conduit for cable passage from the rear window under the top of the car to the rearview mirror
- a conduit for cable passage from the top center of the windshield to the passenger compartment fuse box
- provision in the fuse box of two power outlets : one always powered and one only when the engine is running
Wanting to further improve the safety of the installation, it would be very useful to have the provision for a small battery, separate from the main one in the car, that recharges when the engine is running and dedicated only to dash cams or to other additional devices that you would want to install on your car, such as some SBCs like Raspberry or a tablet.