Garmin announced a newcomer to its dash cam lineup in the Dash Cam Live, a device that will work with LTE to keep drivers connected. Connected dash cams aren’t necessarily new, but most of those work via Wi-Fi when paired with a smartphone. Garmin’s unit can connect with its own LTE connection, negating the need for a phone to pass through its own connection.
The safety benefits in using this on the road are supposed to be considerable when taking into account the anti-theft component. An always-on connection means the Dash Cam Live knows when a vehicle has been breached or stolen. It can then send an alert through the Garmin Drive app to provide a live view of whatever the camera sees. On top of that, Garmin says car owners can also share recorded video directly from the dash cam to save time.
It will automatically record video when it senses movement or an “incident”, which could mean opening a door without a key or physical contact, like a broken window or fender bender in the parking lot, for instance. That footage also tags the time, date and location using the built-in GPS, which users can find for up to 24 hours in the Garmin Drive app.
Video quality and extra features
The Dash Cam Live offers pretty good specs on paper. It records in 1440p resolution with a very wide 140-degree field of view. Garmin says its “Clarity HDR optics” keep the road ahead clear regardless of the time of day or night, ensuring there’s a clear vantage point in case anything happens. Mind you, this is also relative to weather visibility, as the camera can only see as well as conditions allow. In blizzard, rainy or foggy conditions, it will give you as clear a view as it can.
Speaking of which, Garmin says the Dash Cam Live is also built to last in varying weather, like direct sunlight through the windshield and sub-zero temperatures at night. Assuming it’s that rugged, it bodes well for Canadian drivers.
Voice activation is also part of the feature rollout. Rather than press buttons, you can tell it to start or stop recording, save a video or take a photo hands-free. Again, this isn’t entirely new, where other dash cams might include integration with Amazon Alexa, for instance. Only the difference here is commands are specific to the dash cam, not other smart devices compatible with Alexa. At launch, the dash cam will support English, French, Spanish, Italian and Swedish.
Garmin also added some additional functionality through the camera, like forward collision warnings, lane departure guidance and speed camera notifications. Newer vehicles have some of this already included through sensors arrayed around the body. Speed and red light cameras are also jurisdictional, meaning not all municipalities allow drivers to have warning systems. It’s a grey area, however, because other dash cams in Canada have come with similar features. Not to mention Waze allows drivers to crowdsource and share that kind of information too.
You will have to subscribe to get all of these connected features. The monthly plan will start at $9.99/month (Canadian pricing TBD), giving you live view, location tracking, theft alerts and parking incident notifications. You can also store recorded video for up to 30 days instead of 24 hours.
The dash cam will come with a microSD card included in the box, so you would only need to buy one if you wanted more storage capacity. Cards record on a loop anyway, so you don’t need to replace it if it runs out of space anyway.
The Garmin Dash Cam Live will be available soon. Check out the latest dash cams and other Garmin products available now.
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