Have you ever been in an accident, not been at fault, and wished you had some way to prove it? If only there was a witness to back up your story to the cop, judge or insurance company representative. Enter the car digital video recorder (DVR).
Car DVRs, also known as car black boxes and dashboard cameras, are an aftermarket car accessory designed to deal with the unpredictability of other drivers on the road and drivers’ misinterpretation of traffic rules. By recording live streams from the front and rear of the vehicle, car DVRs provide information to insurance companies, the legal system and others in the event of an accident.
With the need for improved video quality and the wider acceptance of full HD content, car DVRs have advanced from a single-channel analog D1 resolution camera to multi-channel up to full HD (1080p) wide-angle cameras. For example, a two-channel Car DVR has two cameras—one for the front of the car, and the other one for the rear. In addition, many sophisticated algorithms are being continually added to these cameras, giving them the “smarts” to detect people, objects and even sounds around them.
As with any good and successful product, the first rule is to get the basic features right. Considering the car DVR, we believe that nothing is more basic than image quality. Even at night or in a dark parking garage, the camera should be able to capture clear images of people, license plates and other objects. It’s important that if a vehicle has been damaged, the driver has a recorded video with clear images of the person responsible for the damage as well as the vehicle’s license plate. To overcome this challenge, TI’s DaVinci video processors integrate a high-quality noise filter in order to provide low-light imagery.
There are a lot of interesting stories on the internet about drivers having to install vehicle video recorders in their cars because of people that jump intentionally in front of them on pedestrian crossings to swindle money. A lot of similar cases were registered lately and the driver`s only way to prove he is innocent is to install such a recorder in the car, having such a video and presenting it to the judge will prove your innocence if if you've been injured in a car accident.
Forward-looking vehicle cameras have been touted for at least 15 years as solutions to a set of problems that mostly don't exist in the USA. It's one thing to run a dashcam in Russia or Afghanistan, but quite another in a country where the vast majority of drivers are law-abiding.
Dashcams sound like a great boon for insurance companies, but not so much for drivers.
Given their usefulness, they should be standard on all vehicles, especially bikes and motorcycles. Not only can the cameras resolve accident causes, they would be invaluable in helping to correct self destructive driving habits.
Also, if we put a little software behind the camera, we could shut down the vehicle if we detected that the driver was impaired.
Just a thought,
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.