The Coming Era of the Dash Cam
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February 26, 2015
This week a police car dash camera caught the moment that a house exploded from the ignition of a leak of natural gas.
Cameras are everywhere now, thanks to smartphones, but with your iPhone you still have to anticipate an event happening and have your phone out and recording in time for it to be captured.
While dash cams are prevalent on police cars in the United States, they're on a lot civilian cars in other places of the world where they're necessary to combat police corruption. A few years ago a dash cam in Afghanistan caught a U.S. military cargo plane losing control and crashing - a video that has been central to the investigation into the incident. Various funny Russian dash cam videos have gone viral and filled television shows dedicated to video clips and YouTube compilations - those with both humorous intent and otherwise.
A few weeks ago I saw at Walmart a basic civilian dash cam selling for $40. With the decreased cost and increased availability of the cameras, along with the increased use of "policing for profit" and relying on ticketing for municipal income providing motive for drivers to record their commutes, I expect that American video compilations from civilian sources will soon join the Russians on YouTube.
Not only will this provide fodder for countless hours of funny and scary and sometimes sad videos of highway calamities, but occasionally the cameras will catch off the roadway action - and yet again the automobile will find yet another unintended use, this time as a fleet of mobile surveillance cameras!
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