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Dashcams: What cars are they built into?

Dash cams today are becoming a must-have accessory for drivers. At the very least, they are a forward facing camera with a wide field of view that can record the road ahead through the windshield of a car and can have three main benefits.

In the event of a serious collision, dashcams can establish a sequence of events and record exactly what happened to establish liability. In turn, this can also help identify faults for insurance purposes – or if the footage is remotely accessible, providing proof the vehicle has been stolen in the event of a theft.

Finally, the dashboard can also be a unique way to record a particular drive or road trip, with many models offering a time-lapse recording mode especially well-suited for this purpose.

Recently, a number of car manufacturers have offered vehicles with built-in CCTV functionality, usually by changing the position of the in-vehicle cameras commonly used for ADAS (driver assistance systems). advanced) and other active safety and autonomous driving features.

The main benefit of these integration systems is the seamless integration with the rest of the vehicle, without any unsightly dangling wires, as is the case with aftermarket DIY installations.

See what vehicles are available locally with dashcam functionality. Note that this story does not include OEM-branded dashcam accessories that can be installed after purchase by a dealer, but are typically manufactured under a third-party license.

Brands that offer built-in dash cam functionality overseas but not domestically, such as Genesis in South Korea, are also excluded.

Other brands that previously offered dashcam functionality have also been left out of this story, such as Citroën with the ConnectedCAM option on the C3. This feature was discontinued in 2019.


Of the manufacturers listed here, Tesla is said to offer the most sophisticated built-in dashcam functionality in the range, including the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y, as well as the latest versions of Tesla. The Model S sedan and Model X. SUV are larger.

Unlike most two-channel aftermarket solutions that can include a front and rear camera, Tesla can record from the front and rear cameras, as well as two cameras mounted on the front wing below the left mirror and the right.

If the dashcam function is activated, the vehicle will automatically save the last 10 minutes of footage in the event of a collision; this can also be saved manually, or if whistle is used.

Vehicles manufactured after 2020 are also equipped with a preformatted 128GB USB stick that can be used to store dashcam footage; If the vehicle is parked, dash cam footage can also be viewed on the central touchscreen.

In addition to the standard dash cam functionality, Tesla also offers a Sentry Mode feature. If this feature is enabled, the car’s camera and other sensors remain on and will automatically detect and record suspicious behavior around the vehicle, such as bystanders approaching or touching the vehicle. bowl.

All activity is recorded and the vehicle will alert any violators on the touchscreen and by flashing the headlights and triggering in-vehicle alerts when necessary.

More recently, a software update allowed Tesla owners to remotely view a live stream of their vehicle’s surroundings when Sentry Mode is activated through the Tesla mobile app, if they are also subscribed to Premium Connect.

BMW car

BMW offers the Drive Recording system on a range of models equipped with Operating System 7 or later (also known as iDrive 7.0) when optional with the surround-view camera package, if manufactured after July 2018. 2019.

Similar to Tesla, BMW Drive Recorder can record from 4 cameras simultaneously. If the vehicle detects a collision, the Drive Recorder system gives users the option to automatically save up to 20 seconds of pre- and post-event footage to the vehicle’s memory (which can be exported to a USB stick).

Drivers can also choose to manually record footage of up to 40 seconds via the iDrive system or by pressing and holding the panoramic view button.

If your BMW uses the latest OS 8 (as found on the latest iX and 3 Series, among other models), the recording window will be enlarged to 30 seconds before and after the collision .

OS 8 also introduces a new Sentry Mode anti-theft feature, where the system can automatically activate and save up to eight records to the vehicle’s memory, if the vehicle’s anti-theft alarm is activated.

Some models like the iX are also equipped with an interior camera, which will also activate and record in case of theft.


Some Mercedes-Benz models equipped with the brand’s MBUX infotainment system are now also available with dashcam functionality, from entry modes like the A-Class to SUVs like the GLE.

Mercedes-Benz’s system is not as complex as its BMW and Tesla counterparts. Unlike the BMW, it was not possible to initially save the recordings to the onboard memory, but instead had to connect a USB stick or storage device.

In addition, the Mercedes-Benz system can only record footage from its front camera.

Mercedes-Benz offers a ‘loop recording’ feature with its dashcam to limit the length of the video to only available storage space, before overwriting if the memory is full. The video is stored as a separate two-minute file before being overwritten, in MP4 format.


The BYD Atto 3, along with the MG ZS EV, is one of the cheapest electric vehicles on sale today in Australia.

It includes a number of features not always found in cars that cost two or three times the price, one of which is a dash cam.

Like Mercedes-Benz, BYD seems to only use the forward facing camera to capture dash cam footage, rather than rear and side shots simultaneously.

This feature is officially known as the vehicle trip data logger, according to the BYD Atto 3 Vehicle Owner’s Manual.

To use it, the driver must insert a properly formatted SD card into the center console and can then take photos or record videos from the forward facing camera through the Driving Recorder app.

It’s not clear in the Owner’s Handbook what the maximum recording length of each video can be. However, BYD allows loop recording, along with a lock function where the video being recorded will not be overwritten even when the SD card is full.


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