How often have you had a night out ruined after spending most of the evening worrying about what’s happening to the car that you left in a sketchy parking lot? Garmin’s new Dash Cam Live is like a baby monitor for your car, leveraging an always-on LTE data connection so you can see what’s happening around your vehicle at any time, even if you’re nowhere near it.
With autonomous cars powered by questionable self-driving skills now regularly hitting the roads, now’s as good a time as any to upgrade your vehicle with a dash cam that constantly records what the driver sees through the windshield, potentially capturing important evidence should you end up in an accident. They’re relatively affordable, and come with the peace of mind of having instant proof you weren’t at fault (assuming you weren’t) but Garmin’s latest model offers peace of mind 24/7.
As with most dash cams, the Garmin Dash Cam Live is mounted to the inside of a vehicle’s windshield and records the road ahead at 1440P resolution through a 140-degree FOV wide-angle lens whether it’s day or night. So as not to be the cause of a recorded accident, drivers can operate the Dash Cam Live using simple voice commands, including starting and stopping video recording or snapping still images.
The footage is constantly recorded to a microSD card and time stamped and preserved in the event of an incident, but the device’s real benefits are unlocked with an active LTE data connection. When connected to the cloud, saved clips are pushed to, and stored on, Garmin’s servers for 24 hours (or longer depending on the monthly subscription) where they can be easily accessed remotely through the Garmin Drive mobile app and permanently saved to another device.
The always-on LTE connection is also used to alert drivers through the Garmin Drive app to incidents that occur with the vehicle such as a break-in or it getting hit by another vehicle while it’s parked. The Dash Cam Live will also automatically save videos of those detected incidents and tag the clips with the time, date, and location using built-in GPS, but users also have the option to immediately access a live view from the dash cam at any time—whether to see what’s going on or to just perform an occasional check-in for added peace of mind.
The Garmin Dash Cam Live is expected to sell for $400 on its own and can function without a cellular data connection. But that feature is the real reason to opt for this new model. Unlocking LTE connectivity will require a subscription plan that starts at $5/month, with more expensive options allowing incident clips to be saved in the cloud for up to 30 days before they’re automatically deleted.
Correction - January 4, 12:32pm EST: A Garmin representative reached out to Gizmodo to provide an update on the Dash Cam Live’s LTE subscription plan, which actually starts at $9.99/month, instead of $5/month.