What is an DriveCam Data?

Typically, you would think of a DriveCam as a dash mounted camera that records video from the front and interior-rear perspectives of a car. What most people don’t know is that DriveCam units not only record video, but some can also record acceleration and speed data. The question is, how valid and accurate is this data? The goal of this specific DriveCam data research was to determine the accuracy of the recorded data by comparing it to the data from different in-vehicle instrumentation. 

Publication Introduction:

A DriveCam unit is an aftermarket, in-vehicle, event-triggered video and data recorder that is mounted to a vehicle’s windshield in the area of the rear view mirror (Figure 1). A DriveCam unit contains a GPS sensor that measures speed, accelerometers that measure longitudinal, lateral, and vertical accelerations, and two cameras that record video. One of these cameras looks forward through the windshield and the other looks rearward at the vehicle occupants. If a DriveCam unit measures an acceleration that exceeds a preset threshold, it defines an event and stores video, acceleration and speed data.  This data can be accessed and analyzed to evaluate the performance of the driver and to determine the sequence of events that led to the DriveCam event being triggered.  The research reported in this paper led to the development of a method for using the data from a DriveCam unit to determine impact speeds and velocity changes for in-line vehicle-to-vehicle impacts. For this study, four front-to-rear impact crash tests were conducted with two DriveCam equipped vehicles…Read more

Full Publication:

SAE 2013-01-0778 – Using Data from a DriveCam Event Recorder to Reconstruct a Vehicle-to-Vehicle Impact


Nathan Rose, Neal Carter, David Penecost, Will Bortles, Tilo Voitel

Related Case Studies, Content & Research:

DriveCam Online News and Events – Legal Section, 2011 – Photogrammetry Techniques in Accident Reconstruction
DriveCam Online News and Events – Legal Section, 2011 – The Power of Physical Evidence in Accident Reconstruction

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