A Car DVR often referred to as a Driving Recorder or Dashboard Camera, is truly a hot engineering product these days. Whether capturing the lucky escape of a driver in Taiwan or the amazing video of a meteor capture in Russia Car DVRs are in the news across the globe. Recording live streams from the front, rear or other perspectives of the vehicle, Car DVRs provide information to insurance companies, the legal system, and others in the event of an accident. Car DVRs not only keep a record of events like car accidents they also provide us with information that will help us understand the major causes of accidents, how drivers respond during an accident and whether or not key safety systems within the vehicle function properly. This information will help to create safer roads and car manufacturers develop safer vehicles. These and many other applications are why Car DVRs are no longer just “a car accessory”, but instead an indispensable “3rd Eye” of our car.

A brief history into the evolution of the Car DVR as a 3rd Eye of our car: Early Car DVR:
One of the first Car DVRs was installed in 1996 and was used to assist in determining the cause of airbag activations. Since it was installed under the seat or in the dashboard and had no camera, not many people were even aware of its installation. The Car DVR recorded data about the driver’s actions including the speed which made them popular to investigate the cause of accidents.

The Car DVR Today:
Since its introduction Car DVR development has come a long way. Today, Car DVRs feature a camera, sophisticated processing, storage, high speed connectivity and wireless interfaces. They are capable of collecting real time data about the car and the operating environment and can even connect directly to the automotive bus interface. Data collection such as acceleration, braking force, GPS and surrounding traffic conditions may be stored for subsequent retrieval and analysis.

Improved image sensor quality, highly integrated System on Chip (SoC) processors, DSP and advancements in video compression techniques and low power consumption have contributed to wider acceptance of dashboard cameras (aka Car DVR) resulting in a high growth new market segment. People are using these cameras to record beautiful scenery while driving and for social media activities while corporations are using them for security and compliance. In addition, many sophisticated algorithms are being continually added to these cameras giving them the “smartness” to detect people, objects and even sounds around them.
Today’s Car DVRs require sophisticated features such as optics control and correction, Digital Signal Processing, high-quality H.264 encoding, versatile storage options, wired and wireless connectivity, high pin-count SoCs, extensive peripherals support, RTOS, Android and other operating systems, sensory inputs and much more while consuming minimal power. In addition, multiple camera inputs may be implemented delivering different viewing and recording perspectives.

Designing high performance, low power Car DVRs requires an experienced team of hardware, software and applications developers that have consistently developed, managed and delivered such complex systems.
As an example, VVDN’s broad knowledge base, experienced engineering teams, and proven skills working with industry-leading semiconductor, processor, and image sensor vendors have enabled OEMs and ODMs to produce dash-mounted cameras with 2-channel, full HD (1080p) video recording at 60fps.

VVDN Delivers Car DVR Designs – Some Key Features:

Excellent Video Compression Technology – high-quality H.264 encoding delivers excellent video quality at the lowest bit rates resulting in lower cost storage and longer recording times.

Superior Low Light Technology – operating conditions range from full daylight to darkest night and require wide dynamic range, IR control and very low noise.

Wide Field of View – viewing angles greater than 150 degrees are often a requirement resulting in extensive correction algorithms.

Geolocation – a must have feature enabling precise geographic information to be embedded within the video stream and made available to the Cloud in real-time.

Proprietary Features – VVDN’s rich experience in DSP and embedded processor hardware and software development makes it possible to provide advanced features such as license plate recognition, lane departure warning, forward collision warning, traffic signal detection. Object avoidance and many other advanced features.

Car DVRs are already ubiquitous in many countries including Korea, Taiwan, and Russia with the industry now poised to enter a high growth phase in America. Given the increasing popularity and application of Car DVRs, what OEMs need today are high-performance hardware and software platforms that are production-ready enabling the fastest time to market and revenues. VVDN has delivered to the industry advanced low power platforms which deliver state of the art imaging and video quality, high-performance encoding, flexible storage options and diverse connectivity. We truly hope that the 3rd Eye vision helps to improve the entire traffic system and encourages safe driving as well as improve the safety of our vehicles on the road.

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