With the rising popularity of ridesharing/transportation network companies comes an increase in the inherent risks for professional drivers for these services. Some of these risks include car accidents, fraudulent claims/accusations by passengers/pedestrians, unruly passengers, encounters with corrupt police and insurance fraud attempts. Below are some documented cases of incidents that professional drivers have experienced.
In today’s world of powerful technology at affordable prices, professional drivers have every reason to protect themselves from these risks with a dash cam. A dash cam is a video camera installed in your vehicle (usually on the windshield) that constantly records video and audio as you drive. Dash cameras provide the driver with safety and accountability by serving as an unbiased eyewitness in case of accidents or incidents. The recorded footage gives unquestionable evidence of what occurred before, during, and after an incident, should one occur. This footage will help save massive headaches and troubles when proving innocence in a car accident, or protecting yourself against false claims and insurance fraud, amongst other purposes. Finding the right dash cam can be a daunting task so we at DashCam Bros are doing an introduction to the most popular dash cam for professional drivers: the BlackVue DR650GW-2CH-IR.
The BlackVue DR650GW-2CH-IR dash cam was built with professional drivers in mind and is truly the ideal dash cam for those in this profession. The base model costs $379.00, but for TNC drivers, this model in particular surpasses any other dash camera on the market as this was built specifically with the TNC driver in mind. The high price tag matches the high quality of the camera as BlackVue is regarded as one of the most reliable dash camera brands out on the market. It comes equipped with powerful infrared bulbs that result in exceptionally clear night time recordings, supports up to a 128 GB memory card, is capable of crisp audio recording and supports smartphone pairing capabilities to download videos directly to your phone. These are just a few of the features this camera has. Keep on reading below to see what else this powerful camera is capable of in your hands.
UNBOXING VIDEOThis unboxing video shows what would come with the camera. The only difference if ordering the IR version is that the rear camera will come with the infrared enabled version.
The Blackvue DR650 is a sleek, slim compact 2-channel system (meaning it features 2 cameras - a front camera and rear camera). The front 2.4 MP camera is capable of recording in Full HD (1920 x 1080) @ 30 fps for crisp and detailed images both day and night, and the rear camera in HD (1280 x 720) @ 30 fps.
2-channel dash cams are usually set up with the front camera on the front windshield (facing forward) and the rear camera on the rear windshield (facing backward) to record the front and rear of the vehicle. However, for professional drivers interested in recording the interior of the vehicle, we recommend installing both the front and rear unit on the front windshield or front dashboard. With this setup, the front unit can face forward to record in front of the vehicle, and the rear unit can face rearward, recording the cockpit (and passengers) along with behind the vehicle for maximum protection.
What really makes this the perfect dash cam for professional drivers is the infrared capabilities on the rear camera, specifically designed to clearly record the internal of the vehicle in the dark. This feature is especially useful for Uber, Lyft, and taxi drivers who work night shifts (common for entertainment districts/bar districts). Below is a screenshot from real footage of the rear camera to demonstrate the capabilities of the infrared. You can see the faces of passengers perfectly. The infrared has no negative effect on daytime recording capabilities.
Top image shows recorded footage in a well lit environment, and the bottom image shows recording in complete darkness. As you can see, the back row of seats is very well illuminated even in complete darkness.
This image shows recorded footage from the infrared rear camera in a more common setting (on a semi-lit street at night).
(Photo retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5XifVDA8_uQ)
Night Time Interior Recording with IR Camera Video Sample
Between 0:00 and 0:36, the video recording is of a car in a slightly lit garage with the garage door open. From 0:36 to 0:47 the garage door shuts, but is still internally lit. From 0:49 to 1:02 is where the camera really shines - the lights are shut off and the recording is in complete darkness, and as you can see, the back seats of the vehicle are still completely illuminated from the camera’s infrared bulbs. From 1:03 onward, it shows the infrared camera in more common setting (on a semi-lit street at night), which is probably the more common scenario TNC drivers will drive in. The video quality in the extreme range of complete darkness to well lit conditions shows the capabilities of the infrared enabled camera.
Day Time Front Video Sample
Day Time Rear Video Sample
Night Time Front Video Sample
Night Time Rear Video Sample
For drivers who do not wish to record the internal of the vehicle at night, we recommend the regular version of this dash cam - the DR650GW-2CH, which has all the same features just without the infrared light. With the regular model, you can install it the method mentioned above with both units in the front (one facing forward and one facing rear), or you can install it the traditional way with one unit in the front (facing forward) and one unit in the back (facing rearward). Both cameras on the DR650 have 360° rotation for flexibility when recording so with this traditional set up, the rear camera can be rotated to record the rear external of the vehicle, then rotated to record the internal of the vehicle when you have passengers. The reason we do not recommend using the IR version to be mounted on the rear windshield to face rearward is because the infrared can sometimes cause glare on the windshield. However, when mounted in the front and faced rearward (giving it distance between the camera and windshield) this problem is mitigated.
Both versions of the dash camera are capable of audio recording with the option to quickly disable/enable the audio recording at the touch of a button, so you can easily comply with your local recording laws if necessary.
Both versions of the Blackvue 650 support either a 16GB, 32GB, 64GB or 128GB memory card. Depending on the video card size, and recording setting, the dash cam can store up to approximately 56 hours of footage before it begins to loop (record over) footage stored at the beginning of the memory card. From our experience, customer experiences and BlackVue’s recommendation, it is recommend that you only use BlackVue memory cards only with BlackVue dash cams. The memory card is stored on the side of the main camera, under a side cover plate. It is easily inserted and ejected by just pushing in the SD card until you feel a click.
Both versions of the BlackVue DR650 also support the following features:
- Time/Date Stamping
- GPS enabled
- WiFi enabled with ability to change camera settings, live stream dash cam footage and download recorded videos from your smart phone.
- Built in speaker for voice alerts
- Easily detachable from mounting bracket via unit lock button for easy storage/hiding
- Normal Recording Mode, Parking Mode, Event Mode
- Windows and Mac compatible BlackVue PC Viewer software
All in all, the DR650GW-2CH-IR will produce fantastic video quality, even at night, perfect for professional drivers that wish to record the passengers in the vehicle during night shifts. For those who will primarily record only during the day, then the normal DR650GW-2CH will work just fine! With the increase in popularity of such services and some of the horror stories floating around, investing in this quality piece of equipment is a small price to pay the peace of mind, insurance and safety it provides for your livelihood. There are cheaper dash cams out there, but you really do get what you pay for. Investing in a reliable piece of equipment that you can trust to function when you need it most is important, especially when your livelihood can depend on it. Just one incident where your dash cam footage will prove your innocence or other party’s liability will pay for this camera’s investment cost multiple times over.
Remember, we offer free shipping to anywhere within the United States. All dash cams come with a one-year warranty, and a hassle free return policy to insure that you are satisfied with your product and are covered in case of defects. We also provide responsive technical support based right here in the United States to our customers. Should you have any questions whatsoever, please feel free to reach out to us using the contact page or with the “Live Chat” feature on the bottom of the screen to reach a live representative.
DISCLAIMER: DashCam Bros assumes no responsibility for the actions of drivers, or the legality of recording passengers. DashCam Bros does not provide any legal advice. Please refer to your local and state laws for the legality of dash cams in your location.