On the 15th February 2013 the whole world was captivated by the images of a fireball racing across the skies above Russia. Videos of this dazzling ball of light, the Chelyabinsk meteor, which was brighter than the sun and cast moving shadows on the ground below, soon spread across the media. However, if it wasn’t for the recent proliferation of Mobile Drive Recorders (MDRs) in Russia, the rest of the world would never have had the privilege of sharing in such a rare event and instead would have had to rely on eyewitness accounts.
So where did all the footage come from?
MDRs are small recording devices that sit on the dashboard of a car and record what is happening around the vehicle while it’s in operation. These dashboard mounted cameras, sometimes known as ‘dashcams’, were the sole provider of footage of the Chelyabinsk meteor and have garnered a huge following in Russia and China. It’s hard to pin down their success to one particular feature, but it’s widely acknowledged that they have enhanced the driving experience of many through their high-quality imaging, GPS tracking and around-vehicle sensors that can be found in MDRs such as the Garmin® GDR35™.
There’s no shortage of online video content showing near misses on Russian roads, and that’s because many people use these devices to solve the problem of evidence and liability in the case of a road accident. By recording footage continuously and saving the video to local memory if there is a crash, then the recent footage is marked as an event which can be used to provide evidence for an insurance claim. Insurance companies have realised the benefits of having reliable video footage in a court case and many are now giving discounts to those savvy customers who install an MDR device in their vehicle.
Alongside their primary purpose as a recording device, MDRs can also provide alerts to the driver when changing lanes to look out for blind spots as well as better visibility when reversing into a parking spot. Countries like Russia and China have been ahead of the curve with adopting this technology as an invaluable benefit for driver security. With MDRs becoming cheaper and more widely available, now customers worldwide are increasingly realising the benefits of using an MDR in-vehicle.
By Boaz Efroni Rotman, Director of Segment Marketing, Imaging at CSR