How Does a Dash Cam Work?

Hey there, car owners! Ever been worried about getting into an accident and not being able to prove your innocence? Or maybe you’re just an adventurous driver and want to show off your rides on social media? Well, we have the perfect solution for you – Dash Cams!

But, how do Dash Cams work? Dash Cams are small cameras that attach directly to the windshield of your car. They are designed to record video and audio of your driving experience, capturing everything from scenic views to potential accidents.

Here we will take a closer look at the technicalities of how do dash cams work, including how they capture footage, store data, and utilize features like GPS and motion detection.

The Need Necessity And Working Behavior Of A Dash Cam

Working Behavior Of A Dash Cam

Dash cams are small cameras mounted on the dashboard or windscreen of a vehicle that continuously records video and audio while driving. 

Most dashcams usually include a loop recording feature that overwrites older footage on the memory card once it’s full. This ensures that drivers have the most recent footage available at all times.

Several factors could motivate an individual to set up a dash cam in their vehicle. One of the primary reasons is for security purposes, such as providing evidence in the event of an accident or theft. Dash cams can also be useful for capturing footage of scenic drives, documenting road trips, or capturing unusual events on the road.

To operate a dash cam, it first needs to be installed in the vehicle. Most dash cams come with a mount that can be attached to the dashboard or windscreen using an adhesive pad or suction cup. Once installed, the dash cam needs to be connected to a power source, which is usually a 12-volt lighter socket in the car.

The dash cam then needs to be fitted with a memory card. Most dash cams use micro SD cards, which are inserted into a slot on the camera. It’s essential to use a high-quality memory card with plenty of storage capacity, as dash cam footage can take up a lot of space.

Once the dash cam is installed and connected to power, it will begin recording automatically when the car is started. The video footage is usually saved in short clips of a few minutes each, which are stored on the memory card.

Most dash cams come with various features and settings that can be adjusted to suit the driver’s preferences. 

For example, some dash cams have a GPS function that can track the car’s location and speed, which can be useful for providing additional evidence in the event of an accident. Some dash cams also have a G-sensor, which can detect sudden impacts and automatically save the footage to prevent it from being overwritten.

Standard Work Principles Of A Dash Cam

Standard work principles of a dash cam include the following:

Standard work principles of a dash cam

Automatic Recording

The dash cam should automatically start recording when the car is turned on and stop recording when the car is turned off. Without manual intervention, all driving footage is captured.

Loop Recording

The dash cam should have loop recording enabled, which means that when the storage capacity is full, the oldest footage is overwritten by the newest footage. Despite full storage, the dashcam will continue to record.

High-Quality Video

The dash cam should be capable of recording high-quality video at a resolution of at least 1080p. The footage is then clear and detailed enough to be useful if an accident occurs.

Wide-Angle Lens

The dash cam should have a wide-angle lens that captures a broad field of view. The footage will capture everything that happens in front of the car on the road.


The dash cam should have a G-sensor that detects sudden movements or impacts. The dash cam will automatically save the current recording as an event file, which cannot be overwritten by loop recording.

Parking Mode

The dash cam should have a parking mode that enables it to record while the car is parked. This feature is useful for capturing footage of any incidents that occur while the car is parked and unattended.

GPS Tracking

The dash cam should have GPS tracking capability, which allows it to record the location and speed of the vehicle. It is helpful if this information is available in the event of an accident.

Technical Details: How Do Dash Cam Work?

Now we will discuss the technicalities of how a dash cam works.

How Do Dash Cam Work

Camera Sensor

The dash cam uses a camera sensor to capture images and videos. A tiny electronic component known as a camera sensor is responsible for capturing light and transforming it into an electrical signal. The magnitude and excellence of the sensor dictate the excellence of the image and video.


The dash cam has a lens that captures the image and video. The lens is made up of several glass elements that focus the light onto the camera sensor. Images and videos are sharpened and clarified according to the quality of the lens.


The dash cam has a processor that processes the images and videos. Video files are compressed from raw data from the camera sensor. The processor also handles other tasks such as storing the data, managing the settings, and controlling the display.


The dash cam stores the recorded data on a memory card. To view the footage, remove the memory card and insert it into a computer. There may also be built-in storage on dash cams, but it is usually limited.


Dash cams require a source of power to function properly, which can be either the car’s battery or a separate battery. Some models come with a built-in battery that enables them to operate even when the car is not running, providing an extra layer of protection and surveillance. 


The dash cam is mounted on the dashboard or windshield of the vehicle. One way to attach it is by utilizing either a suction cup or adhesive method, which provides users with flexibility and ease of installation.

The suction cup method involves creating a vacuum seal by pressing the device onto a smooth and clean surface, while the adhesive method requires the use of glue or tape to affix the device to a surface. The mounting location should be chosen carefully to ensure the best view of the road.

Recording Modes

The dash cam has several recording modes such as continuous recording, event recording, and parking mode.

While the car is moving, the dash cam records everything. Therefore, the device will not record continuously but rather capture footage only when there is movement or any other activity that it perceives as an event.

This mode of operation helps to conserve the device’s power and storage capacity, allowing it to remain operational for extended periods.

3 Significant Updated Components of Dash Cam

Power Supply

The power supply is a crucial component of a dash cam as it provides the camera with the energy it needs to function. Most dash cams are designed to be powered by the vehicle’s 12-volt electrical system, which is why they are typically connected directly to the vehicle’s battery or fuse box.

When the dash cam is connected to the vehicle’s electrical system, it can draw power from the battery when the vehicle is running. Even when the vehicle is turned off, the dash cam will always have power.

There are two main types of power supplies for dash cams: hardwired and plug-and-play.

Hardwired Dash Cams

Dash cams that are hardwired are directly connected to the electrical system of a vehicle and necessitate the expertise of a professional for installation. They are connected directly to the vehicle’s electrical system and require professional installation. There are no visible wires in this type of setup, but it can be more difficult to install.

Plug-and-Play Dash Cams

On the other hand, are designed to be easily installed by the user and typically come with a cigarette lighter adapter. Hardwired setups provide a greater level of stability and reliability, but they may not be as easy to install and remove from the vehicle.

In addition to being powered by the vehicle’s electrical system, some dash cams also come with built-in batteries. These batteries provide backup power if the vehicle’s electrical system fails or if the dash cam is disconnected from the power source.

Motion Detection

Motion detection is a feature in dash cams that allows them to start recording only when there is movement in the frame. The camera records when the image changes, which is detected by a sensor.

A dash cam’s motion detection system detects movement by analyzing the image captured by the camera and detecting changes in brightness or contrast. When there is movement in the frame, the brightness and contrast levels change, which triggers the sensor to start recording.

When the motion detection system is enabled, the dash cam will only record when there is movement in the frame. This helps to save storage space and reduce the amount of footage that needs to be reviewed. It also ensures that the dash cam only records the most important moments, such as accidents or incidents on the road.

Some dash cams are equipped with a motion detection system that can be modified in terms of sensitivity. In other words, you can adjust how sensitive the camera is to move in the frame. When you park in a high-risk area, you may want to set the sensitivity higher, while in a low-risk area, you may want to set it lower.

Dashboard cameras have a motion detection system that is particularly useful for parked vehicles. When the vehicle is parked, the dash cam can continue to monitor the surroundings and start recording if there is any movement in the frame. This can help capture footage of incidents such as hit-and-runs or thefts.

GPS Tracking

The Global Positioning System, commonly known as GPS, utilizes satellites to facilitate navigation by offering precise location and time data in any location on or around the planet. Dash cams with built-in GPS use this technology to record the location, speed, and direction of travel of the vehicle.

The GPS works by using a network of satellites that orbit the Earth. GPS receivers embedded in dashcams receive signals transmitted by satellites. The receivers use the signals to determine the exact location of the vehicle, as well as its speed and direction of travel.

When a dash cam with GPS is recorded, it captures the GPS data along with the video footage. The GPS data is embedded in the video file, which can be accessed and viewed later using specialized software.

GPS data can be useful in the event of an accident or theft. GPS data can provide evidence of a vehicle’s location, speed, and direction of travel if you are involved in an accident, for example. This information can help to determine who was at fault and can be used in insurance claims.

Similarly, if your vehicle is stolen, GPS data can help to track down the vehicle and recover it. The GPS data can provide information about the last known location of the vehicle, which can be used to alert law enforcement and aid in the recovery process.

In addition to recording location data, some dash cams with GPS also provide additional features such as speed camera warnings, speed limit alerts, and lane departure warnings. These features use GPS data to provide real-time information to the driver, helping to improve safety and reduce the risk of accidents.

Over To You!

A study presented a case in which dashcam footage was crucial in reconstructing the events of a crash. The study aimed to verify the reliability of dashcam data and compare it with standard methods of assessment.

Essentially, dashcams are a popular way to record video footage while driving for security and entertainment purposes. Dash cams provide a visual record of events that can help to mitigate potential liability issues and protect drivers from false accusations. 

In addition, dashcams can provide evidence to disprove false insurance claims, allowing drivers to save money on their insurance premiums. So we have explained the basics of how a dash cam works, the benefits of having one, and how to get started with one.

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