With rideshare driving, it’s important for full-time drivers to have security measures in place to record potential accidents, disputes, and/or other incidents. For this reason, many ridesharing drivers invest in dash-cameras to capture both interior and exterior footage.
I recently invested in a dashcam myself; however, wasn’t happy with it’s performance. I purchased the Falcon F360 from Amazon.com after reading several positive reviews from other rideshare drivers. Bloggers claim that this camera has a great rating on Amazon, and contains a lot of useful features. Which it does; however, there were some drawbacks associated with this device too.
The Falcon Zero F360 camera retails for approximately $150 (plus tax and shipping if you don’t have Prime), and includes two 180 degree cameras mounted underneath a clip-on mirror. There’s a 10′ wire to connect to the device from your A/C charging port, which can run around the front windshield discreetly. Here’s the full description from the Amazon store page:
Falcon Zero F360 HD DVR Dual Dash Cam, Rear View Mirror, 1080p, 32GB SD Card
3.5-inch LCD screen allows a preview of what is being recorded unlike other DVRs;
Night vision for interior clips and shots; Built-in microphone / speaker function,
Supports up to 32GB high-capacity SD cards; TV and HDMI HD output. Loop recording allows old file to be replaced automatically with new files,
1 Year Manufacturer warranty included ~ SD CARD INCLUDED
The ability to record interior and exterior footage simultaneously is pretty neat; however, the quality of video footage was lackluster. After a few days with this device, the sim card that was included had issues storing recording footage. After my shift I would discover only about 30-45 min. of video was recorded, leaving hours of driving unrecorded. I don’t know why the device all of the sudden ceased to capture up to eight hours of driving or more; however, not recording video defeats the purpose of having a dashcam in the first place. The Falcon Zero uses loop recording, which means old footage is recorded over by new footage when the memory capacity is reached. The issue was that new footage wasn’t being recorded while the device was plugged in, and “recording.”
I was considering purchasing an additional sim card to see if that would fix the issue; however, I ended up returning the camera to amazon. I would not recommend purchasing this product because of the poor video quality, and the memory storage issues that are associated with it.
Here’s a sample 2-min video recorded from this device:
The cameras are both pointed forward in this video, creating almost a uniform visual field. I really liked that capability of the Falcon Zero, and most often used the cameras as two “seeing eyes.” Again, if the device was able to record continuously like it claims to do I possibly would’ve kept it. To solve the dashcam problem, I took advantage of a promotion from Nexar that was offered to select Via drivers. In their promotional text message it claims to offer a free dashcam for select drivers by attending an orientation meeting (which included free lunch).
The device, mount for windshield and 10′ charging cable were all free; however, I was required to sign a contract and put down a $49 security deposit. The security deposit is refundable at the end of 12-months, and the Pret Manger sandwiches were free (and delicous).
The reason that Nexar is giving their dash cam away to drivers is to collect data on incidents and driving crashes. Again, they require using the device for one year while driving at least 30 hours per week. There aren’t any punitive consequences for not meeting this criteria; however, their objective is to collect incident data and build a network of drivers that are using the Nexar app. And if drivers aren’t on the road recording video footage, they aren’t collecting and data.
Now I want to explain more on how the Nexar device functions. It typically records video footage
using an iPhone camera, and is an iOS app iteslf. This leads to really great quality video. I couldn’t be happier with the video quality in fact. When you start recording a drive, the device records either interior or exterior footage (doesn’t record both simultaneously yet, but this feature may be released in the near future). The driver can toggle between standard video mode or “selfie mode,” which records interior facing footage in the event there’s a dispute inside of the vehicle. Additional features include voice activation and audio recording, which are toggled on/off during your drive on the iPhone screen. It’s recommended that audio recording always be toggled “on” while recording, in case there’s ever a verbal dispute within the vehicle.
When you tap the iPhone 5SE’s screen, it automatically records an “incident.” The 20 secs before and 20 secs after you tap the screen are recorded at the full 24 frames per second. Otherwise all video is recorded while active; however, periods of no incidents are condensed to 1 frame per second as displayed above. Although if you do need to access a segment of video during a non-incident period, the full drive is stored on the Nexar database if necessary.
Typically there isn’t a need to view all 6 hours of boring driving, and the time-lapse feature is the best formatting unless you need video documentation of an incident The city is absolutely beautiful this time of year. The Nexar device (i.e., the iPhone 5 SE) captures foliage among the city-scape with perfect clarity. Just another reason to be doing ridesharing in New York City. The video quality isn’t affected by nighttime conditions either.
Finally, you can also toggle to interior recording, as described above, if things are heating up inside your car (e.g., between two passengers, between a passenger and the driver, etc.); which will record 40s of full speed footage when/if there’s an incident. The simple touch-screen activation and voice command features make this device very safe for driving. One thing I noticed that while filming at night the lens sometimes goes blury. That’s because the iPhone camera is trying to refocus on light in the distance, and it sometimes takes a few seconds to adjust. Otherwise this device works seamlessly while driving day or night. I don’t have any complaints about using the Nexar camera. For drivers who put in at least 30 hours a week, and have a TLC license, this is the best available dashcam option on the market today.
What do you think of this dashcam? Which device to you currently use if any?