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What would be a good way to record video while driving and allow for driver and or sensor input? Answered

How about this then, to throw another wrench in the system. My last question was " Could I run a webcam directly from a HDD without a computer?" How could I or what would be a good way to set up a system to record video while driving and have user or sensor input? Basically, like before, I am trying to re-create a Drivecam device. The drivecam records 24-7 but only stores video to a flash card when the driver is involved in an accident [by a g-force sensor] or hits a panic button which is located on the bottom of the camera. I have no problem using a video camera or a flip cam but how to make it work to record in certian situations like and accident or if I see an accident in front of me, or if someone hits my car while I am not in it. Like I said, I would just buy one, but they do not sell them to the retail off the street person and it would be too expensive to make a fleet to get one camera. My company uses them and they are about $700 a piece and now the new ones upload the video via cell, which I do not want for my use. So if I can build something that is in all practicality a drive cam, but not, I am all game. I just thought a webcam would be easier, but it doesn't have to be a webcam. It looks like the easiest set up is going to be a ITX mobile computer with some sort of user and or sensor inputs. Any other ideas?


The easiest way that I can think of is to use a laptop or desktop unit modified to run mobile and figure a way to have the camera start recording every time the car is started. Then save the file as it is running so that even the last microsecond is recorded on the hard drive. That way it needs no input from anybody. Or you could design or find a accident detection device. I would not trust a panic button alone since the driver may be unable or forget to push the panic button to save the last 5 min's or so. That will require some programming though I doubt that you can find something like that off the shelf. If you don't mind paying or can do it yourself with a little programming you could get your laptop to save the file to the hard drive AND to a usb flash drive which would be more likely to survive an impact than a hard drive. You want this thing to be as automatic as possible. When you need it you will not be thinking about that panic button. Good luck and come back here to let us know what you're thinking.

I appreciate the input and advice. I wish I could get one of these devices but I don't like the standard feature they have. I understand that they are designed for fleet applications so they probably never intended anyone would want to use it for personal reasons. I have actually taken one of these apart, don't tell my company that, to see how exactly it works and it is amazing the lack of hardware it has. I'm sure it is a basic video cam with a buffered video stream. Thanks again

If you fit the ITX with a TV card you could use a "timeshift" feature of the software, where it caches the video stream. Might need some playing with but have a look at that? I'm not sure whether you can find a card that takes the right input, but look for "timeshift". L