dash cam – TeslaWeekly

In this post, I’m going to cover:
1.  Why you need a dash cam
2.  Will the Model 3 (or Model S/X) have a built-in dash cam
3.  How much will it cost to install a 3rd party dash cam

Alright, so let’s start with 1. Why you need a dash cam.

The most compelling reason to have a dash cam is for liability protection.  There are some unscrupulous folks out there and, believe it or not, some try to even fake an accident to get insurance money.

Here’s a video I watched a while back, but makes a good case for why a dash cam is a good idea.  This is a must-watch.

Another scenario is if you’re in an accident and the other party basically lies about it and insists that it was your fault when it wasn’t.  A dash cam is great because you’ll have the video needed to back up your claims.

Some other people justify a dash cam in case of vandalism to their car.  A dash cam would likely be able to record who vandalized your car in case that happened.

Overall though a dash cam is an investment for your piece of mind.  If you’re an accident or falsely blamed, you’ll have additional evidence you can rely on.

2.  Will the Model 3 (or Model S/X) have a built-in dash cam

Last year, Elon mentioned in a tweet that they were working on activating a dash cam feature for the Model 3.  Basically, since the Model 3 (and Model S/X) already has 8 exterior cameras, Tesla could software activate a dash cam feature that would record video and allow that video to be accessed by the owner.  Here’s Elon’s tweet from last year:

The problem with waiting for this feature from Tesla is twofold.  First, Tesla is notoriously late with releasing promised features like this.  One example is Elon said the browser in the Model S/X would be revamped and made considerably faster (currently it’s very choppy) but that feature has been pushed back several times, although it may come one day.

Second, the dash cam feature that Tesla “activates” probably won’t be as comprehensive as some of the 3rd party dash cams.  3rd party dash cams will likely have more storage capacity and probably even better accessibility (ie., via app) than Tesla because their focus is dash cams.

However, if Tesla did enable a dash cam feature I think it would be a great feature.  They probably could even charge a monthly fee for its activation and for video storage (i.e., $10/month).

But I think for those who think they need and want a dash cam, it’s worth looking into 3rd party alternatives.

3.  How much will it cost to install a 3rd party dash cam

Blackvue is the standard of dash cams and the preferred choice for most people.  Their latest model is the Blackvue DR750S-2CH and costs about $400.  Their older model is the Blackvue DR650S-2CH and costs a bit over $300.

Installation will run about $150 to $300.  Here’s a couple examples from southern California installers:
Ace Dashcam comes in at the lower end of installation price $150.
Calibred Customs comes in at the higher end, $300.

The key when looking for a dash cam installer is to make sure that they have experience installing the BlackVue dash cam in your vehicle.  If they don’t have experience with your specific vehicle, it’s probably best to move on and keep searching.