The Future of Police Dashboard Cameras

Police dash cameras have evolved significantly since they were initially deployed in the 1980s as analog cameras mounted on a small selection of police department dashboards.

Forecasted Market Growth

In 2017 the dashboard camera market was valued at $2.19 billion, and is expected to reach $5.94 billion by 2025, according to a new report by Grand View Research.

Manufacturers worldwide are developing technologically advanced products, which offer dual recording, 4k resolution videos, crash recording, GPS, Wi-Fi, large LCD, TV output, and built-in microphone and speaker. Whilst innovations such as smart dashboard cameras monitor driving style by providing alerts, such as forward collision warning and lane departure warning, in case the driver is about to rear-end the car in front or drift off the road.

According to the report, High Definition represents the fastest growing segment, backed by the increasing requirement of the video footage quality that is acceptable by legal authorities and police in-car video systems as evidence.

The Importance of 4K Resolution

Photo Blurry Lights

The improvement of the camera’s resolution will become essential for a variety of reasons, but chief among them will be the desire to integrate license plate recognition and facial recognition capabilities. 

For example, facial recognition requires pixel resolution that yields an image containing approximately 50 pixels between the eyes. “In addition to an improvement to the cameras for facial and license plate recognition, there will also have to be advancements with regard to processing power in order to run these recognition programs in real time,” says expert Jaime Carlin.

Michigan wants Live Stream Dash Cams

Michigan State Police want to invest more than $2 million dollars into technology to livestream patrol car dashboard cameras, with the update allowing supervisors to monitor pursuits and other incidents in real time.

The agency said the system would give supervisors the ability to “make decisions based on the real event, not on assumptions.,” and is anticipated to be implemented in Detroit patrol cars first.

Multiple View Systems

Multi-view camera systems are game-changing for law enforcement, especially with regards to dash cams.

The public now almost expects law enforcement agencies to have video footage of every stop, arrest and incident; and whilst a single view camera offers several benefits, a multi-view camera system offers a more complete picture of the scene.

Multiple cameras capture evidence and scene activity that is not in the direct line of sight of the officer. Most law enforcement camera-based evidence presented in court is based on a single camera ́s limited angle; but a multi-view system, when coupled with an officer’s statement, can further validate any testimony when the case goes to court or trial.

Artificial Intelligence Saves Time

There is usually a lot of video evidence from dashboard cameras that overwhelms officers who have the task of culling out the irrelevant segments to focus on those that provide genuine insight into the incident. Video analytics powered by artificial intelligence could simplify and accelerates this process.

This technology could help locate objects in a video frame after being given description parameter. AI can search a large volume of video for the presence of a certain model of vehicle, once the dimension, shape and even the color of that vehicle is provided to it.

The future of police dash camera systems are still uncertain, but it could additionally include improvements such as audio sensors embedded in wearables such as body cams or smartwatches. These devices could detect key verbal phrases such as “shots fired,” and, in such incidences, the system might be programmed to immediately send for help.

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