Now this is a feature we’d dearly love to see in South Africa but, somehow, we think the Americans need it just a little more right now. Ring, which has a very interesting camera/drone combo on the way in the new year, also has a fancy new dashcam due. And the Ring Car Cam has a fancy new feature to go along with it.
Racing Rings around the competition
Ring’s new car camera (they don’t seem to be calling it a dashcam) works just like any other moderately-priced dashcam — it’s got a front and rear-facing camera and it’ll record what you’re up to while you’re driving or if you’re in an accident. It’ll also use either WiFi or LTE to let you know if someone unauthorised has climbed into your car, recording them all the while. Said footage is uploaded directly to the cloud, so the cops/your insurance company knows exactly who nicked your ride.
And it’s this upload-to-cloud function that forms part of quite a cool feature, called Traffic Stop. Ring’s Car Cam can be voice-activated via Amazon’s Alexa. Saying “Alexa, I’m being pulled over” starts the cameras recording, with footage being uploaded to the cloud immediately. A list of emergency contacts are also notified that the vehicle has been pulled over — you know, in case the cops are being American about things.
Which, again, is a feature we’d love to see in South Africa. But America has had several high-profile cases of police overreaction during traffic stops, which have lead to extremely preventable deaths. Perhaps Ring’s Car Cam can help there — cops may be less likely to use unjustified force if they’re aware that their actions are being recorded on a device that can’t simply delete the record of what went down. Police body cams are notorious for not working when needed. Ring, which is owned by Amazon, probably won’t have nearly as many hardware failures.
The Ring Car Cam is due to launch in 2021, when it’ll retail for $200 (R3,500). And yeah, as soon as they’re available here we’re getting our hands on one.