In-car parking cameras to record evidence of accidents

Volvo's new safety technology

With the growing number of ‘cash for crash’ fraud and false claims rising, in-car cameras are being re-purposed to collect evidence of crashes for insurance claims or potential legal proceedings.

 

According to Smart Witness, a camera provider, drivers are increasingly installing dash cams to provide evidence in any potential ‘crash for cash’ insurance scams. Sales of the company’s cameras have risen by 40% in the past 12 months, though the increasingly popular dashboard cameras, which are currently being used to provide evidence in accidents, could be replaced by cars which take video footage themselves with their built-in parking cameras.

 

What will the in-car cameras protect against?

 

The evidence from the in-car cameras is mainly being used to fight ‘crash for cash’ scams, which see motorists intentionally causing crashes in order to claim money. These scams often see the fraudsters brake very late, too hard or at unexpected points while approaching a roundabout.

 

Another scam sees the fraudster travel along a road with a petrol station or junction on their left, so they have right of way. They then signal an approaching vehicle as if allowing them to move onto the road. When the other driver commits, the fraudster then accelerates and causes a collision. At this point they then claim not to have signalled so they can file a claim while the innocent party is blamed.

 

How would the in-car camera’s evidence be accessed?

 

According to Qualcomm, a tech-focused supplier, their new in-dash processors can take data from the ever growing number of parking cameras found on modern cars ad record footage, either at the press of a button on the dashboard or automatically in the vent of a crash. From there it is a simple case of downloading the information from the car onto a smartphone to send to the insurance company.

 

The latest vehicles now joining the car markets have no shortage of parking cameras as the safety orientated technology becomes more common, with the new Nissan Qashqai featuring up to four parking cameras. This means that any incident or crash could be recorded from all angles if the software becomes available.

 

Comments on the use of in-car cameras

 

Head of Automotive Product Development at Qualcomm, Nakul Duggal, commented, “A camera is merely a sensor. We can use it to record and store video, and that’s straightforward.”

 

Smart Witness’s company head, Simon Marsh, commented, “It takes all the stress out of a road traffic accident. Liability is quickly established and claims can be settled much more quickly and without any disputes.”

 

Alongside their use for recording evidence against possible scams, cameras are also being used to reduce insurance premiums, right now this is the case only with lorry or taxi fleet operators, who provide tamper proof cameras to their drivers in order to record accidents.

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