Garmin adds a camera to its luxury car tracking radar

Garmin adds a camera to its luxury car tracking radar

Image for article titled Garmin's car-tracking bike radar gains a camera to record crashes

Cycling can be a relaxing pastime until drivers find themselves sharing the road with other vehicles. It then starts to look like an exercise in simple survival, and if the unthinkable happens and a cyclist gets hit by a car, The new Varia RCT715 from Garmin will be get it all on film provide evidence as to who was really responsible for an accident.

Garmin’s Varia line of devices debuted seven years ago as a better alternative to cyclists who rely on mirrors to tell when vehicles are approaching them from behind. The rear-facing device attached to the seat post of a bicycle and used radar to detect the presence of a vehicle approaching from behind, up to nearly 500 feet, then alerted the cyclist via a mounted dashboard bike computer, and possibly also smartphones and connected watches.

The system originally used a simple color-coded flashing warning system to let cyclists know what was behind them: green meant all was clear, amber meant a vehicle was in range, and the red warned of an approaching vehicle at higher speeds, but later versions used animated dots on a device screen showing the location of vehicles, even multiple cars at once, and how quickly they were gaining on the bike.

Image for article titled Garmin's car-tracking bike radar gains a camera to record crashes

The newest addition to the Varia line, the RCT715, adds another important safety feature that cars themselves have been using for years: a camera that continuously records activity behind the bike. Rear-facing dash cams for bikes aren’t a new idea, but the Varia RCT715 works as a single, all-in-one solution alongside radar to detect approaching hazards, as well as a bright LED tail light.visible from a mile away, even in the middle of the day, which will start flashing faster when a vehicle is detected to ensure it grabs the driver’s attention.

As with most dashcams, the Varia RCT715 constantly buffers 1080P/30fps footage the entire time it’s on, but when a built-in accelerometer detects a crash, before, after and during incident are actually recorded on an included 16 GB SD card. map, and is then accessible via the Garmin app.

the RCT715 does not double as a digital rear view mirror – live video cannot be streamed to another device – and for some it may cost $400 hard to swallow. It is twice the price of the device predecessor, the Radar rear light RTL515 which does not have a camera. But if you ever find yourself in a run-in with a car while the driver points the finger at you as the cause, having footage proving otherwise will no doubt make you glad you splurged on the upgrade.

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