What is Parking Mode? Why is it So Important?
It is quite common to come across “Parking Mode” stated as a feature when looking for dash cams for your car. But not everyone is familiar with what it is used for and how it works. Not to mention the fairly complicated differences between the two types of parking modes called G sensor trigger parking mode and motion-trigger parking mode.
All this can get pretty confusing for someone buying their first dash cam. This is why we made this brief detailing all there is to know about parking mode, its types, and its benefits. Knowing this information will help you better navigate the market so you can get the right dash cam for your vehicle.
- What is the Parking Mode About?
- How Does Parking Mode Work?
- What are the Common Trigger Types for Parking Mode?
- What is Time-Lapse Record Mode?
- Can a Dash Cam Have Both G Sensor and Time-Lapse Modes?
- What is a Buffered Event Video?
- Does the Dash cam Need to Be Hardwired for Parking Mode?
- What are the Benefits of Parking Mode?
- How Much Do Dash Cam With Parking Mode Cost?
What is the Parking Mode About?
A normal dash cam is only activated while your car is turned on and you are driving around. Now, this is all well and good for recording your car and the surroundings while you are driving. But what about when your car is parked? Since normal dash cams stop recording once the car is turned off, your vehicle becomes vulnerable. This is where parking mode can help out.
The parking mode allows the dash cam inside of your car to keep on working and recording footage even if the car is turned off. You don't have to be inside the car either for this feature to work. So, you can have ease of mind knowing that your expensive car and precious belongings inside are being monitored while you are away. Parking mode is also referred to as parking surveillance.
How Does Parking Mode Work?
Now you may wonder how exactly does a dash cam’s parking mode work? Simply put, the car’s dash cam goes into hibernation mode when you turn off the car. This doesn’t necessarily mean the dash cam is recording footage 24/7. It is active but not recording footage onto the memory card. Instead, it only records footage when triggered through impact or motion.
We will be discussing these triggers in detail in the next section. By recording only when triggered, there is no excess memory usage by the dash cam. You also don't have to go through tons of footage to find a specific event, saving time and effort in the long run.
What are the Common Trigger Types for Parking Mode?
As mentioned before, there are two commonly used trigger modes for dash cams.
- Motion-Trigger Parking Mode
- G Sensor Trigger Parking Mode
Each type has its pros and cons. By knowing the difference between the two, you can choose the type that is best suited for your vehicle type and parking habits.
Motion-Trigger Parking Mode
Motion-triggered dash cams stop hibernating upon detecting movement in their field of view. So, if an animal or a person walks by your car, the cam will start recording for a few seconds. How long the cam records after detecting motion varies from product to product. Once it has recorded footage for a certain amount of time, it will go back into hibernation mode.
This method is pretty reliable as it allows you to record anyone approaching your car. But the downside is that you cannot park in a busy location. If you do, the dash cam parking mode will be activated over and over again by the people moving around. This can result in high power consumption, resulting in a drained car battery. This also means that more unnecessary footage will be recorded of people just passing by.
So if you are going for a motion-trigger parking mode, you should park your vehicle in an area with very little activity. A great pr of this type of parking mode trigger is that it starts recording early when a person approaches your car. So, you have longer footage which provides a better picture of what happened.
G Sensor Trigger Parking Mode
A G sensor trigger parking mode dash cam starts recording your car’s environment in case of an impact. The sensitivity of the impact can be as low as someone bumping into your car a bit too hard. Once triggered, just like motion-trigger parking mode, the dash cam starts recording the surroundings for a while and then goes back to hibernation mode.
You can then go back and see the footage of the impact. G sensor trigger parking mode can be used in public places with lots of traffic without worry. This provides you with more versatility in where you can park your car.
But, if the dash cam takes too long to start recording, you may not get enough footage of the person or thing that caused the impact. G sensor trigger parking mode also provides audio of the event, which can be really useful.
What is Time-Lapse Record Mode?
High-end dash cams also come with a special kind of parking mode featuring time-lapse recording capability. This feature lets the dash cam bring down the frame rate at which it records drastically. It then continuously makes a video of the area around your car while it is parked.
Now, because of the lower frame rate, the video comprising hours of recording can be compressed down to just a few minutes. So, you get a video from your car’s dash cam of a whole day shrunk down to a length that you can watch quickly. With this feature, you don’t have to rely on a trigger for the dash cam to start recording.
Instead, it provides 24/7 surveillance of your car while still requiring smaller memory space and less power. The only downside is the dash cam usually cannot record audio while in time-lapse mode.
Can a Dash Cam Have Both G Sensor and Time-Lapse Modes?
Yes, high-end dash cams like the WOLFBOX D07 come with G sensor trigger parking mode and time-lapse features built in. This combo is known as dual parking monitoring mode. So you can switch between the two modes depending on where you are parking your car. If you are parking in a high-activity area, simply turn on the time-lapse feature.
But if you are just parking in front of your house at night, the g sensor trigger modes will ensure that no bumps to your car go unnoticed. This way, you get way more versatility in how you want your dash cam parking mode to be set up.
What is a Buffered Event Video?
Dash cams that feature parking mode also usually utilize a buffered event video. This is a way for the dash cam to further save up space. When using the buffered event video feature, the dash cam can continuously makes a small video spanning a few seconds and stores it in its cache instead of the memory card.
So, there is always a small duration of previous events being saved temporarily onto the cache while the parked mode is active. Since the video is stored in cache memory, it is overwritten with the new footage after a few seconds.
So how does it help you? Well, in case the dash cam is triggered in parking mode, the camera saves the latest cached video onto the memory card while also recording what is happening around it currently.
This way, you get a video with some footage from before the accident or impact happened combined with the footage during and following the impact. With a buffered event video, you can get a better idea of what happened and how it happened.
Does the Dash cam Need to Be Hardwired for Parking Mode?
When your car is parked, it is turned off. In almost all modern models, power outlets on your dashboard also turn off with the car. This is done to ensure that you don’t accidentally leave a device plugged in, causing the battery of the car to fully drain out.
So, you cannot have your dash cam plugged into the auxiliary power outlet of your car if you want to use the parking mode. This is because it won’t get any power once the car is turned off. Instead, you will need to hardwire the dash cam directly to the internal circuitry of the battery. This way, it can still get power from the battery directly, even when the car is not running.
What are the Benefits of Parking Mode?
Parking mode is one of the most essential features for a dash cam to have. But most people overlook it or don’t use it at all. So to show how useful and convenient parking mode can be, here are some benefits of this amazing dash cam feature:
Acts as a Deterrent
Having a dash cam with parking mode enabled can act as a great deterrent to would-be vandals. A person with bad intentions will probably not go near your car if they see a dash cam ready to record. This is especially true for motion-triggered dash cams, as they will capture footage of anyone coming close to your car.
Helps Prevent Hit and Runs
Hit and runs are the worst. Some random person ruined the side mirror of your car, and now you have no way to track them down.
So you have to pay the hefty repair bill out of your own pocket. By using a dash cam with parking mode, you can have footage of the incident to help the authorities track down the culprit.
Provides Evidence for Authorities
Footage recorded by dash cams in parking mode can provide valuable information to authorities. It can also be used as evidence to help you in the event of an accident while your vehicle is parked. Therefore, a dashcam with parking mode can save you from a lot of trouble on the road.
With the footage from your dash cam, the authorities can also identify culprits in case someone tries to break into your car. The utility of parking mode is not limited to just this either. If your dash cam is using time-lapse recording mode while parked, it will be recording the surroundings of your car as well. This allows you to acquire footage of other criminal activities that may occur in your dash cam’s line of sight.
Such footage can be valuable for authorities. By parking your car in front of your house, the dash cam’s parking mode will essentially work as an added security cam.
Helps You Make Insurance Claims
Insurance companies often do detailed investigations before you can get the insurance money if your car has been in an accident. With the parking mode footage of the incident with you, you will have a much easier time making the insurance claim. So, you can have your vehicle repaired with the insurance money in no time.
Allows You To Monitor Your Drivers
If you are in the transport business, you want to keep an eye on your drivers. This is especially the case when the vehicle is turned off since you have no way of knowing what the driver is up to.
But by using dash cams with parking modes, you can keep an eye on your drivers even when the vehicle is parked and turned off. Having dash cams with parking mode installed on all your company’s vehicles adds an added layer of safety that will be very beneficial in the long run.
How Much Do Dash Cam With Parking Mode Cost?
The price of a dash cam with parking mode is determined by its build quality, camera quality, and other features. You can find a budget dash cam with parking mode for as low as $75. But a good quality option with good features such as GPS and WiFi will cost you around $90 to $100.
A dash cam does not necessarily require a parking mode. But having it can be a great plus. If you think about it, you leave your car parked and unattended for a longer duration during the day than you do driving it around. So having the parking mode on standby ready to cover for you and monitor the vehicle in your absence can be really helpful.
This way, you can focus more on the activity at hand instead of worrying about if your car is alright because you had to park it in a busy spot. Hopefully, you will have learned a lot about what parking mode is and how it works through this brief to help you get the right dash cam for you.