Taxi and ridesharing drivers are all vulnerable to legal trouble of various kinds, from disputed fares to allegations of assault.
Simply getting your permit or Lyft membership suspended can mean taking a serious financial hit, even if the reason turns out to be bogus.
Insurance is a headache, too, and submitting a claim goes a whole lot more smoothly when you can attach a video of the event.
We therefore felt it imperative to include at least one dash cam that’s optimized for this kind of driving in our search for the best dashboard camera. Like the Vantrue N4, this camera documents the inside of the vehicle, simultaneously giving you a handy record of whatever is visible through the rear window. It’s much cheaper and easier to install, however, making it a great option for drivers on a budget.
Watching out for Trouble
Both the front and interior camera are equipped with wide dynamic range sensors, while the one inside also has infra-red lamps that can be set to come on automatically when dark.
The small screen may as well have been deleted, since it does not allow you to view any kind of useful footage, and certainly not enjoy the 1080p resolution of the front camera. It can, however, display both feeds simultaneously as a picture-in-picture view and may be helpful for roadside use (for instance to show to a police officer). You can also take out the microSD card and read in on your phone using a suitable adapter.
In terms of this camera’s intended function, though, the LCD display clearly demonstrates to passengers that they’re being filmed and may moderate their behavior somewhat. Bear in mind that many jurisdictions have special requirements when it comes to the use of dash cams in vehicles: you may have to inform passengers that they’re under surveillance (a sign will do), and it’s generally expected that you use any personal information you gather only for its intended purpose. If desired, the audio recording function can be turned off.
Made for Driving; Not Great at Everything Else
If you don’t have a safe, quiet place to park your car between drives, you may be better off with the Vantrue N4. That somewhat more expensive dash cam can self-activate and start recording either when the cameras detect movement in their fields of view, or when the vehicle is physically shaken. More importantly, it will keep working as long as the cabin’s temperature remains below 158°F, which is already on the low side for dash cams. The CE41 is rated only up to 140°F.
Still, it can indeed be set to record 30-second video clips if it senses an impact while in park mode. You’ll have to remember to turn off the g-sensor function when driving, though, or your memory card will soon be spammed with recordings marked as important. The 32 GB recommended cards are good for about an hour and a half at full resolution.
Kind of a Specialty Camera
You will not have any trouble figuring out this dash cam’s menu after a few minutes of playing with it, and as you don’t have to run and conceal wires to a separate rear-facing camera, installation is a breeze. If it takes you much longer than 5 minutes, you’re either very meticulous or having a bad day.
Assuming that you’re working within a budget, you’ll be glad about the way this camera combines fairly high resolution with a nearly all-round view. If this seems like what you need and you’re willing to spend more, you should also check out its updated version, which is an improvement in several ways but still recommends that you don’t use a microSD card larger than 32 GB.
To wrap up: if strangers get into your car on a regular basis, this model is certainly good value. It doesn’t feel cheap and, while not immune to hiccups (which are often caused by a substandard SD card instead of the camera itself), operates pretty reliably. The flaws it has, including looking a little robotic and clunky from the outside, won’t matter too much if it’s installed in a rideshare or taxi.
Toguard CE41 footage:
- Economical option for Ubers and taxis
- Good low-light performance
- Records view through rear window
- Not very useful in parking mode
- Compatible only with small memory cards
- Updated model available