Overhead cameras, also known as surround or 360 cameras, are futuristic devices for automobile navigation. They cost more but offer better features and are fast becoming the first choice for motorists across the region. If you don’t own overhead cameras today, then you’re cheating yourself out of a good automobile device. How do car overhead cameras work? Keep reading to find out.
Overhead cameras are installed on all four sides of a vehicle. One is mounted on the front grille, while two others are mounted on the individual side mirrors to cover the flanks of the car. The fourth is mounted above the license plate and works just like a rearview camera. The four cameras are bonded together by software. A display shows you all four images with your vehicle in the middle. This makes it look like a drone is following you, when in fact, your cameras are simply doing the video coverage.
Properly installed overhead cameras will prevent accidents, collisions, and damages, to both your vehicle and foreign objects, including humans and pets. They help your eyes focus better on the road ahead when used correctly.
What Are Overhead Cameras
Overhead cameras provide motorists with a bird’s eye view of their vehicles. They can take more of all the happenings around them, and respond accordingly. This allows them to evade and maneuver right traffic without a scratch or worry in the world.
Driving today is a tough job and drivers need more than just their windshield and a rearview mirror to navigate the road. Overhead cameras help drivers navigate better by providing them with the exact spot of their vehicles on the road, thereby, assisting their driving intuition.
Overhead cameras are stitched together to provide coherent images of your vehicle at parking speeds via the vehicle’s LCD. A display usually accompanies an OEM installed surround camera, however, if you’re buying an aftermath product, you’ll have to purchase a 7-inch LCD screen or use your head unit.
Advanced overhead cameras are equipped with a sonar system to give the driver proximity warnings. These are like sensors that indicate when the driver is too close to an object or vehicle or vice versa.
But having overhead cameras doesn’t mean you do away with your rear and side-view mirrors. Always consult a professional and experienced mechanic before making any adjustments to your vehicle.
How do overhead Cameras work
Are you looking to buy overhead cameras but are still in the dark about their working principle, then you’ve reached the right section of this article. Overhead cameras are connected to a display that shows whether or not your vehicle is centered.
They consist of 4 cameras that work together to provide a clear image of your surroundings (surround cameras). Seeing the positioning of their vehicles from above helps drivers to see the rear, sides, and front of their vehicles at the same time without drinking their heads out of the car.
The image also shows parking lines that help drivers navigate through tight parking spaces and achieve parallel parking like pros. This is particularly important when navigating a new parking space or evading tight familiar areas.
Overhead cameras work in unison to help motorists park within the legal 6-12 inches of the curb. Since overhead cameras are only necessary during parking speeds, the display is only activated when your car is parking below a certain speed which is usually below 5 to 7 mph.
The camera is automatically activated once your vehicle is put in reverse and stays in that state until you shift into high driving speed. This gives motorists a clear image of their surroundings before hitting the acceleration pedal. If you’re not in a hurry, then you can enjoy the display from your overhead cameras while cruising slowly around the neighborhood.
Advantages of Overhead Cameras
- Prevent Backup Accidents
One of the major advantages of owning an overhead camera is to avoid accidents. The multiple cameras showing your sides, rear, and front help you avoid objects and humans stationary on your path. Since rear and side-view mirrors are limited, surround cameras provide you with a birds eye’s view that helps you pick out every detail that’s in your path. This has reduced collisions and accidents since its implementation in the last decade in the United States, Canada, and Australia.
- Improves Parking
Overhead cameras have improved parking by 100%. Before, motorists had to rely heavily on rearview mirrors which had a limited field of view to park in tight corners and achieve parallel parking. This was usually a daunting task which ended with poor parking, and space consumption, thereby making it more difficult for other drivers to find parking space. But with overhead cameras, motorists now have a 100% field of view and use that to measure their surroundings to manage space judiciously.
- Prevent Deaths
According to research, children and pets are the highest victims of backup accidents. This unsettling data was behind the Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act of 2007 which led to the mandate in 2018 in the United States and Canada in 2016. Now, deaths have reduced and both children and pets can play safely around the house without worrying about reversing vehicles.
- Protects Properties
While lives are top tier and should be protected, by all means, protecting your properties also means protecting your investment and finance. Small properties like bicycles are destroyed every day by backup accidents and collisions. But with a complete field of view by an overhead camera, motorists can see everything in their surroundings and navigate them carefully to avoid even the slightest collisions.
- Encourages Safe Driving
Overhead cameras and dashcams have been known to enhance safe driving among private drivers and fleets. This is why most fleet and taxi companies install overhead cameras in all their assets. Asides from monitoring the driver, these devices help to keep the drivers in check.
Notwithstanding the high level of training provided to drivers, they’ll still drive erratically when the situation arises. This can be on the highway or even on busy city roads. While they may think the situation is under control, a slight unaccounted factor might cause a nasty accident. But the presence of an overhead camera serves as a set of eyes, keeping the driver in check.
This extra set of monitoring eyes keeps the driver-focused and professional since footage of the camera can be transmitted live or stored for future references.
- Reduced Insurance Premiums
Insurance companies cover the cost of repairs whenever we suffer collisions and accidents. Instead of coughing out of the money from our savings, our insurance companies will take care of the problem, after an investigation. However, buying insurance premiums and servicing them periodically can be somewhat of a financial burden. This is why not every car in the region is insured.
But by installing overhead cameras, you reduce the risks of crashing into another vehicle. Not just that, but insurance companies recognize the power of an overhead camera in preventing accidents and collisions, and offer huge discounts reaching over 10 percent in certain situations.
This saves the driver a lot of money, allowing them to insure other valuable properties in their possession. Some insurance companies may even offer higher discounts when you bring multiple vehicles with overhead cameras. So it’s simply financial wisdom to have overhead cameras in all your vehicles, including that of your spouse and children.
If your insurance company is not providing a discount, then you may want to consider other options.
Advanced overhead bird view surround cameras are costly. They range between $100 to over $300 while dash cams cost below $100. Their price has discouraged motorists over the years.
Other disadvantages may include distraction, theft, and invasion of privacy.
Conclusively, car overhead cameras are the future. They can be found preinstalled in newer vehicles in the region. You can also buy and install aftermath cameras for your old cars.