In mid November 2006, Fujitsu Ten Ltd. will release the "DREC1000," a drive recorder that records video of accidents targeting general consumers. The company believes there must be some demand from general consumers, as drive recorders offer users security that recorded video will be an objective material when the driver cannot sufficiently explain about an accident he met. Pricing is ¥59,850. Targeted sales are 500 units per month.
Fujitsu Ten previously released a drive recorder for taxies in November 2005, followed by another model for buses, lorries and other commercial transportation vehicles in August 2006. To lower the price for general consumers, the latest drive recorder features no GPS reception device and therefore no use in conjunction with map software, either.
As a new functionality, however, the drive recorder's body is embedded with an electric dual layer capacitor that supplies power for about 10 seconds to save video data on a dedicated CF card when power supply from the car's lead battery stops. In addition, an audio microphone, which has been only attached with high end business models, is featured as standard, so more information can be obtained even if it is a minor collision, which needs more than just image to be made certain of.
Along with these functionalities, the company widened its video recording CCD camera's horizontal and vertical viewing angles to 134 and 103 degrees, respectively, so the camera can record video even when the car is hit from either front side. Horizontal and vertical viewing angles of the CCD camera mounted on the company's previous drive recorders for business vehicles were 131 and 96 degrees, respectively.
Able to Store up to 15 Video Clips
The latest drive recorder consists of the main body and a separate camera part, which is set on the windshield glass behind the rear-view mirror. Power supports both 12 V and 24 V, as well as supply from the cigarette lighter. The main body measures 150 x 27 x 130 mm and weighs 300 g. The CCD camera is 250000-pixel, 1/4-inch type. The camera measures 23 x 21 x 20 mm excluding cable and weighs 80 g including cable.
When a shock sensor embedded with the main body detects sudden acceleration or slowdown, for example, the camera is triggered and records video on a 128 MB dedicated CF card for 20 seconds (12 seconds before and 8 seconds after the trigger) at 10 frames per second. Video recording can also be started by pushing a packed operation switch. The drive recorder can store a total of 15 video clips -- 10 triggered by the shock sensor and 5 by the operation switch.
Since the dedicated CF card features dedicated software, users can view and hear recorded video using "Windows 2000" or "Windows XP" compatible PCs without installing software.