That title sounds like an episode of the Big Bang Theory doesn’t it? I’ll leave it in because this article is sort of about automotive science. On 2nd October I published my first look at this Garmin device (here) but now, looking back, I see I pretty much covered all there is to say about this excellent bit of kit.
It’s a sat-nav that combines a high-end camera, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, still photographs and other driver aids. All you need in fact for carefree motoring. I especially like the traffic alerts. The other day I had to go somewhere to drive some cars and, with ample time to spare, the nüviCam forewarned me of a five minute traffic delay to my ETA, ten miles ahead.
Ten miles! That allowed for plenty of time to divert had I wanted to do that. In the interests of testing the device however I decided to stick to my route and see what happened. What happened was that, ten miles later, I was indeed held up for about five minutes in a small traffic backlog. That’s what I call accurate. The on-screen warning was clear and unequivocal. Very impressive.
The idea of the camera is to record evidence in the event of a collision. This should help deter crash scammers (how much of a slimy worm do you have to be to do that job?) and also help to appease your insurer in the event of a regular accident. A dashcam makes a lot of sense.
We know that Garmin navigation devices are reliable and accurate. There’s a pic here that compares my own aged Garmin device which still works perfectly – with lifetime map updates included, always a worthwhile option. The new unit is a bit of a whopper and I got a bit fed up with constantly having to move it from one vehicle to another. Most users won’t have this problem. Fix and leave.
The clamp hangs on to the windscreen like Mrs DriveWrite’s grip on the household finances – tight. It is a simple job to remove the nüviCam from the clamp; it is held there by the magic of magnetism ( I told you this piece had science in it) and can be hidden or transported away from the car for security purposes. You’re asking for trouble if you leave it in situ when away from the motor.
The unit records full time, over-writing as the memory card fills up. In the event of an accident that segment is automatically saved or, if you want to save an example of stupid motoring or cycling behaviour that occurs in front of you, you can do so at the touch of a handily placed button. The videos shown here are clips from default three minute segments, but this time setting can be varied. Once downloaded to your computer the card can be cleared, just like any digital camera. It’s easy.
Last time I mentioned that, since starting to use the device, absolutely nothing untoward has happened. I can now report that nothing has happened again. I have absolutely nothing of lurid interest to show you. There’s a couple of short example clips shown below but that is it. The device works well in sunlight, dull conditions and is only slightly less effective at night, although your headlights illuminate the foreground in any event so it isn’t a problem. At around £300 depending, the Garmin nüviCam is not cheap but it does everything you could need to aid road safety and the ability to reach a destination. It would be a great purchase for owners of older or less well specified cars and I recommend it wholeheartedly. The only blot on the landscape is that I have to give it back. Geoff Maxted