With Rideshare finally making its way to British Columbia, many customers are asking for a dash cam solution to give them peace of mind whenever they're behind the wheel. Over the last few years, many videos have come out revealing the risks of being a rideshare driver, beyond those already experienced by all drivers on BC roads. With indisputable video evidence, a driver can protect themselves against insurance fraud, customer complaints, and even violent encounters while on-shift.
The most popular dash cams these days are 2-channel systems. Traditionally this is a dash cam mounted on the front window with a secondary camera mounted on the rear window facing outwards. However, for rideshare applications, we recommend options that have a secondary camera facing the interior to record customer/driver interactions. The front camera should still be pointed out towards the front of the vehicle as this will record any accidents and poor driving behaviour. At the bare minimum, drivers should install a 1-channel camera if they are thinking of doing rideshare as this is the most important angle for them in the event of an insurance claim. It will show lane position, traffic lights, and general road-user behaviour.
Three channel dash cam setups are possible by adding another 1-channel dash cam on the rear window to record activity behind the vehicle but the most important for rideshare drivers would be the two aforementioned angles. A parking mode setup would also be useful as this lets the camera record even if the car is turned off. It will not only record hit and runs but also acts as a security camera for the driver if they have to park and step out of the vehicle.
With any of these dash cams, a larger memory card (e.g., 64GB or 128GB) is highly recommended for any rideshare use. A standard 16GB card will start overwriting in less than 2 hours with any modern 2-channel system and is not sufficient for recording a shift's worth of video.
Rideshare Dash Cam Comparison - Top Picks
This is easily our top pick for a rideshare dash cam. Not only is it affordable meaning a minimal impact to your bottom line as a rideshare driver, but the Thinkware brand has been the most reliable in our experience which is important for a camera that may be running for hours a day. It only has a 720P rear facing camera which may be a weak point for traditional 2-channel applications but for interior recording it does quite well and keeps file sizes down. WiFi is intuitive and convenient for pulling footage in the event of an emergency although download speeds are slower than higher end Thinkware models. Parking mode on Thinkware dash cams are also second to none as it features partitioned recording, built-in voltage detection, and buffered recording.
A bonus feature with the Thinkware FA200 is the optional GPS. We rarely recommend this accessory for private car use but for rideshare it does come in handy. For starters, the GPS antenna adds red light camera alerts and speed camera alerts. With the recent addition of speed cameras in BC, this can prove to be handy in keeping your driver's license in good standing. The GPS can also be used to enable speed display which shows how fast you're going in the bottom left of the video. This would be useful if a passenger decided to complain to the rideshare company and falsely accuse a driver of speeding or driving erratically. Lastly, the GPS adds time sync via pre-set time zones meaning your time will always be accurate and synced up for footage integrity.
VIOFO dash cams always rank highly in budget dash cam comparisons and the A129 Duo is no different. With high end features like dual band WiFi and front and rear Sony STARVIS sensors, this sub $300 dash cam brings a lot to the table. There is a small 2" screen to help you aim the camera properly and change settings although you can also do this via the WiFi app for Android and iOS. The WiFi app is not as intuitive as the Thinkware one but offers fast download speeds through its 5GHz band.
The rear camera and wiring are bulkier compared to the Korean dash cams and the mounting is not quite as elegant for the rear camera. The sleek wedge shape is still very discreet and having clear physical buttons is also reassuring. Video quality is excellent with high bitrate recording but a 128GB micro SD is almost a necessity. The VIOFO A129 Duo IR is a high performance system with a few minor quirks but at this price point its hard to fault.
At about $100 more than the VIOFO and Thinkware options in this comparison, the Blackvue DR590W-2CH IR does strike a sweet spot in this lineup. It has the most sleek looking camera design and the WiFi app is proven throughout the Blackvue range. It is fast while being very user friendly and it's the only one that can be used while the camera is recording. This camera features a Sony STARVIS sensor on the front only which is perfectly fine for a rideshare dash cam.
Wiring is easy to manage for the rear camera with a short and thin cable rather than a thick and cumbersome one like on the VIOFO. As far as parking mode goes, the Thinkware offers a better hardwire kit with better memory partitioning and settings options. An optional GPS is available but it only enables speed display and time sync, safety camera alerts are not available.