Autonomy in the Aftermarket

If you want to know how close we are really getting to an at least semi-autonomous driving future, consider that the capability is made its way to the aftermarket: that’s right, it is no longer something that is strictly within the purview of OEMs but technology that you’re probably going to be able to access at your local electronics store or via Amazon for the car that you bought two or three years ago and didn’t opt for the additional tech.

If you want to know how close we are really getting to an at least semi-autonomous driving future, consider that the capability is made its way to the aftermarket: that’s right, it is no longer something that is strictly within the purview of OEMs but technology that you’re probably going to be able to access at your local electronics store or via Amazon for the car that you bought two or three years ago and didn’t opt for the additional tech.

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Kenwood USA is introducing the Drive Recorder DRV-410, which will have an MSRP of $250.

The DRV-410 is based on a front-view, wide-angle camera that offers a Super HD 2304 x 1296-pixel capacity. The camera can record to a removable SD card.

While one function of the Driver Recorder is to provide record of a collision or other jarring incident (there is a built-in shock sensor that can activate the device), there is also a driver assistance package that provides lane departure warning (stray from the markings and hear an audio alert) and collision avoidance (close on a vehicle in front of you too quickly and an audio alert provides warning).

Sure, the functionalities are somewhat limited, but still rather economical in the context of what lane departure and collision warning capabilities cost on a new vehicle (although on most new vehicles, the lane departure uses the electric steering system to nudge you back into the lane) and the collision warning even deploys braking, not just an alarm).

But know that according to Rob Sutton, Kenwood director of sales, “We felt it was the right time to introduce our camera to the U.S. market. It’s been a proven winner in Japan for a number of years.”

A number of years! The Drive Recorder should be hardwired into the vehicle ignition system as it comes with permanent mounting hardware. Professional installation is recommended

Incidentally, Kenwood recommends that professional installation be used for setting up the Drive Recorder, and that it is hardwired into the vehicle ignition system.

However, a cigarette lighter plug is also included.