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So last week my wife was involved in a hit-and-run accident. The guy fled the scene before anyone could get his license. I reached out to GM to ask a very simple question ( or so I thought ): "Does the front camera used for forward collision alerts keep any recordings on the event data recorder?"

After 2 days, GM's response is: "We cannot provide you that answer, if you need an answer then you need to hire a company at your expense to figure it out".

Absolutely ridiculous response GM. Shame on you! I think I may tell my insurance company that there's a camera on the car that should have caught everything, and let them go after GM if they want to.
 

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There is no front camera. FCA systems use radar and or lidar so there would be no optical image available, even if it were saved.

I can well understand GM's response as the use of event data recorders in court is a legal and personal data minefield that only well-trained lawyers should be negotiating.

At any rate there is no usable data to get the information you want, so you're wasting your time being angry at GM.
 

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So last week my wife was involved in a hit-and-run accident. The guy fled the scene before anyone could get his license. I reached out to GM to ask a very simple question ( or so I thought ): "Does the front camera used for forward collision alerts keep any recordings on the event data recorder?"

After 2 days, GM's response is: "We cannot provide you that answer, if you need an answer then you need to hire a company at your expense to figure it out".

Absolutely ridiculous response GM. Shame on you! I think I may tell my insurance company that there's a camera on the car that should have caught everything, and let them go after GM if they want to.
It's currently in a legal battle whether black box data requires a warrant. Your insurance company should already be very aware of this, it's not a new issue, it's not GM specific.

Make the same call to BMW and see what they say.

But that being said, unless the airbags deployed, there probably isn't the data you are looking for.
 

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Just curious ... What response were you expecting from GM? This is a legal matter and they answered in a non-committal fashion, which is not unusual.
 

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There is no front camera. FCA systems use radar and or lidar so there would be no optical image available, even if it were saved.

I can well understand GM's response as the use of event data recorders in court is a legal and personal data minefield that only well-trained lawyers should be negotiating.

At any rate there is no usable data to get the information you want, so you're wasting your time being angry at GM.
I don't know what options OP has, but lane keep assist has a front camera, it's very easy to spot when looking from outside-in near the rearview mirror. It's unknown if the data is saved, but even if it was, GM (or anyone else) wouldn't give you access. Sorry to say, but your best bet is to install your own dashcam in the future.
 

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2013-2015 do have front cameras at the top of the windshield if you opt for safety package 2 in the gen 1. No it doesn't save video. You're out of luck unfortunately.
 

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This is an example of why you should have your own dash cam...
 

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My understanding is that the image fed from the forward mounted camera is not a typical image people associate with other digital camera's. So the image may or may not be useful as a dash cam. Clearly in this case the forward camera was designed for a specific purpose so having expectations that it could serve for another purpose is unrealistic.

Though in the future I think it would be a good feature. Many cars are starting to have 360 camera's and having some recording capability built in would certainly be a feature I would be interested in.
 

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Considering that the amount of storage required to capture video is many times greater than that required for other parameters that would be captured by a car event data recorder, and that you would also need a way to choose and lock portions into memory so they are not overwritten, and then also a way to retrieve, delete, etc. those portions, I seriously doubt it was built in. If they did build something like that, it would have been an advertised feature accessible to the owner, like on the Cadillac.

Also, any information of any kind in the event recorder is not considered accessible to the car owner, and its use is not covered in the manual or supported in any way by GM to the consumer. It is kind of like a dirty little secret. That is why you got the answer you got. It is basically the equivalent of a military type answer like "we can neither confirm or deny the existence of such data." I doubt they would answer any question about the event recorder.
 

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From what I was told, even the dealers don't have access to what's in the "black box' , only GM.
 

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I don't know what you're hoping to see in the imagery, but I suspect that the data the car has is much more limited than you're thinking it is.

As I understand it, GM is using a Mobileye chip at the camera, connected by the CANBus to the rest of the car?

Assuming that's correct, it's basically the same setup as first generation Autopilot Teslas, though obviously without the radar and convenience features. Teslas do record the event, and one of the better Tesla hackers found that a year or so ago on a salvage car he was working with and posted it:

https://electrek.co/2016/09/13/tesla-autopilot-camera-stores-footage-crash-like-dashcam/

Due to the bandwidth restrictions of the CANBus link, the video is low resolution and very low frame rate, as you can see. It's enough to define the shape of the accident if it happens within the camera's limited field of view, and maybe get a make/model on the other car, but the only chance of reading a license plate is a square hit to the front, and even then I'd say it's unlikely.
 

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Should be standard on cars in Russia.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I don't know what you're hoping to see in the imagery, but I suspect that the data the car has is much more limited than you're thinking it is.

As I understand it, GM is using a Mobileye chip at the camera, connected by the CANBus to the rest of the car?

Assuming that's correct, it's basically the same setup as first generation Autopilot Teslas, though obviously without the radar and convenience features. Teslas do record the event, and one of the better Tesla hackers found that a year or so ago on a salvage car he was working with and posted it:

https://electrek.co/2016/09/13/tesla-autopilot-camera-stores-footage-crash-like-dashcam/

Due to the bandwidth restrictions of the CANBus link, the video is low resolution and very low frame rate, as you can see. It's enough to define the shape of the accident if it happens within the camera's limited field of view, and maybe get a make/model on the other car, but the only chance of reading a license plate is a square hit to the front, and even then I'd say it's unlikely.
I was hoping that if the EDR did have several frames of video as an event or events ( like The tesla in the artcile ) that we would be able to determine the license of the guy who hit her.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Considering that the amount of storage required to capture video is many times greater than that required for other parameters that would be captured by a car event data recorder, and that you would also need a way to choose and lock portions into memory so they are not overwritten, and then also a way to retrieve, delete, etc. those portions, I seriously doubt it was built in. If they did build something like that, it would have been an advertised feature accessible to the owner, like on the Cadillac.

Also, any information of any kind in the event recorder is not considered accessible to the car owner, and its use is not covered in the manual or supported in any way by GM to the consumer. It is kind of like a dirty little secret. That is why you got the answer you got. It is basically the equivalent of a military type answer like "we can neither confirm or deny the existence of such data." I doubt they would answer any question about the event recorder.
Absolutely Barry, that's why I was hoping that they could even tell me if they save any frames of video data to the EDR when an event is triggered.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
There is no front camera. FCA systems use radar and or lidar so there would be no optical image available, even if it were saved.

I can well understand GM's response as the use of event data recorders in court is a legal and personal data minefield that only well-trained lawyers should be negotiating.

At any rate there is no usable data to get the information you want, so you're wasting your time being angry at GM.
The FCA on GEN1s does not rely on radar or lidar but is camera based. There are some thoughts that it uses Mobileye chipsets and has the same capabilities as the old Tesla's that do keep image data on their EDRs.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Just curious ... What response were you expecting from GM? This is a legal matter and they answered in a non-committal fashion, which is not unusual.
I was hoping they could tell me whether or not the system is capable of storing any images to the EDR. One of the first questions the insurance company asked us was "are there any businesses in the area that may have caught this with an outside security camera". I would have liked to tell them ( which I did end up telling them ): "Our car has a Forward Collision Alerting system on it that is camera based. There is a possibility that it stores data to the event data recorder but GM refuses to supply that information" If they deem it important enough to track down, then let them.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
In this case I think GM has a terrible customer.
Yes, I'm a terrible customer because I want to do everything to find the idiot who hit my pregnant wife and left the scene of an accident. I was asking a question, and instead of answering it with a "We're sorry, but we can't divulge that answer for legal reasons". Their answer was "we refuse to answer the question". It doesn't make someone a terrible customer because they would just like a little assistance from the manufacturer who wants to promote safety "before, during, and after the accident" - Direct quote from GM's media material. :ROLLEYES:
 

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I was hoping that if the EDR did have several frames of video as an event or events ( like The tesla in the artcile ) that we would be able to determine the license of the guy who hit her.
That's what it sounded like. As I was attempting to show, it's fairly unlikely that the EDR in fact contains a readable license plate, though you won't know for certain until you manage to acquire whatever is in it.
 
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