Dash cams are becoming increasingly popular for a number of reasons. One of the reasons is simply for protection in case of a crash. In an event of a crash, a dash cam can record the entire event, insuring that the truth of the accident is seen and the proper insurance claims are taken. Another reason is simply to record all the silly and funny stuff that you might see on the road. Just punch in “Russian Dash Cam” in YouTube and you’ll get lost for hours watching insane videos. But dash cams can be expensive, annoying to operate and only work when they’re turned on and have limited battery life. So Audi Australia came up with a solution — the Universal Traffic Recorder (UTR).
Essentially, the UTR is a full-HD camera mounted to the back of the rear-view mirror that records straight out in front of the vehicle (with an option for both front and rear view). It has multiple different settings and functions, making it far more useful than your off-the-shelf dash cam. The standard mode just starts recording when the engine starts and stops when it shuts off. All video is stored on an internal 8GB SD card but will automatically overwrite the previous video with new recordings if it runs out, or you can remove the card and transfer the video to a computer. You can also just download the files onto your phone, via the free app.
There’s also the Event Mode, which will start recording in the event of a crash and can be monitored from your smartphone. You can adjust how long it records for with the app to insure that the crash is caught. Being that the UTR is also equipped with radar sensors, it can monitor motion in Parking Mode. This allows the UTR to start recording if it detects any motion, so if any shady characters start peaking into your car or snooping around your property, the camera could be able to spot them. This mode engages when the car is turned off and can stay engaged for 72 consecutive hours. Or, you can just completely control the camera from your smartphone.
The Audi UTR is currently on sale in Australia and costs $677.27 (USD$497.63) for the front camera and $768.18 (USD$564.42) for both front and rear.