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Cabs with a black box

Although Taiwan is an extremely safe country (specially when compared to some areas of Barcelona), they have an obsession with security (fences, blocked windows, etc.) and security cameras in particular (EVERYWHERE).

The latest addition to the mix is the so called “black box” camera or DVR for cars. It all started with the taxis and now you can see and more regular cars mounting a camera on the dashboard. What is this “black box” camera then? Something like that:

The most advanced models feature double camera (outside and inside), a very wide angle (up to 140º), recording on SD cards, night vision, HD video, built-in GPS and specialized software for the PC. Just amazing stuff.

If you want to have an idea of the number of the available models you can check this website in Taiwan. Prices starting around 25 EUR (1000 TWD)

So… what are these cameras for?

  • Protect drivers, prevent robberies and monitor passengers behavior. I doubt this is needed in Taiwan but very useful in other parts of the world
  • Monitor taxi driver and other drivers behavior. Taxi drivers can be involved in accidents or almost accidents. Recording everything makes it a lot clearer what happened.

The major concern is obviously about privacy, specially when the inside of the vehicle is recorded. I have not seen any sign on the taxis indicating if they are recording the passengers but I assume this is just a matter of time (basically until someone complains hard enough about it).

A side effect of all these cameras is that the news channels in Taiwan are now full of bad/dangerous driving behaviors or even accidents as they have footage for almost everything (there is always a camera nearby). See few examples below.

Bad driving on the news

Accidents on the news

Accidents uploaded to YouTube by users

This is particularly interesting video because you see how Chinese behave with accidents,

  • They DO NOT rush to help or even worry too much about the injured person. This is an important cultural difference with Western cultures: in general in Chinese culture you only care about people from your own circle (family, friends, etc.)… the rest of the people (you don’t know them) are almost non-existent (as long as they do not create problems to you or people in your circle)
  • A second important reason is that you need to wait for the police to come and you are not allowed to touch anything (in Spain usually you take your car out of the middle of the road)

1 Comment

    Deu ni do quins videos! Els motoristes uns cracks…

    Si posesin aquestes càmeres a Barcelona per exemple, durarien més d´un dia dins els taxis? :)