September 21, 2023


Just Do Automotive

Assessment: Ring Automotive Cam Retains an Eye on Your Trip

6 min read

Ring is thought for progressive video doorbells and residential safety networks, and now it is venturing into our beloved automotive house. Dashcams are a thriving market, and to make it, a product has to face out. Primarily based on our time with it, Ring is as much as the problem with its new Automotive Cam.

The Ring Automotive Cam includes a dual-facing HD digicam for views inside and outdoors the automobile. It might probably detect movement from both angle and ship real-time alerts to your cellphone through the Ring app, so you may simply regulate the comings and goings round your trip. It even connects to Amazon’s Alexa. Intrigued by the chance to mesh our automobile into our house community, we determined to take the Automotive Cam for a spin.

Notable Options

The motion-detecting dashcam sport is not new, however how Amazon’s Ring Automotive Cam delivers alerts to automobile house owners is: Notifications are despatched proper to your cellphone in actual time. Yep, as quickly because the Automotive Cam detects movement, it pings your cellphone. You possibly can then examine the reason for the disturbance by way of the Ring app, the place you may entry a real-time digicam view of both the outward- or inward-facing cameras. Fairly slick.

The Ring Automotive Cam achieves this by connecting to your property Wi-Fi whereas parked. That is nice for the driveway or storage, however what in the event you’re on the transfer? In the event you go for the Ring Shield Go subscription service, you may entry real-time views by way of LTE connectivity in your cell system. Say you are at a resort and an alert pops up for movement in entrance of your automobile; with this elective subscription, you can see it in actual time. In contrast to another devices we have tried, a subscription is not required for the Ring Automotive Cam to operate; to entry all of its nifty options, although, the subscription is critical.

Exterior video is captured in HD, and the Automotive Cam always data when you’re driving, with no solution to disable it. On this sense, it is a conventional dashcam. The video high quality is stable, although we noticed just a few cases the place license plates had been tough to discern. Fortunately, viewing the recordings is simple by way of the Ring app. Although, as anticipated—and like with many different dashcams—it struggled a bit within the rain.

ring car cam review

We examined the Ring Automotive Cam on a visit round Michigan.

Collin Morgan|Automotive and Driver

The Ring Automotive Cam presents one other distinctive function: Site visitors Cease. In the event you merely say “Alexa, report,” the digicam will mechanically report for the subsequent jiffy. The video will likely be saved domestically on the system, however in the event you go for the Ring Shield Go subscription, the interplay will likely be saved on the Cloud.

The Ring Automotive Cam is powered by the automobile’s OBD-II port, and Ring wished us to be sure that our automobile was appropriate. There is a full list of incompatible vehicles here, which we positively suggest checking earlier than buying.

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Notes and Observations

Amazon’s Ring Automotive Cam was easy to put in and arrange. It positively appears to be like funky, however as soon as put in, you may see why. It isn’t massive and ponderous just like the dashcams you may see when taking a ride-share automobile. In actual fact, it is fairly compact and never distracting. It slides between your automobile’s windshield and dashboard snugly and attaches to the glass with a pre-installed adhesive. You possibly can then route the facility wire from the cam to the OBD-II port by poking it into gaps alongside the way in which.

As talked about, the Ring Shield Go subscription is critical to unlock all the things that units the Automotive Cam other than different dashcams. For $6 monthly or $60 per yr, you may entry the two-way speak function, stay alerts, live-time viewing through LTE, and obtain recordings. With out the service, your distant connectivity is restricted to your property’s Wi-Fi. Moreover, no detachable storage choices can be found presently. So sure, the entire bundle will get costly.

The Ring app is extremely highly effective with the Automotive Cam; virtually too highly effective, and it permits for the intrusion of privateness simply. Akin to accessing your Ring doorbell remotely, with a Ring Shield Go subscription, you may entry the Automotive Cam’s inside digicam and built-in microphone at any time out of your cellphone and see contained in the automobile. You can even speak to anybody contained in the automobile utilizing the Two-Means Discuss operate. This might doubtlessly be useful for fogeys of latest drivers. But when that is you, good luck coping with the pushback from that.

Having a digicam in your face whereas driving would possibly really feel unsettling. Ring addresses this with a bodily privateness cowl that blankets the inside lens. This additionally disables audio, although we want there was a solution to allow audio with out the inside video.

ring car cam ring app review

Amazon|Automotive and Driver

The Automotive Cam sips energy out of your automobile’s OBD-II port, however solely to a degree. With the interior voltage meter set to one among three sensitivities, the system will mechanically shut off. Whereas that is nice for an in a single day or three, having the Ring Automotive Cam standing guard over your long-term storage automobile with no trickle charger will drain the battery.

Being powered by the OBD-II means you may’t use the Ring Automotive Cam when you’ve got a monitoring system out of your insurance coverage firm already plugged into your OBD-II port, equivalent to Nationwide’s SmartRide, Allstate’s DriveWise, or USAA’s SafePilot. The one resolution right here can be an OBD-II splitter, which is extensively obtainable on the aftermarket—and notoriously unreliable.

ring car cam review

The Ring Automotive cam, unboxed.

Gannon Burgett|Automotive and Driver

Lastly, on the danger of sounding too paranoid, connecting a dashcam to your automobile’s OBD-II port might doubtlessly present details about your automobile and driving habits to insurance coverage corporations and different events. Any such entry to your private information through your vehicle’s dashcam could possibly be a slippery slope. Whereas we hope and belief Ring is not promoting your info, it is price noting that the corporate is owned by Amazon.

Our Verdict

Sure, the Ring Automotive Cam would possibly look a bit odd, however the options it presents are fairly in depth. In the event you’re nervous about break-ins whereas your trip is parked out on the road, it is powerful to beat the real-time view on this factor. Its lofty worth displays its unique options, a lot of that are solely accessible through the Ring Shield Go subscription service. Nonetheless, we really feel the seamless integration with the wonderful Ring app is an extra “price it” perk—particularly in the event you already use a Ring house safety system and faucet Alexa to regulate your good house gadgets.

That mentioned, in the event you’re not keen to pony up for the Ring Shield Go subscription, on the finish of the day, the Ring Automotive Cam is basically simply one other dashcam—and there are many much less expensive choices available on the market. We do like that smooth design, although.

Headshot of Collin Morgan

Affiliate Commerce Editor

Collin Morgan is an Affiliate Commerce Editor at Hearst Autos, the place the previous Rust Belt mechanic and gadget fanatic presents the most effective gear in your automotive endeavors.