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Dash Cam Motion Detection and Parking Mode Explained

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Dashcams are a very effective way to record footage to use as evidence while you are driving.

However, the vast majority of drivers out there spend more time out of their car than inside leaving a massive timeframe where there is the chance of an accident happening that won’t be recorded.

But, thanks to two features known as motion detection and parking mode that all modern dash cams are equipped with, you do not have to worry about your dash cam not recording when you are away as due to features we mentioned above your dash cam will automatically turn on and start recording when any movements or tremors are detected by your device.

In this article, we are going to be delving into motion detection and parking modes in more detail.

Dash Cameras with Motion Detecting and Parking Mode

  1. Apeman Dash Cam 1080p
  2. Both 1080P FHD Front and Rear Dual Lens
  3. Vantrue N1 Pro Mini Dash Cam

How Does Dash Motion Detection Work?

Motion Detection is a mode that has to be turned on on your dash cam every time that you park and are planning to leave your vehicle stationary for a long amount of time.

It is important that you turn off the dash cam motion detection feature when you start driving again, as when the car is moving, the motion detection mode can interfere and prevent the camera from recording throughout your whole journey.

Some dash cams can be configured to automatically go in motion detection when the ignition is turned off, which saves you a lot of time and guarantees that every time your vehicle is parked, the motion detection setting of your dash cam will always be on.

The way it works is that motion detection will automatically detect any movement, as well as a change in light that is in view of the lens of the camera, which is why the camera needs to be either turned on or in standby mode in order for this feature to properly work.

How Does Parking Mode Work?

As with motion detection, parking mode is there to offer you an extra layer of protection.

However, it also works a bit differently as compared to detecting visual changes such as light or new objects appearing in front of the lens; the parking mode feature will look out for vibrations using its G-sensor feature.

Depending on the price tag and subsequent quality of your dash cam, it may come with separate memory storage just for the footage recorded during parking mode so that your footage does not to be written and it reduces the overall risk of losing footage.

This is a very useful feature against common threats to unattended parked cars such as vandalism, theft, and car accidents.

In the majority of cases the mere presence of dash cam that has parking mode activated with make thieves and vandals put off by the prospect of doing to any harm to your property.

What Is the Difference Between Motion Detection and Parking Mode?

When dashboard cameras were invented in the 1980s and became really popular in the 1990s, there was only one way for the dash cam to record while your car was parked, and that was for it to be left to record continuously and overwrite its memory.

This was a very inefficient way to do things and eventually got replaced with motion detection and parking modes that activate by themselves when some kind of disturbance is detected. Despite working on the same basic principles, there are quite a few differences between the two modes.

Motion detection is actually a feature that is part of the parking mode which is the umbrella setting used by your dash camera so it can record while your car is parked.

Generally, motion detection is seen as a less efficient mode with a higher amount of footage on average that is not of any use, as this mode is a lot more sensitive and can turn on to record even on the slightest change in lightning, which means that when using motion detection, you will fill up a lot more storage in your dash cam much faster.

This makes motion detection not a suitable option for locations where there is going to be a high number of people walking by such as on the main road, near a park or a stadium for example or somewhere where there will be a lot of light shining all over the place, which will cause the camera to constantly be turning on and recording footage that has no use, apart from filling up your camera’s memory.

Additionally, with motion detection, you rely on the change of light and for movement to appear in the view of the lens, which will not always happen, as for example, the impact of a car crash may take place in the behind of the car.

This again makes motion detection not the best option when comparing it against the parking mode on dashboard cameras.

Below, we have featured an example from YouTube of how motion detection and parking mode works in a real-life situation.

Recommended Dash Cameras with Motion Detecting and Parking Mode

Apeman Dash Cam 1080p

Manufactured by the Apeman company which specializes in creating action and dash cameras, this dash cam model allows you to record in 1080p HD resolution or in lower quality settings.

Due to this high-quality footage, you have a higher chance of identifying any potential perpetrators or clues to help find them if any incidents do happen.

This dashboard camera comes with a 170-degree super-wide angle that makes it ideal for motion detection mode, as it can sense a very large area in front of it with very little blind spots.

Additionally, you have a ‘super night vision’ feature that allows for clearer pictures and videos during the night without any need of an additional light source, which is great as your dash camera can create a clear recording when it is triggered by rapid movements or an unexpected light source without alerting the suspect with a light that they are being recorded.

Another great feature of this Apeman dash cam is that it also comes with a built-in G-Sensor that is used by the parking mode in order to turn on the camera to start recording if any strong vibrations are detected from shaking and the windows of the card are being smashed, for example.


  • Good value for money.
  • Manufactured by a reputable company.
  • High-quality video resolution, which is especially important for dash cams.


  • A fairly basic dash cam with not a lot of advanced features.
  • Short battery life.

Both 1080P FHD Front and Rear Dual Lens

When you buy this product, you are getting two lenses that allow you record both the front and the back of your vehicle, making it a very strong contender for the best motion detection dash camera with the ability for all of the sides of the vehicle to be covered and accounted for with ease.

Furthermore, the camera allows you to record in high-quality settings such as 1080p and 720p so you can get a clear as a possible image if you even get in an accident or are a victim of vandalism or theft.

The advanced features of this dash cam do not stop here, the device is also equipped with an advanced sensor powered by a ‘Novatek’ chip that allows for a faster and clearer recording as well as easier processing allowing you to take high-quality footage of small areas such as faces and vehicle license plates.

A GPS interface also lets you do a variety of tasks such as record the length of time it has stayed at one location and the speed it has been traveling at with all the data being viewable remotely from third-party devices.


  • Great recorded footage quality.
  • Perfect for motion detection mode due to the large area that it covers.
  • Quick and easy installation process inside your vehicle.


  • On the higher end of the price scale.

Vantrue N1 Pro Mini Dash Cam

The Vantrue N1 Pro is a small, portable dash cam that comes with all of the top features that you would expect from a leading dashboard camera such as 24-hour parking monitor and collision detection with the camera programmed to turn on if it detects movement and record for at least 20 seconds and end the recording thereafter if the camera decides based on the data available at its disposal that there is no actual reason to record yet, which means that you can save space on your storage device in case something actually worth recording happens.

Durability was something that the creators of this dash cam kept in mind during its creation, with the device being able to withstand extreme temperatures ranging from -20 to 70 degrees Celsius, so no matter how hot or cold it gets in your car, in the majority of cases, your dashboard camera will continue to function without any problems.

Moreover, there is an inbuilt microphone in this mini dash cam that allows you to record all sounds in the vicinities which can greatly broaden the evidence that you collect when accidents occur.


  • 18-month warranty included.
  • A very durable dash cam to extreme temperatures.


  • It can only record a 160-degree view compared to the 170 degrees that most of the other dash cameras can record in. This makes this camera not the strongest option for the motion detection feature.

Dash Cam Motion Detection and Parking Mode Summary

Both of these modes are very good ways to keep your belongings protected by allowing you to collect reliable evidence that you can use to reimburse yourself from the insurance company.

The difference between motion detection and parking mode is that with motion detection your dash cam will look out for movements that you appear in view of the camera lens, as well as light changes while with parking mode the camera will instead be looking out for shakes and vibrations that it picks up using its G-sensor.

Modern-day dash cameras come with both of these features so you will be forced to choose between the two nighttime modes, although some dash cameras do come with some extra features such as improved night visibility if you can afford to and see the benefit in spending a bit more money for extra features.

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