A wired but moving witness angel!

Car dashcams are popular with the general public, and appreciated by law enforcement and insurers alike following an accident. Some of them are more sophisticated and also record the interior of the vehicle, which is especially interesting for cabs and other vehicles for hire.

But these dashcams evolve in an uncertain legislative environment, between new standards such as the RGPD, and warnings from organizations such as the CNIL in France. Recording passers-by or passengers without obtaining their consent, often without even informing them of this data capture, is indeed highly problematic. And there is nothing to prevent the owner of the vehicle from misusing this data.

But there again, as for the videotestimony for condominiums, the algorithms of the WitnessAngel project solve the dilemma between Judicial Truth and Privacy. By encrypting the recordings in "one-way" mode, under the protection of a circle of Key Guardians, we guarantee their confidentiality; and thanks to our collegial decryption procedure, we allow the data to be exploitable by Justice if an incident occurs.

Dashcams have a much more favorable environment than many in-car devices: they benefit from the car's power supply, and they can afford to take up a certain amount of space to provide a prominent display. But there's still a significant task ahead: integrating our technologies with the market's solutions, at software and even hardware levels.

Discover our dashcam prototype

In early 2023, we designed a working witness-angel dashcam device, based on a Raspberry Pi Zero mini-computer.

It is equipped with a clock, an LCD screen with its buttons, and, of course ,connected to a wide-angle camera (optionally accompanied by a microphone).

Attached to a dashboard, this system can fulfill its role throughout the trip, recording in "write-only" mode what is happening around, and storing the encrypted containers on its SD card.

Of course, this is only a demonstration: a real dashcam would offer a more advanced design and configuration interface, as well as an integrated circuit to manage the spikes of the car's power supply.

But this prototype already allows to test the good functioning of the concept from end to end, within the human and software ecosystem Witness Angel; while waiting for the actors of the market to take hold of these inventions and incorporate them into their own dashcams.