Skip to content
Is GPS important when buying a dash cam? - - BlackboxMyCar Canada

Is GPS important when buying a dash cam?

Two of the most common GPS-related questions that many new dash cam owners have are, "Do I need it" and "Can I used it to track my spouse?" 

First off, let's set it straight - the GPS module that comes with your dash cam, whether built-in or external, is not designed to be a real-time tracking device. Yes, you can use it to track your cheating spouse or the mechanic who is taking your car out for a joyride. But unless your dash cam is connected to the Thinkware or BlackVue cloud services, it won't send out information about your vehicle (and your whereabouts) in real-time.  

So, what can the GPS module do?

GPS in non-Cloud dash cams

Includes non-Cloud dash cams, such as VIOFOs, and Cloud-ready dash cams that are not connected to the Cloud.

Logging the travel speed

Dash cams with GPS will log the current speed at the bottom of every video, which can be very useful in providing proof of an accident or when you received a speeding ticket.

Showing the location or driven route of the vehicle

The vehicle coordinates are logged so that when you playback your dash cam footage using the dash cam's PC or Mac viewer, you can also watch a simultaneous map view showing the driven route. The location of every video is displayed on the map next to the video. Some software also lets you see the driven route. Above is an example of the playback footage from a GPS-enabled BlackVue dash cam.

Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS)

ADAS is a system on many Thinkware and IROAD dash cams that alerts the driver in certain critical situations. It keeps an eye on the road in case the driver seems to be distracted. Some of the alerts and warnings you may get include: Forward Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning, and Forward Vehicle Start - and they all rely on GPS.

GPS in Cloud-connected dash cams

Real-time GPS tracking

By combining Cloud connectivity with the tracking nature of the GPS module, the dash cam will help drivers, parents, or fleet managers to find a vehicle's current location using a mobile app. Captured by your dash cam's built-in GPS antenna, the vehicle's location, speed, and direction of travel are shown in the mobile app on a Google Maps display.


Available in Thinkware Cloud only

Geo-Fencing allows parents or fleet managers to be updated on vehicles' comings and goings. Your Thinkware Cloud-connected dash cam will send a push notification through the Thinkware Cloud mobile app if a vehicle enters or exits a pre-selected geographic zone. You can set the zone's radius by simply tapping on the Google Maps display and selecting the desired radius, from 60ft up to 375mi. You can set up to 20 different geo-fences.

Does my dash cam have a built-in GPS? Or do I need to purchase an external GPS module?

Some dash cams already have the GPS tracker built-in, so installation of the external GPS module will not be required.







GPS-embedded front camera mount


GPS-embedded front camera mount


GPS-embedded front camera mount


GPS-embedded front camera mount


GPS-embedded front camera mount


GPS-embedded front camera mount

Is GPS important when buying a dash cam? Do I really need it ?

If the incident is very cut and dry, GPS isn't necessary. For example, if someone veers across their lane into your car - the footage will clearly show they're at fault. But, unfortunately, many incidents don't go like that.

You can never predict what will happen when it comes to insurance claims after road accidents. GPS position data doesn't lie, and you can use the information to prove you were where you said you were and when you were there. You can also use the GPS speed information to defend yourself from an unwarranted speeding ticket, for instance, in the case of a malfunctioning or out-of-calibration speed camera or radar gun).

By providing the time, date, speed, location, and direction of a collision, GPS helps speed up a potential claim.

And if you are interested in the Thinkware Cloud or BlackVue Over the Cloud features, or you are a fleet vehicle owner and need to keep track of where your employees are driving, then the GPS module is crucial!

Previous article What We Love to See in Dash Cams this 2024

Our Latest Blogs