Apparently Garmin is happy with the concept of integrating a dashcam with a GPS because the Garmin DriveAssist 50LMT is the second generation of this type of device. In 2015, Garmin released the NuviCam line which was the first time they integrated a camera with a GPS. Our article about the NuviCam has received a lot of hits so I’m guessing it has been doing well for Garmin. Based upon the naming standard they used, it looks like Garmin is going to be integrating a dashcam option into their main line of GPS models. It looks to me like Garmin is starting to deliver value added features that you don’t have in popular GPS apps such as Waze.
The Garmin DriveAssist has a 5″ diagonal display and measures 5.5″W x 3.3″H x .8″D (1.0″, including camera) (14.0 x 8.4 x 2.1 cm (2.6 cm, including camera)). The navigation features embedded in this device parallel the newly announced Garmin Drive series. The difference for the Garmin DriveAssist 50LMT is the included camera. The built-in dash cam continually records your drive and automatically saves video footage if you get into an accident and the GPS records where and when events occurred. Includes all the driver alerts with additional camera-assisted alerts like Forward Collision Warning and Lane Departure Warning. The DriveAssist comes with a lifetime traffic subscription too.
The Garmin DriveAssist 50LMT also has a nice feature called Real Vision. When approaching your destination, the display will switch to camera view and an arrow will point to where you need to go. That’s a pretty nice feature and unique in that I haven’t seen that in any other device nor a smartphone application. Garmin is giving a reason to buy a GPS again versus using Waze.
On to the mount discussion.
The Garmin DriveAssist comes with a suction cup mount and it’s a little different from past generations of Nuvi. The suction cup is shorter and there is a cradle that reminds me of what’s used for the GPSMAP 62 series of handheld devices. The purpose of the cradle and stubby mount is to not get in the way of the camera while allowing the driver ample freedom to adjust the angle of the GPS and camera.
Naturally, there are some other mounting options for consideration. The GPS includes a dash camera so why not use a dash mount? The very popular Garmin Portable Friction Mount is going to be a popular add-on to this GPS. This mount has been available since the early days of a Garmin Nuvi and will live on with the Garmin Drive and DriveAssist series. The mount weighs 1.5 pounds. The bottom of the mount features a rubber coated base which is designed to stay put in most normal driving circumstances and most typical dashboards. There is a 17mm ball on the mount which will fit the back of your cradle that came with the DriveAssist. Easy to install and easy to remove as it’s a matter of simply picking it up off your dash when done using it.
For those preferring a suction cup mount but don’t like adhesive mounts, the Arkon Sticky Mounting Pedestal for Garmin Nuvi will adhere to anything that’s flat, even a textured dashboard. There is a sticky bottom that sticks to your dash. The bottom can lose the sticky feeling with a lot of use, but it’s easily recharged by washing it in some warm soapy water. Like the prior mount, this can also be adjusted up or down. The mount permits full swivel and has adjustment points at the cradle as well as half way down the mount. This is the mount that’s in the photo accompanying the article.
The Garmin DriveAssist is a great addition for trucks and rigs. The Arkon Suction Cup Extension Mount is a nice choice. It extends from 14 – 18 inches, the arm is made if metal and it includes adapters for the latest Garmin and TomTom models. This includes the 17mm ball that is common to the back of Garmin DriveAssist models. Just remove the cradle from the current car mount and snap onto this mount. The mount includes a vacuum locking suction cup to keep the mount in place. It comes with a 2-year warranty from the manufacturer.
I like the Garmin DriveAssist 50LMT a lot. Garmin is really stepping up their game with this model. The camera features found in the GPS exceed what you can get with any smartphone app and it’s far beyond what I have seen in any GPS device.