Project Overview  |  Proof of Concept  |  Final Design  |  Fabrication  |  Testing and Results  |  Meet the Team  |  Acknowledgements

Project Overview

One of the more common forms of property damage involve motor vehicle accidents. To Be Determined seeks to provide consumers with a way to protect themselves from financial burden with Record a Crash; a product that helps to take the guess work out of what happens during a motor vehicle accident. Record a Crash accomplishes this by recording a video file of the crash. Record a Crash is designed to connect to the TCS, ABS, and alarm system of a 2010 or newer vehicle. Inside the rectangular box there will be two Raspberry Pi devices with a rechargeable battery pack powering each Raspberry Pi.

To Be Determined has been researching the current state of automotive aftermarket, more specifically, the automotive surveillance market. Competitors such as Digital Ally, BlackVue, and CammSys have created high quality products. However, these products typically fail to meet the monetary needs of the entire market; as seen in Table 1. To Be Determined believes the cost of its competitors’ products are too expensive for most car owners. Furthermore one of TBD’s leading competitors in vehicle security, Digital Ally, has tapped into a segment of the market that involves fleet vehicles. This is both a strength and a weakness. By working with only fleet vehicles they have ultimately limited their potential market and given To Be Determined a clear goal for market share. With this in mind To Be Determined is excited to move forward with their premier product, Record-A-Crash.


Proof of Concept

On Innovation day, To Be Determined will have a device capable of recording the scene of a hit and run as well as other potentially hazardous situations. Unfortunately, because the device will be presented indoors, it will not be able to be demonstrated in its intended environment.. However it can still be simulated through other means. To demonstrate Record-A-Crash’s capabilities, TBD will simulate different signals that the device will receive from the vehicle. Each of these signals will trigger the device to transition from its standby mode to its data capturing mode. During this time a video will be taken. Once this is done the team will retrieve this video and make sure that the device has gone back to its initial standby state. The signals, Car alarm, Anti-lock Braking System, Traction Control, and an emergency button were all determined as essential to collision analytics. Through the use of these signals To Be Determined will demonstrate success in effectively recording both potential moments of interest and actual collisions.


Final design

Designing the Record A Crash (RAC) system required Team 24 to consider many different paths to get to our desired final product.  In order to be confident in RAC’s ability to break into the market, Team 24 designed with focus on ease of use, high quality materials, and customer needs.  Considering product, business, and regulatory requirements, the RAC system proposes to build upon a well established market (Dashboard Cameras) by incorporating a highly customizable product that interfaces with the internal diagnostic system of the vehicle it is placed in.

The Record a Crash system currently utilizes two Raspberry Pi computers to facilitate the actions of two cameras based off of inputs by either the driver or the vehicle itself.  The system is capable of this through the incorporation of  an emergency button that can be used by the driver at any time, as well as by communicating with the OBD II system that is standard in all vehicles made on or after Jan 1, 1996 (United States).  Because of these features RAC can increase battery life, optimize data storage, and reduce the need for user interaction with the device.  These characteristics separate RAC from any other competitors’ products on the market.

The overall purpose behind the creation of the RAC system stems from three main sources. To Be Determined is invested in the ability for the consumer to have peace of mind in and out of their vehicles, delivering a trustworthy product at a reasonable price, and having good profit margins that will lead to the expansion of the company.  Vehicle owners need products that allow them to protect their investments.  More than just a way to get around, many individuals and companies rely on their vehicles to make a living.  With increasing vehicle prices and other associated costs such as insurance and maintenance also increasing, RAC is a solution to help mitigate these costs.



Record a Crash is a project that mainly consists of Of The Shelf  (OTS) products and two manufactured products. The main component is the Brain, where all the electronics are located in. The Brain is a box that complies with the a Product Design Specification set by the team. This rectangular container is 3D printed from ABS (Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) plastic and is shown in figure 4. The other manufactured part is the camera mount, which is shown in figure 10. Figures 1-7 below shows the rest of the parts that have been purchased and will be located in the Brain. These parts are:

  • Raspberry Pies
  • Battery
  • Memory storage
  • Cords
  • Cameras
  • Cables

The Raspberry Pies are connected to the cameras, which will be placed inside the vehicle. The memory storage will be connected to the Raspberry Pies to store the videos and the batteries are connected to the Raspberry Pies to provide the system with power.


Testing and Results

By: Jesse Ochoa

Testing for the Record-A-Crash was centered around video clarity, video quality, power consumption of the battery, memory consumption from the video files, and how much heat the assembly is producing. Each of these tests were used to determine both if our product was viable and how we could improve our prototype from our proof of concept.


The video quality and clarity tests were important because if the video is not clear close up or far away, then the recorded video would not be admissible or helpful for the consumer or insurance agencies. These tests were repeated several times over to check the accuracy of the test. While the multiple of tests to check the video quality were conducted, each video file was checked to see how much memory each file consumed. This was a necessary test to conduct to find out if the memory card in PDS (Product Design Specifications) would be sufficient, too much, or not enough for the product.


The results to the video quality tests showed that the 1080p at 25 frames per a second our recorded videos were recording at provided a clear enough image for our purposes. The video clarity test also backed up this information by still being clear even when the 8.5” X 11” paper with blocky handwriting was moved away from the camera. It determined, however, that the camera type needs to be changed because the Raspberry Pi Camera Module V2 only has a video angle of 60 degrees and the desired camera has a 160 degree angle. Meanwhile, the results for memory consumption indicated that the video files would average 235 Megabytes which validated our decision to work with a 32GB SD Card over the more expensive 64GB version.


Testing of the battery power consumption was done by draining a 6000mAh all the way down while the system was on then recharged to do all over again. The consumption was tested while the Raspberry Pi was idling and while it was recording.While the power consumption was being tested, the heat generated from the entire system (the Raspberry Pi with the batteries) was also recorded. This was done by the system being placed in a container with a thermometer that measures the ambient temperature around it.


There were multiple issues faced in this experiment. The lack of a precise, temperature controlled room meant that the container temperature was constantly fluctuating as its surroundings also fluctuated.  The lag that occurs in the equalization of the systems means that a true temperature differential is hard to find. Additionally, the second iteration of the test resulted in a slightly lower average temperature difference between the container and surrounding air. Regardless based on the data we were able to measure our team determined that a fan was not needed to be integrated into the design; however, the casing would need to incorporate several vents into the design to keep the temperatures of the electrical devices down.


By: James Treischel




Meet the Team


James Treischel


James Treischel is a first generation college students that was born in Bremerton, Washington and raised in Reno, Nevada. He is a proud member of the Dean’s Future Scholars program. Through which he has had the pleasure to be a near peer mentor to at risk youth. James is heavily involved in the dance culture of Reno, he is in his third year of holding a leadership position in UNR’s Social Dance Club. During this time James has been the lead instructor and vice president. Currently working at Chromalloy as an intern, James has is tasked with, white light scanning objects into 3D space, programing a CMM to create point clouds, and designing molds using SolidWorks and a 3D printer. Upon graduation James plans on working in the automotive industry as a design engineer. Upon retirement from engineering he plans on transitioning into high school education, teaching future generations and making the world a better place.

Nasim Emadi


Nasim was born and raised in Iran, and she moved to United States 7 years ago. She is in her last year of undergraduate schooling. During this time, Nasim has been an active member of Wolf Pack Racing and has held leadership positions in this organization. Being a part of a new racing team she learned many engineering skills as well as leadership skills. This club has been the primary source of challenge for Nasim. She has had to face problems in SolidWorks and has had to learn new softwares like Lotus Shark to simulate vehicle dynamics. The one thing Nasim is very proud of is watching the organization that she has poured her heart out for, Wolf Pack Racing, become more productive and work harder towards their goal of competing in a Society of Automotive Engineers competition. Currently Nasim is applying to different graduate schools to pursue a master’s of science in mechanical engineering in the fall of 2018.


Jackson Kisanuki


Jackson Kisanuki is a Mechanical Engineering student at the University of Nevada, Reno.  He grew up in Redding, California where he developed his interest in Engineering.  As Jackson progressed through college he developed a strong interest in Aerodynamics and Fluid dynamics.  In addition to these fields, Jackson takes special interest in designing and drafting mechanical parts and assemblies. While Jackson had a rough time balancing school and work during his freshman through junior years at school, he is proud to have received the Presidential Scholarship during his first two years.  Currently Jackson is planning the next steps in his career, hoping to find a job designing firearms, ammunitions, or other products that heavily rely on aerodynamics. His ideal location to work would be in California or Oregon, but would also be enthusiastic to work in a new part of the country, or world.

Jesse Ochoa


Born in Southern California and raised in Las Vegas, Jesse Ochoa is a first generation university transfer student working on his Bachelor’s degree, having originally earned his Associate’s degree from the College of Southern Nevada. Since starting his studies at the University of Nevada, Reno, Jesse has been actively involved in the campus community through his involvement as the former Vice-President and now President of the Reno Justice Coalition. As an engineering student, Jesse has focused on developing his knowledge of programming languages based on his interest in automated mechanical systems such as those seen on production lines. Upon graduation Jesse hopes to work on developing the next generation of the automated workforce.


Airianna Thibualt


Airianna Thibault is a first generation university student who grew up in Reno, Nevada. While attending University of Nevada, Reno, Airianna has become strongly interested in Heat Transfer and Fluid Mechanics. She is also minoring in mathematics, as she finds the advanced theories a soothing relief from the more rigorous engineering math. Airianna works at the Engineering Tutoring Center, assisting her fellow engineering students in understanding fundamentals. During her senior year, Airianna represented the University chapter of the ASME as the sole female delegate to the annual Power and Energy Conference. After graduation, Airianna hopes to pursue a Masters program in heat transfer or fluid mechanics, with the goal of working in aerodynamics. When not in the classroom, Airianna enjoys puzzles, chess, and maintaining her fleet of classic Mercedes cars.










By: Nasim Emadi

To Be Determined would like to thank Mr. Ben Haas and Server Technology Inc. for their guidance in this project.