Recently there has been a surge of fleet dash cams entering the market. Some are from long-standing fleet telematics companies modernizing their offering, and others are from emerging tech companies who’ve noticed a gap in the video telematics market. Either way, businesses are looking to protect their fleet of vehicles in the same way they protect their offices.
Video evidence can help rectify false claims and identify dangerous driving behavior to save businesses thousands each year. While telematics has monitored driving for years now, the visual data that pairs with this information are critical to understanding the accurate picture.
While a fleet dashcam may seem like a basic tool, there are several functionalities that set these devices apart from each other. Be sure to do your research before you make the purchase. We’ve provided a breakdown of the most critical functions that turn a dashcam from a video camera into a video telematics solution that works for your business.
Where the camera’s are located
When deciding on a solution that would work for your business, the first consideration should be, how many, and where do you want your vehicle cameras? Traditional cams offered a road view, but many fleet offerings have also started providing a view into the cabin and other attachable cameras around the vehicle, such as a backup cam.
Dual cameras that provide a cabin and road facing view in a single device seem to be replacing a one view camera. With the increase in distracted driving and wrongful customer claims, this comes as no surprise. Fleet managers need to see what happened on the road and what happened in the vehicle.
Robustness of the solution
There is a broad range of hardware options when it comes to dashcams. From simplistic cameras to complete fleet management solutions, there is something for everyone out there looking.
This hardware records footage continuously. In most cases, to access the footage, it has to be taken out of the vehicle. These are by far the least expensive option.
In some cases, just like adding additional cameras, some telematics companies offer a piecemeal solution. You can add sensors, GPS tracking, and of course, a dashcam to build a system specified to your business.
Solutions like these could be helpful if each of your vehicles requires different tracking capabilities. It’s vital to consider hardware costs and installation costs as many of these need professional setup and may be out of budget for small- to medium-sized businesses.
These types of fleet dash cameras incorporate the telematics system into the camera itself so that there’s only one hardware requirement. These are typically much easier to install and can be more cost-effective without giving up quality. Of course, with specific ELD or sensor requirements, they may not always check every box. Be sure to know your complete set of requirements before you go shopping.
Night recording quality
Another consideration is when are your employees driving? If it’s only through the day and you’re not concerned about your vehicles’ security, then night vision is not something you should worry about. On the other hand, if these are areas of concern, then a cabin camera with an Infrared sensor could be critical.
Some cameras can push footage and data to the cloud. These uploads include driving events such as harsh braking or a collision via an LTE connection. When it comes to LTE connectivity, there are two existing variations. One consists of a separate router in the vehicle to collect the data post-trip or after a time delay and then push the footage. The other has an internal built cellular module that allows for a real-time data relay and footage upload so that supervisors can immediately be alerted and watch what happens during critical events.
Additionally, either camera type may provide live-streaming to monitor drivers anytime.
SD Card and internal storage
In addition to video snippets that may be triggered by events, supervisors and fleet managers may need to access longer or even a full day of footage if an incident occurred that wouldn’t necessarily trigger an event, such as a customer complaint. It may be in your interest to look for a fleet camera that offers an SD card or the internal storage of the device.
Artificial intelligence has become part of common conversation in recent years ranging in applications from health care systems to social media. Essentially, it’s a computer system that learns and making decisions based on data.
In a fleet dash camera application, AI is being used to identify drivers, distracted driving, and road signs to catch poor driving behavior. These intelligent cameras capture these moments, saving the footage for review by supervisors and fleet managers.
There is a lot to know before you commit to a camera solution, particularly as many require lengthy contracts. Do your research beforehand to know what’s out there and what you need.
If you are in the market for dash cams for your fleet, take a look at our Raven Connected business offering.