Remember when, long ago, satellite navigation systems (satnavs) were a new technology only a few people had? Today, most of us use them to get from A to B without a second thought. In the fleet industry, however, dash cam solutions are now the new satnavs: the cool technology everyone wants onboard.
And with good reason. Whether you’re a local delivery company, a car rental business in a big city, or a long-haul logistics mogul, your vehicles and drivers are the movers and shakers of your core operations. So, the more you can do to protect them, the better.
Not only do fleet dash cams help keep your drivers and vehicles safe – they also provide valuable information that can be used for training, performance reviews, and evidence in the case of an accident, a fraudulent claim, or an undeserved fine.
With dash cams providing these benefits and more, let’s look deeper into what they are and all the advantages they have to offer fleets.
Dash cams are growing in popularity (Image Source)
What Are Dash Cams?
Dash cams are cameras that are affixed to your vehicle’s dashboard. There are three main types available today:
Single Camera Systems
This is a single-lens, road-facing camera. It helps provide evidence for accidents or other safety events – like poor road conditions or dangerous driving – and is the most basic type of camera used in commercial vehicles today.
Data is usually stored on an onboard SD card which overwrites old footage to make room for new one in an infinite loop – meaning you must transfer the data off the card if you need to store recorded content.
Some cameras can detect a collision and lock the footage to prevent overwriting, or offer cloud storage capabilities. However, single front-facing dashcams may not have all the cool bells and whistles of the more advanced systems.
These come with two cameras: one that looks out onto the road and another that faces the cabin. This gives an extra layer of safety and visibility that can be particularly useful in the event of an accident. It also provides drivers and fleet managers with valuable insights to help improve driver performance and limit behaviours like distracted driving.
The road and in-cabin cameras are either built into a single device – like Fleet Complete’s Vision 2.0 for example – making installation a lot easier, or are included separately, which requires installing two devices.
Once installed, there’s a variety of features and configurations to choose from, with the more advanced systems offering cloud connectivity and AI processing capabilities to capture and send alerts for issues such as:
- Driver distraction
- Rolling stops
- Lane drifting
These systems provide a 360-degree view around a vehicle with the addition of five or six cameras installed behind and beside the vehicle and connected to the in-cabin unit. A full vehicle-round view that captures all angles can be useful to drivers of very large vehicles, who may need extra help to contest liability for incidents like rear-end collisions or sideswipes. Aside from the added cost, the downside is that these systems use a lot of storage and take much more effort to install.
Vision 2.0 dash cam solution raises the bar on driver and fleet safety with superior AI processing capabilities and an advanced in-cabin driver assistance system.
What Are the Benefits of Dash Cams?Dash cam technology offers a range of advantages to commercial fleet businesses. Here are some of the top reasons you should have it:
Evidence in the Event of an Accident
According to research, almost 80% of accidents between trucks and passenger vehicles are the passenger vehicles’ fault. But often, commercial drivers find themselves taking the fall. That’s why it’s so important to have preventative measures in place. In the event of an incident, video technology will not only help you deal with insurance companies and negotiate better premiums, but it will also help protect the livelihood of your drivers.
With dash cams, managers can view the road exactly as the driver sees it. Captured real-time footage can then be used as evidence and protection against false claims or unfair fines. If your driver isn’t at fault, you have all the proof needed to exonerate them and keep their driving record clean.
Dash cams can be integrated with existing fleet management software – meaning your driver behaviour stats, engine health reports, inspection routines, and more can all be enhanced by imagery. This gives you a thorough and accurate view of all the important aspects of your fleet that you can use to improve things like training, maintenance, and safety policies.
It can also provide insight into whether drivers are adhering to their Hours of Service seen through drowsy driving behaviour – a possible indicator of overworking. “There is quite a good correlation between how long they’re driving, how many kilometers they’re doing, so obviously we want to make sure these drivers are driving safe because that helps our safety ratings and our insurance. So that’s really important to us,” says Fleet Complete client CarPass.
With a video telematics solution like Vision 2.0, you get insights into:
- Trip history
- Event videos playback
- Monitoring distracted driving
- Flagged videos to review
- Multi-driver trip tracking
- Requested download events
- Pre-configured harsh events thresholds for different duty types
Protection Against Theft
Dash cams can be a great security measure, acting as a deterrent to thieves and vandals. When combined with fleet tracking technology, they also help you recover stolen vehicles using insight into their location and status. Marcus Liew from CarPass estimates they’ve saved over $60,000 after they had two stolen cars recovered thanks to Fleet Complete.
Choosing a Dash Cam Solution
The key to choosing the right fleet dash cam solution is taking a holistic approach. By looking carefully at your fleet’s current needs and requirements, you can make sure your investment aligns with your business goals and is future-proof.
Here at Fleet Complete, we guide you through the full process, so you’re ready to monitor your fleet and start seeing that positive ROI from day one – from helping you determine which features you need, to installing the technology and training your staff. We also offer best-in-class, ongoing support, with experts on hand to guide you and your drivers through getting the most out of your new technology straight away.