Social media networks are saturated with video footage shared from dashboard cameras, or “dashcams”, says Laurence Smith, Executive at Graphic Image Technologies. Whether for educational purposes to demonstrate how hijackings occur or for laughs by documenting ‘instant karma’ incidents, dashboard cams have become a fixture inside many vehicles.
However, this technology was originally and is still implemented to ensure that drivers – particularly those employed by logistics and transport companies – have proof of incidents such as hijackings, road rage and motor vehicle collisions. While dashcams today are often used for light-hearted humour, there is a more serious side to this technology: Logistics companies need to make sure that they have a complete solution that allows real-time driver monitoring and event notifications as they happen, providing vehicle owners and fleet managers with greater visibility and control over their vehicles from the minute they leave the depot until they return.
So much more than expected
When most people think of a dash cam, they think of a simple set up with a recording device that saves to an SD card that must later be removed from the dashcam so that footage can be downloaded. This might suffice for individual use, but when dealing with a fleet of trucks or vehicles, such a simplistic set-up is ineffective.
Fortunately, dashcam technology has advanced to the point where it has effectively become an off-site vehicle Digital Video Recorder (DVR) system; combining front and rear dash cams built with multiple sensors and 4G connectivity to provide real-time cloud-based vehicle tracking and monitoring. Add easy scalability to the mix thanks to a cloud platform, and today’s dashcam system is everything – and more – that logistics companies, shuttle services, taxi associations and car hire corporations have been waiting for.
Smart management through visibility
Like all other industries, the transport and logistics sector is under huge pressure to reduce the risk involved in moving goods and people, and this is where modern dashcam solutions shine.
Fleet and operational managers now have access to a live stream on any device, as well as the ability to view multiple vehicles on a single screen. The latest dashcams are equipped with smart sensors capable of registering and recognising trigger events like sudden stops, sharp acceleration, or collisions, to automatically send a 10-second video clip of the event to the cloud, while simultaneously sending email or SMS notifications so operators can respond directly to vehicle incidents timeously.
When it comes to investigation, fleet managers no longer have to trawl through reams of footage to isolate an incident as all event footage can be easily managed through a central events dashboard that logs events by description, date, time and type. This also means footage cannot be tampered with or destroyed, making dashcam footage exceptionally useful as evidence in insurance claims and criminal cases.
Fleet managers can see exactly what is happening inside their vehicles and, with access to hard evidence of driver behaviour, they’re better able to monitor fleet performance and driver safety.
Complete visibility into every journey
Smart dashcam solutions also offer full GPS tracking of single or multiple vehicles, in real-time, to deliver total transparency into each vehicle’s trip with deep contextual information. This includes point-by-point location information, time and travelling speed, all of which make it simple for the operator to locate the necessary footage relating to a specific event. These solutions offer intelligent analytics and automated reporting for true visibility into driver safety, behaviour and vehicle treatment, which is precisely what fleet managers and car rental companies need.
Scalability and affordability
To get the most out of such cloud-based dashcam systems, fleet operators must look for offerings based on low upfront hardware costs and affordable annual subscription fees. These provide scalable, reliable vehicle monitoring and tracking services ideal for everything from small applications (such as security-conscious families) through to large-scale applications like fleets of trucks, taxis and buses.
Useful for so much more than footage to share on social media for a laugh, today’s cloud-based dashcam systems are game-changers, giving business owners and fleet operators the peace of mind that comes from complete visibility into every driver, every vehicle and every trip made.