Video Telematics. Defined.
Information meets exoneration with technology that lets you see the “why.”
What Is Video Telematics?
Conventional vehicle telematics technologies are widely used. Video telematics is not, with adoption rates in the low single digits among fleets in the United States. It’s no surprise that many don’t know much about video telematics. Does that include you? Read on.
What is video telematics? Simply put, video telematics is connected camera-based technology designed to provide clear visual evidence of what happens in and around the vehicle.
Non-video telematics can provide alerts that suggest an event—the what, the when and the where. Add video and you’ll confirm the what and learn the why. And prove it with footage.
Road (Forward) Facing
The simplest form of video telematics, a road-facing dashcam records a view of the road in front of the vehicle to document the factors contributing to an accident such as another vehicle swerving in front of the operating vehicle. Often affixed to the dashboard or windshield.
Cab (Driver) Facing
Driver-facing cameras record the cab interior to document driver activities before, during and after an event. Can capture the presence (or absence) of driver distraction or fatigue—useful in protecting the driver from false claims, as well as identifying risky behaviors to address through coaching.
An integrated system of cameras captures multiple views — front, side and behind a vehicle, for example — of the vehicle in video. This more complete picture can be useful for accident documentation and, when combined with an in-cab monitor, can help with navigating close spaces or driver/load security needs. SmartWitness can integrate as many as eight cameras into multi-view solutions.
Edge Vs. Cloud
The current video telematics trend is to integrate features into the camera, pushing technology to the “edge,” or device level. This approach tends to increase per-device costs and often the size of the device. Other providers — with SmartWitness leading the way —deliver key features through cloud-based software. This keeps devices affordable and lengthens their useful life, the latter because new features can be added without having to acquire new cameras. The SmartWitness AI Tech Package uses this approach to enable fleets to add AI capabilities to existing non-AI cameras.
Image Resolution Vs. Data Storage Capacity
In video telematics, solutions strike a balance between the sharpness (resolution) of video and the system’s capacity to store video data. In general, the higher resolution of video imagery, the lower the capacity for the system to store it, making it necessary to over-write sooner.
The Value of Video
Traditional telematics generates alerts to the fleet manager at a central location using GPS and accelerometer technology. The accelerometer detects G-forces to perceive sudden or abrupt movement; GPS tells the manager where it occurs, in addition to providing vehicle location for other needs.
The problem: Hitting a pothole can mimic a collision; a normal sharp turn can be hard to distinguish from an avoidance maneuver. It takes valuable time to determine which. Video shows the manager exactly what happened, and SmartWitness AIDE software leverages AI/machine vision technology to dramatically reduce false positives. That’s valuable.
Also valuable is video versus a written report in litigation defense. This not only can minimize or eliminate litigation costs, but it also can reduce liability insurance premiums.
Video Telematic Myths
Many fleet owners and managers are unaware of the value of video telematics. Others have misperceptions:
Video Telematics Is Expensive.
The cost of video telematics solutions varies widely depending on type and provider. At SmartWitness, a major focus of innovation is to make the technology cost effective and accessible to a broader cross section of users with products such as the simple, affordable AP1.
Video Telematics Is Difficult to Implement.
In addition to cost effectiveness, SmartWitness designs products to be fast and easy to install. SmartWitness solutions such as the AP1 is so easy that end users can do the installation.
Video Telematics Is an Invasion Of Driver Privacy.
A common misconception is that driver-facing cameras are always on and constantly viewed. In fact, cab footage is viewed only when an event occurs, and only in the seconds immediately before, during and after. All other video is overwritten.
Find out for yourself.
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