Telematics has been a rapidly growing industry for many years and the technology that provides the data that many businesses have come to rely on has evolved just as fast. It wasn’t long ago when viewing real-time vehicle location on your PC screen was seen as advanced technology, but how things have changed. With the creation of integrated workflow tools, growth of IoT connectivity and the advancement of camera technology, telematics is quickly becoming a tool that is central to how businesses work today and in the future. Understanding how smart camera technology has disrupted the telematics industry could provide clues as to what the future looks like for telematics users.
So what’s all the fuss about?
To put it simply the combination of data and video tells you the full story. Being able to view video footage from driving events enables you to see the root cause of driving behaviors whilst bringing data to life in driver training sessions. With video footage you are also gathering irrefutable proof of activity enabling you to protect your drivers and business from frivolous insurance claims.
The technology has evolved. One of the biggest difficulties with traditional dash cams was knowing what footage you needed to review and being able to quickly locate video files of said footage, with many cameras only storing footage on the device’s memory card. By integrating telematics event monitoring and with advances in cloud storage, cameras are now able to save video footage preceding, during and after driving events in the cloud, so they can be instantly viewed in the connected telematics platform. The accessibility of video is one of the major advantages of integrating smart dash cams with telematics.
The Addition of AI
In more recent times smart dash cams have become even more sophisticated with the introduction of machine learning, a subset of artificial intelligence that allows for a computer system to learn without being continuously programmed. This machine learning power enables a camera to continuously read the road and identify traffic lights, read road signs, understand vehicle proximity and identify instances of distracted driving (for example the use of mobile phones). This functionality has a wide number of safety benefits including:
- Identifying if drivers are not stopping at stop signs or doing illegal U-turns
- Flagging instances of tailgating (following vehicles closely at high speeds)
- Detecting if seat belts are not being used
- Driving distracted (using a phone whilst driving for example)
- Drowsy driving through excessive yawning and posture
Many believe that the biggest value is the detection of distracted driving. A survey completed by AI camera provider Netradyne highlighted that 81% of commercial vehicle drivers are concerned that distractions while driving are on the rise and data from NHTSA shows that distracted driving is the cause of 9% of fatal crashes in the US. With the number of driving distractions increasing many believe that AI camera technology is one of the best ways to curve the temptation for drivers to multi-task behind the wheel.
AI smart dash cams in action
Should I integrate Smart Dash cams with my Telematics system?
When making the decision to invest the main questions to ask are whether you will get value from the data and whether you want to be proactive in improving driver safety. Standalone dash cams offer protection against insurance claims and false accusations against your drivers; the real value in connecting cameras to your telematics system is the power to train drivers and correct dangerous behaviors that can increase accident rates, insurance premiums and impact the reputation of your business. If you are looking to be proactive in improving driver safety there really is no better way to get the insights needed to create training programs that build a culture of safety across your organization.