You’ve come to the right place if you’re thinking of equipping your fleet with dashboard cameras! Dashboard cameras are becoming increasingly popular because of the many benefits they offer to both commercial fleets and drivers. Whether you operate a transportation company, a delivery service, or a public works department, dashboard cameras allow you to have a second set of eyes on the road.
While most of us consider ourselves safe drivers, we cannot control the actions of others. Accidents happen and can result in costly liability claims. Equipping your fleet with dashboard cameras helps to keep track of the situation; we can never have too much information! Not all dashboard cameras are created equal. The hundreds of brands and countless models that are available can make shopping for the right camera system an overwhelming experience.
A dashcam for a car might not need all the capabilities required of one designed for commercial trucks. That’s why there are several key points to consider when selecting the right dashcam solution for your fleet. So, without further ado, let’s dive into this blog and learn more about dashboard cameras.
Most people don’t consider the interior of a vehicle to be a hostile environment. Over the course of its useful life, your dashboard camera will be exposed to dust and dirt, combined with constant vibration and huge temperature changes. If you take a moment to analyze the conditions, you’ll understand why your dashboard camera should be built with automotive-grade components.
We expect these cameras to continue to function as a record of traumatic events they have been through, such as motor vehicle accidents. A dashboard camera designed for personal use will not do well in harsh, commercial, or industrial environments.
When considering a dashcam solution, it’s important to look at it from all angles. Many commercial dash cam solutions can monitor much more than what you see through the windshield. Most commercial camera suppliers offer dual-view dash cameras with lenses that look both forward and into the cab. Some dash cam solutions allow you to add additional accessories, such as other cameras, sensors, etc.
As technology advances, new dashcam solutions even have artificial intelligence (AI) built-in to help reduce distracted driving. And if that’s not enough, some dashboard cameras offer the ability to widen your viewing angle with cameras mounted on the side and rear. This gives operators and system administrators a 360-degree view of the vehicle.
Other options include dome cameras for the cargo compartment to help reduce damage claims and prevent theft. Understanding your current and future needs will equip you to select the best dash cam system. You need to select one that meets your current requirements and provides latitude for future expansion.
3. Driver Management and Safety
Driver safety is at the top of the priority list for most organizations with fleets of vehicles. Many dashboard camera solutions offer in-cab cameras, while others even offer AI capabilities. Cameras that film the cabin, or driver, monitor and record the activities of the driver or passenger. These dual-view dashboard cameras are particularly beneficial for detecting driver distractions and unsafe behaviors. AI-enabled dashboard cameras can detect driver fatigue, cell phone use, looking away, and seat belt use. And it doesn’t stop there.
Equip your fleet with dashboard cameras that, when paired with telematics, provide an effective tool for coaching drivers. Dashboard cameras with forward-facing AI can also detect lane departures, tailgating, and pedestrians. The dashcam can trigger an alarm and alert the driver, depending on the activity. Combining dashcam video clips with data supported by telematics, such as speeding, hard braking, and sharp turns produces a comprehensive driver safety scorecard.
4. Memory and storage capacity
When shopping for a dashcam solution, some people mistakenly believe that they are the same as CCTV systems, but they are not. Dashboard cameras are intended to take and present short video clips based on certain events, while CCTV cameras broadcast continuously. Unlike CCTV systems, which are usually connected to your home or office network infrastructure, dashboard cameras are used remotely, like your cell phone. Just imagine the impact of streaming live video on your data consumption costs.
However, some situations require continuous video footage. That’s why dashboard cameras need to have the ability to store recordings locally for retrieval on an ad hoc basis. This can be done through periodic, customized over-the-air requests or through the use of removable SD memory cards. Like the dashcam itself, SD (Secure Digital) memory cards must meet durability requirements for automotive-grade electronics in order to operate under rigorous conditions.
Many dashboard cameras on the market also take advantage of loop recording. Loop recording refers to the camera’s ability to record video footage until the SD memory card capacity is saturated, then overwrite the oldest files. This ensures that the most recent activity is recorded and accessible on the SD memory card. Then, as with dashboard cameras, not all SD memory cards are made equally and are not forever.
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