Dash cams are an innovative technology that is taking over the fleet industry. They keep drivers safe, lower insurance premiums, and help businesses improve their image within the community. Dash cams have a multitude of benefits, and fleets take advantage of them every day. What are these benefits, and how can your fleet begin to reap the rewards of dash cams?
How Do Dash Cams Work?
Dash cams are easy to install. The easiest way is to affix them to the rearview mirror or windshield, but drivers can also install them with hardware if they prefer. Most dash cams are small enough to not cause a distraction in the driver’s field of vision. The best dash cams are dual-facing, meaning they record what’s happening on the road and in the cab. The average camera records between 720p and 1080p and provides a 150° view of the vehicle’s front. They can be powered one of three ways: via a 12v auxiliary power outlet, being hardwired to the vehicle battery, or through an OBD-II Y-cable.
Modern dash cams use artificial intelligence technology to detect behaviors that may indicate drowsy, distracted, or aggressive driving. For the front-facing camera, this can include hard braking, harsh cornering, dropping below or above the speed limit, rapid acceleration, or similar behaviors. The in-cab camera watches the driver for behaviors like using the phone, eating while driving, eyes becoming unfocused, or yawning. If the AI sees any of these behaviors, it will alert the driver to correct their actions. If the unsafe habits continue, the software will alert the fleet manager to take corrective action.
One helpful feature of dash cams is connecting with a vehicle’s telematics system to provide GPS data on the footage recorded. This feature can be beneficial in many ways. Combining data from GPS with dash cam technology can help fleets recover stolen vehicles, for example. If a thief targets a vehicle, fleet managers can tell police exactly where that vehicle is and retrieve it before it gets damaged or is lost forever. Unfortunately, police only recover 20% of stolen vehicles, but we can significantly increase this number with GPS features and dash cams.
GPS data is also helpful in ensuring drivers only use vehicles for their authorized purposes. By tracking vehicles, fleet managers always know where they are and can ensure that drivers are always on the job. This feature helps keep everyone on task.
Mistakes happen in any job, but in driving, mistakes can be deadly. Combine this with the knowledge that fleet drivers do their jobs alone, and it can be a terrifying reality. Luckily, dash cams come with the ability to offer in-cab coaching whenever a driver appears to be having trouble on the road. Fleet managers can administer in-cab coaching right from their office while their drivers are on the road and decide whether that driver can continue their route. It is groundbreaking technology for fleets that promotes safety for everyone on the road.
Speaking of promoting safety, dash cams come with even more ways to encourage drivers to exhibit safe behaviors! A driver rewards system gathers data from telematics and dash cams to create a safety score for every driver in the fleet. The drivers with the highest safety scores are eligible for prizes based on their safe habits! This system gamifies safe driving and encourages drivers to be on their best behavior at all times by adding a little fun into the mix.
Typically, a dash cam saves videos to an SD card on the camera itself, and uploads risky events directly to the cloud for review. These videos can be useful for creating training videos for new drivers or even refreshing seasoned drivers on events that happen on the road using real-life footage. People learn better when concepts are put into real context, and this footage would help them understand the dangers of the roads better than simply explaining or simulating them would. It’s highly important to ensure drivers are properly and regularly trained, and creating training videos with dash cam footage is immensely helpful in training them.
Dash cams have many uses beyond simply exonerating drivers and reducing insurance premiums. They are becoming a necessity for fleets all over the country, and their technology improves all the time. Fleets without dash cams will soon be left behind. Azuga is a leader in fleet technology, and our dual-facing dash cams are top-of-the-line. Find out more about our dash cams and other fleet technology by reaching out to one of our experts.