In-vehicle cameras are fast becoming an essential tool for fleet operators, offering protection to vehicles and drivers and proof of events in the event of an incident or dispute. Add data-gathering capabilities and cloud hosted real-time video feeds and the simple dash cam opens up even more possibilities. But with so much potential video footage and data available, how easy is it for businesses to gain effective insights? Capturing and processing video and vehicle data in real-time can in fact be a major technical challenge. Amazon has a solution developed specifically to resolve these issues – it’s called AWS Kinesis Video Streams, or KVS for short. Let’s take a look at the challenges involved and the advantages of using KVS, and KVS certified hardware.
Vehicle cameras have become an increasingly important tool in helping fleet managers to monitor and optimize their operations, with dual-camera dash cams and exterior cameras providing a record of everything that happens on the road, and in the cabin. Onboard footage can help establish culpability in an accident, monitor driver performance, and even form the basis for driver training programs.
The latest generation of dash cameras present fleet operators with an even more powerful management tool now that advanced models are capable of reading detailed status information from the vehicle’s CAN Bus, a built-in diagnostics system found in the majority of modern vehicles. Once hooked up to the CAN Bus, fleet managers have access to metrics such as average speed, fuel consumption and idle time. Analysis of this data can provide vastly improved performance and efficiency.
Before we examine the challenge of telematic data analysis however, let’s focus of the challenge posed by video footage alone. Imagine a situation where a fleet vehicle is involved in a serious accident. Ideally cloud-connected dash cams could stream video footage in real-time back to HQ, allowing the footage to be analysed and quickly acted upon. This may sound relatively simple, but the reality is actually far more complex.
Harnessing Real-Time Video with Amazon Kinesis Video Streams
Managing such a high volume of live data from a distributed network of devices actually presents several technical challenges. Having video footage available in the cloud is fantastic in principle, but what if you are supporting hundreds, or possibly thousands of fleet vehicles, each with a pair of HD cameras? If a manager wanted to quickly locate a specific piece of footage – perhaps the exact moment a serious incident occurred – the logistical challenge of finding that footage in the cloud would be enormous. This is where Amazon KVS makes its mark.
Kinesis Video Streams (KVS) sits within a family of Amazon services specifically designed to help developers manage, store and process large quantities of data. As the name suggests, it’s built specifically to handle video streams and other time-series data, with additional services baked-in to handle the heavy lifting. It provides advanced video playback that includes not just AWS-backed storage of the footage, but automated time indexing, encryption, access control, and live on-demand playback.
Playback control and encryption in particular provide businesses with peace of mind. On road video footage will inevitably involve capturing footage of other vehicles and pedestrians. Having secure encrypted cloud hosting helps ensure compliance with personal confidentiality laws, ensuring that only authorized employees have access to the footage.
KVS offers the advantage that it’s integrated with Amazon’s other services, and fully accessible through APIs that make it easy to retrieve, process and play video streams. It also works with any suitable AWS qualified device, so there’s no need to write custom code to handle different data formats.
It’s just about access to video footage. Other Amazon services include advanced analytics that help managers to make informed decisions. Being pre-integrated with AWS Machine Learning and AI services means that video footage and data is ingested in the cloud with the means to implement intelligent interpretation, a much more advanced way of gaining truly actionable insights.
Technologies like KVS give fleet managers the chance to implement vastly more advanced analytics than previously considered possible. Companies can now integrate with computer vision analytics such as Amazon Rekognition Video, with libraries for Machine Learning frameworks such as Apache MxNet, TensorFlow, and OpenCV also available. I think it’s fair to say, the fleet management game just got changed.
For fleets looking to implement advanced cloud-based fleet management solutions leveraging Amazon’s ecosystem, it makes sense to ensure that KVS support starts with the hardware residing at edge of the cloud. By selecting cameras and sensors that are AWS IoT and KVS certified, fleet operators are able to unlock the powerful technologies mentioned above, with minimal R&D overhead.
Our engineers have been working hard with Amazon to ensure the VIA Mobile360 D700 AI Dash Cam is the first dash cam product to complete the Amazon Kinesis Video Streams qualification program. It features dual 1080p cameras, GPS and CAN Bus support, plus 4G and Wi-Fi connectivity and infrared night vision. As well as KVS certification it is also AWS IoT Core qualified and Microsoft Azure and IoT Plug and Play certified.
In short, the VIA Mobile360 D700 AI Dash Cam is highly suited for enterprise fleet operators in need of a powerful solution that seamlessly integrates with advanced cloud-based fleet management systems.
You can also find the VIA Mobile360 D700 AI Dash Cam here in the AWS Partner Device Catalog.
Learn more about Amazon Kinesis Video Streams here.