In recent years we’ve seen the commercial fleet management sector embrace technological innovations to the point where it has become almost unrecognizable from what it was just a few decades ago. The rise of technologies such as ADAS, AI, and the cloud means that the effective management of a fleet of vehicles and drivers requires making the right investments in hardware at the right time. Let’s consider some of the advances in AI dash cam technology that are shaping a new and revolutionized fleet management industry in 2020.
The science of fleet management has been years in the making, with a melange of telematics, onboard sensors, and manual processes all feeding into complex workflows designed to improve productivity, safety, and operating margins. The overall market for telematics is expanding rapidly too, with a market estimated to be worth US$7.31bn in 2017 expected to accelerate to US$18.43bn by 2022 – a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 20.3%.
There are a host of reasons for this potential growth, from decreasing sensor costs and increasingly widespread 4G networking, through to rising regulatory requirements. The three areas of safety, security, and compliance requirements are becoming major driving forces that are encouraging companies to update existing infrastructure and adopt the latest tech.
While a gradual shift towards full vehicle automation is also underway, attracting significant investment and wider interest, it remains a very distant goal today. However it is encouraging enterprises to take initial steps that pave the way towards a future where true AV is possible.
Stepping Up to ADAS
The proliferation of ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems) technology means that comprehensive and intelligent driver assistance is within reach. However, not all businesses are ready for or need full-bore ADAS at this stage. This is where advances in AI dash cams provide a critical stepping stone for companies that are not ready for the complexity and cost of a fleet-wide ADAS roll-out. The VIA Mobile360 D700 AI Dash Cam is a strong example of a currently-available product that offers similar benefits.
The value of having a stepping stone technology is enormous, allowing enterprises to gain access to many of the benefits of advanced fleet management technologies while minimizing investment risk. It also enables individual firms to begin investigating and developing their own niche-specific systems based on their own experiences and real-world data.
Advances in AI Dash Cams
One of the most important advances in AI dash cams is the driver monitoring system. This is possible thanks to the implementation of dual cameras in products like the VIA Mobile360 D700 and the integration of an AI algorithm that can detect tired, distracted, and in some cases illegal behavior.
Driver monitoring systems use pre-defined triggers to detect risky driver behavior, providing real-time audio alerts to the driver, as well as segmenting and tagging recorded incidents for review on a cloud management portal. The result is that, if a pattern emerges from the incidents (perhaps one driver regularly triggers Lane Departure Warning alerts) then tailored messages or e-training modules can be automatically sent to the driver to educate and mitigate their future behavior.
In addition to the obvious value to fleet managers, this tiered approach means that low-level offenders or one-off minor infringements can be dealt with without adding to their workload, allowing them to focus on high-risk and/or repeat offenders. Finally, the use of an automated driver monitoring system removes workplace friction between drivers and management, promoting more positive working relationships.
The benefits to enterprise as a whole are enormous: cutting fuel bills and reducing category-three speeding events (where drivers exceed the speed limit by 10-20%), and deterring Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) as drivers become more careful about where they park, as well as how they drive.
Preventing Malicious Behavior
Of course, as well as providing a range of options for the gentle enforcement of company standards and the rules of the road, AI dash cams can also provide the means to prevent malicious activity, including the effective tackling of insurance fraud.
The VIA Mobile360 D700 AI Dash Cam leverages a Full HD video stream of both road and cabin. The higher the quality of footage capture, the better the opportunities for analysis and actionable insights. FTwo wide-angle (155°) HDR-capable 1080p cameras that capture footage at 50fps allow for fine-grained, frame-by-frame analysis of road and driver events.
Promptly delivering this data to fleet managers for analysis is also vital, which is where the importance of integrated 4G network support comes to the fore. This high-bandwidth connection allows key footage to be automatically synced to the cloud when an incident is detected or manually reported, preventing any localized data loss. To this end, a growing number of insurance firms offer discounted premiums if a suitable dash cam device is installed, partly because of the reduction in fraudulent claims and the increased efficiency in dealing with genuine claims.
However, while video information of the driver and road is important, combining this with vehicle data provides an extra layer of value to fleet managers. The VIA Mobile360 D700 features CAN Bus integration, which can collect data regarding vehicle idle time, fuel consumption, speed and distance traveled. The result is a more complete data-set that allows management to enjoy a more detailed picture from which to draw insight.
Knowing the Where, as well as the Why
One of the most transformational technologies in fleet management has been GPS tracking. For a fleet manager or dispatcher to know the precise location of each vehicle in the fleet is incredibly valuable – for example to better optimize routes, saving fuel and time – and of course it has been a boon for driver navigation too.
These GPS-based telematics systems have become expected (and in some situations, government mandated), especially in light of today’s ‘same day delivery’ commercial world. But the benefits extend beyond courier services. A dash cam that combines GPS with on-board 4G support makes an ideal choice for taxi and other transportation companies, providing managers with huge business benefits from minimal hardware investment.
The process of automating compliance is of crucial interest to fleet managers across the globe, as is the ability to monitor and improve safety levels. As regulations around environmental issues, worker welfare, and general liability concerns come increasingly to the fore, so a connected AI-enhanced system becomes increasingly valuable.
For example, the requirements imposed by the International Fuel Tax Association (IFTA) in the US can be automated, saving painstaking hours of comparing fuel receipts and vehicle GPS data. Meanwhile, maintenance and hours-of-service compliance data can also be recorded and analyzed for potentially actionable patterns and measured against key performance indicators.
The Future of Logistics
Advances in AI dash cams such as the VIA Mobile360 D700 are already beginning to transform the fleet management industry. The continued development and integration of AI and cloud management tools will only accelerate this process. As the barriers to entry are now falling, enterprises of every size and scale can now begin to benefit from this digital driving revolution.
In recent years VIA has garnered extensive feedback from customers operating in the broader Fleet Management sector. This has given us valuable insights that have helped hone our approach to product development. The result is the VIA Mobile360 AI Dash Cam, a full-featured, compact dual-camera device with support for Forward Collision Warning, Rear Collision Warning, and an advanced Driver Monitoring System.
The VIA Mobile360 D700 is AWS IoT Core Qualified and AWS Kinesis Video Streams Qualified. It features an SDK with AWS IoT Core and Amazon KVS live video streaming development and Android /iOS smartphone reference apps, and also comes with a 30-day free trial of the VIA Fleet Cloud Management Portal powered by Amazon Web Services (AWS), including 50 hours of live streaming with Amazon KVS.
Learn more about the VIA Mobile360 D700 AI Dash Cam.
You can also check out this short introductory video: