The taxi industry is changing rapidly. Disrupted by technology, challenged by new ridesharing businesses, and threatened by the approach of self-driving cars, taxis and private hire firms must find new ways to compete. At the same time, drivers face challenges of busier roads, passenger disputes, and even verbal and physical assault.
To meet these challenges, taxi operators and private hire fleets need to protect their vehicles and reputations while working as efficiently as possible. That means maximizing vehicle availability and optimizing route planning, as well as monitoring and enforcing driver professionalism. It’s a tall order, but just as technology is creating challenges, it’s also providing solutions: one of which is smarter, cloud-connected AI dash cam technology.
AI dash cams for taxis and private hire vehicles provide an effective deterrent against driver abuse and false claims. Additionally, they can also help taxi and private hire businesses save money and become more efficient to remain profitable in an increasingly competitive space. Where AI dash cams are legal, no fleet can afford to be without them. Here’s why.
In recent years there’s been a slow increase in the number of taxis fitted with drive recording technology. It’s not legal everywhere, and there’s resistance to the idea from some customers and drivers, centered around privacy. For taxi and private-hire vehicle (PHV) firms, however, the latest generation of dual-camera AI dash cams provides an ideal solution to many business challenges.
As the name implies, dual-camera AI dash cams monitor both the road ahead and the interior of the car. The interior footage is especially important for taxis and PHVs by providing a continuous record of how drivers and passengers behave. Interior footage can help settle disputes over payment, destinations, routes or damage, while the mere presence of a camera deters verbal and physical assaults on drivers by passengers and on passengers by drivers. AI-powered DMS (Driver Monitoring System) features provide additional benefits by detecting signs of driver fatigue and distraction as well as eating and smoking.
Given how frequently taxis and PHVs operate at night, devices with infrared LED sensors are a must, as are ones with quality microphones to record conversations. This isn’t legal everywhere in the world, but where it is, audio recordings can provide vital evidence.
The benefits of the front camera are more obvious. With AI-powered accident features like Forward Collision Warning, the device alerts drivers of potential dangers on the road ahead to take timely corrective action as well as uploading video clips of serious incidents to the cloud for follow-up and analysis. In an accident does occur, the video captured by the forward-facing camera can quickly establish facts, thereby preventing fraudulent insurance claims, speeding up genuine cases, and potentially exonerating a driver.
Collectively, the effect is that vehicles are less likely to get damaged and they can be repaired more quickly when they are because insurance claims are resolved more swiftly. In reality, the advantages extend far beyond that. Camera footage can be reviewed to examine driver performance, helping the company enforce high professional standards, provide better training, and ensure compliance with the law.
More Connected to your Cars
But for taxi and PHV companies, new cloud-ready drive recorders and dash cams support a more proactive approach to driver and fleet management. Equipped with GPS and 4G wireless connectivity, this new generation of devices is ready to plug into cloud-based solutions that provide a more interactive and powerful link between control centers and their drivers.
For example, with a real-time link to exact vehicle locations and speed, taxi controllers can pinpoint the fleet and understand localized traffic, allowing quicker dispatching and more efficient routing. With real-time access to the data being captured by the device, controllers can independently verify road and vehicle status. And with a better connection to their vehicles and AI-powered alerts, controllers can proactively summon the proper help in a breakdown or emergency.
At the same time, when drivers know they are being monitored, roadcraft and customer service standards are less likely to slip.
Using Data to Drive Savings
When cloud-connected AI dash cams support CAN bus integration, taxi and PHV companies can develop even more sophisticated ways to manage their fleet. Access to real-time engine and vehicle heath data allows fleet managers to protect their investment and ensure high availability. For example, by booking mechanical services in advance and reminding drivers about routine maintenance items such as tire pressures, managers can maximize vehicle performance, availability, and fuel economy. Alongside video, the analysis of CAN bus data can also identify issues such as overly fast or aggressive driving, again supporting appropriate training or management while further reducing maintenance and fuel costs.
Installing an AI dash cam won’t solve every challenge faced by taxi and PHV firms. However, simply recording the vehicle provides a deterrent to wrongdoing by drivers or their passengers and it creates a record of everything that happens across the fleet. Public attitudes to cameras are also shifting as customers realize the benefits outweigh any short-term loss of privacy. Vulnerable and lone travelers may even begin to request cars with internal cameras.
In an uncertain and changing business environment, the operational benefits of AI dash cams for taxis and PHVs justify the investment. Companies that both understand and market the positive benefits of such technology to their customers will achieve the largest boost to their efficiency, reputation and bottom line.
Ultimately, AI dash cams are good for customers and good for business. As a taxi or PHV operator, it’s an advantage you can’t afford to be without.
The VIA Mobile360 D700 AI Dash Cam combines cutting-edge AI-powered accident prevention and driver monitoring features with dual 1080p cameras, ultra-reliable 4G LTE connectivity, and seamless cloud integration to provide a robust and high-performance dual-camera device that is ideal for fleet management applications such as taxis and ride-hailing services. Learn more about the VIA Mobile360 D700 AI Dash Cam here.