Let’s be clear: having ANY form of vehicle camera solution in your vehicle is better than having none. But too often fleet owners are putting their hope, trust - and their business - into products that are not fit for purpose. Sometimes these products cost almost as much as an entry-level multi-camera system.
So if you have dashcam systems in your vehicles or you are considering buying a dashcam for your commercial vehicles, please read on - we think you will change your mind. The example below could happen to any company on any given day. This incident happened a few years ago but is as relevant today as it was back then. It is also a relatively mild example and many worse situations occur every single day.
According to US vehicle accident data, only 2% of accidents are front-on, while 30% are rear-end and 29% are side impact. So, if your fleet is equipped with a single, front-facing commerical dash cam, you are literally missing the point!
Just watch this video. In it, the front camera in the truck captures an ominous shadow approaching the shadow of the truck. But you have no idea what has actually happened.
Without third-party witnesses, this video would serve no purpose. That’s the risk any commercial fleet owner using dashcams takes. But now watch the same situation from the side camera covering the area where the incident happened…
In this clip we can clearly see that the other truck reverses into the parked truck for no obvious reason. Using this footage, the truck owner can easily defend their claim.
Even if you do capture the incident on a dashcam, you need to get hold of the video. The only problem is that the vehicle is badly damaged and has been towed away, making it very difficult for you to get the all-important footage. Or perhaps your driver is abroad on a long run. These are everyday scenarios - and in fact happened in this exact case!
New customers tell us daily that this is one of the major reasons for them throwing away their dashcams. Our customer Maritime Transport found retrieving the video footage from their old cameras a big headache and remote download from CameraMatics has transformed their fleet operations.
In our example above, the professional connected vehicle camera system provided by CameraMatics, allowed this customer to remotely access the device, locate the video by searching through the recent events and then download what was needed. This was possible even with the vehicle ignition switched off because the system continues to run for a pre-determined period after the ignition switches off with our Park Mode.
Drivers do sometimes make mistakes. When it happens it’s equally important to receive the video, but we have had many examples of fleet owners approaching us after the dashcam, or sometimes just the SD card, disappeared! But it’s not just drivers who do this. We have even had situations reported where the third party in the accident has reached into the vehicle and tried to remove the camera, knowing it shows them at fault.
The only way to avoid these situations is to have a professionally and discreetly installed system with a camera that is separate to the recording media. So, even if they should rip the fixed camera away, the recording is still safe on the DVR device - and in the cloud.
The whole point of having a camera in your vehicle, even if it is only recording the front view, is to actually have the recording if the worst should happen. But with dashcams, you can never really be sure because many do not have a recording status light. So if the SD card has failed or some other issue has occurred, you’ll never know unless you take out the SD card and check to see if the last journey was recorded.
That may be OK in a private vehicle, but if you need to do it regularly for even 5 or more vehicles, never mind 50 or 100 fleet vehicles, it becomes prohibitively time-consuming.
Another thing to bear in mind is that in many dashcams, the SD Cards need to be reformatted on a regular basis or they begin to have errors in the recording or even fail. So again, that means going into the menu of every dashcam and reformatting the cards.
A professional connected vehicle camera system like CameraMatics allows you to see a list of all devices on all vehicles with a visual status next to each. On the CameraMatics Dashboard, you can easily see if there is an issue with the recording media or any of the cameras on each vehicle. This allows you to take corrective action immediately, ensuring every vehicle is always recording. Reformatting is equally easy, as it can be initiated remotely.
If you invest in a dashcam solution for your fleet, you spend money on a solution that can’t grow as your needs do. It’s basically a dead investment.
At CameraMatics we do sell a single-camera solution, but that solution can be upgraded to up to 5 cameras and can have ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance System) technologies installed alongside to improve driver safety and avoid accidents. You can also use it to locate and track your vehicles, along with a host of other benefits. CameraMatics is far more than a connected camera system, customers get a complete Fleet Risk Management platform.
We understand why people look to install dashcams. They can be cheap and often the first option people think of. But for commercial fleet applications, they are the wrong choice that can leave you as badly off as not having one at all.