Video Telematics Technology For Improving Driver Safety

Any fleet organization is only as good as its driving crew and also the vehicles they drive. Although the character of fleet operation entails danger, sure-fire anticipation and mitigation of potential risks cut back danger and guarantee a secure and happy work environment. Traffic accidents and injuries make up a serious chunk of the hazards. Technology plays an important role in reducing the risks related to fleet operation.

As per a report released by the World Health Organization, there are 1.25 million reported deaths globally due to road accidents. In South Africa alone, 12,921 deaths have been reported by the Road Traffic Management Corporation in a single year due to road-related incidents. Further, it has been found that the age group of 20-34 years is most vulnerable to the risks of road incidents. 

The role of telematics solutions in this sense has been of significant importance in the automotive industry. Since the arrival of these solutions, there have been landmark changes in the automotive industry. Earlier businesses faced the challenge of making decisions on the basis of blind assumptions. Fleet vehicles were, in a sense, invisible from the view and reach of the fleet managers. As a result, it became pertinent upon drivers only to ensure their own safety. Now, with the use of telematics solutions, this has changed.

As per the estimate of McKinsey, the vehicle telematics industry can gather a pool value of around $750 billion by the end of 2030. This is suggestive of the fact that the appetite for vehicle telematics solutions has much increased globally than it was a decade ago. Secondly, one of the fundamental reasons behind this growth is the call for action by governments and agencies. As a matter of fact, vehicle telematics solutions have become mandatory in some parts of Europe.

It is in this context that due emphasis must be made on understanding the technology of video telematics. These solutions play a crucial role in securing the safety needs of a vehicle driver in a better manner. 

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What is video telematics?

Video telematics is one of the latest in the series of innovations in-vehicle telematics technology. The video telematics solutions combine the functionality of telematics solutions with the video equipment for capturing the data in the form of video footage. Added to this are the capabilities of the Artificial Intelligence solutions, which provide holistic insights into the movement of vehicles. Thus with the application of video telematics solutions, fleet managers can capture the sensor data and location of the vehicle along with keeping the video record. Some of the important components of a video telematics solution consist of:

  1. Vehicle cameras are installed in the interior or exterior or in both parts of the vehicle to record footage.
  2. Telematics technology is integrated with the video cameras to store data and provide sensor information and reports to the end-user.
  3. A wireless module that handles transmitting the video footage data to the dashboard of the end-user.
  4. A software application service that handles analyzing and processing of data and translating it into value for the user.
  5. An end-user application with the help of which they can operate their telematics solution on their devices like smartphones or web-based applications.

What are the major safety hazards faced by drivers on the road?

  • Speeding –

Speeding is one of the prominent reasons for the collision, which puts the lives of the drivers as well as pedestrians at risk. One of the primary objectives of the driver safety programs is to ensure that drivers resist the practice of overspeeding. This can reduce the risks of crashes and the severity of damage from incidents.

  • Distracted driving –

 One of the other leading causes of road fatalities is distracted driving. Often it is found that drivers may put their and other lives at risk by working under grim and harsh conditions. The risk of alcohol consumption and substance abuse is one of the other leading reasons for distracted driving. Drivers may also feel drowsy and sleepy due to long hours of operation. All this accounts for the risks of distracted driving. For this, fleet managers are advised to use Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS). These solutions can help them to monitor the behavior of the drivers in a better manner.

  • Ignorance of safety rules –

With vehicle drivers, the risk of violation of the traffic rules is constant. In worse circumstances, drivers may become habitual of neglecting these safety rules. It is hence important to place the means of oversight that allows for the monitoring of the drivers. The video telematics solutions place checks and balances on the unrestrained behaviors of driving. This ultimately results in limiting the risks of vehicle incidents.

  • Faulty vehicle condition –

Faulty vehicle condition is one of the other concerning areas that a vehicle owner may lack from time to time. Without video telematics solutions, it is difficult to accurately measure the performance of a vehicle. It also becomes difficult to identify the need for repairs to faulty vehicle parts. Flawed vehicle conditions can thus be the reason for a calamity on the road. This can endanger the life of a driver on the road.

  • Improper road condition –

Distressed road conditions are one of the other common road safety hazards. Vehicle drivers may be expected to drive on hilly terrains or on broken roads as a part of their job. The unhealthy road infrastructure hence is a major challenge for vehicle drivers. One of the ways of dealing with this risk is to implement driver coaching programs. These programs can be better run with the help of video telematics solutions. Vehicle drivers this way can be better equipped to deal with problematic routes.

How does video telematics offer driver’s safety?

  1. Inducing the sense of accountability :

The video telematics solutions instill a sense of accountability among drivers. With these solutions, their performance is being constantly reviewed and monitored. Along with this, video telematics solutions also have the functionality of detection sensors. These sensors alert the vehicle owner to several safety features.

Vehicle owners can become aware of several safety concerns such as – crossing speed violation limits, detecting stop sign violations, having lane-drifting warnings, warning on forwarding collision and driver distraction, and others.

  1. Establishing a real-time connection between driver – owner :

 The application of video telematics solutions allows vehicle owners to have the upper hand on several security lapses. Owners can monitor the real-time performance of the driver and provide instant feedback on the performance of the driver. 

  1. Implement driver training programs :

With the recorded footage of the incidents on the dashboard of vehicle owners, drivers can be trained adequately. Video telematics solutions provide a real-world context to the performance of drivers. This makes it possible for vehicle owners to focus on specific needs for improving the driver’s performance. For instance, if any vehicle driver registers repetitive incidents of harsh braking alerts, the vehicle owner can take cognizance of the driving behavior and work on the need for improvement. 

  1. Improving the health of vehicles :

With the achieved a lower rate of incidents, the video telematics solutions help in maintaining vehicles’ health. Further, with the application of these systems, users can also have insights into any vehicle’s maintenance needs. The vehicle owner can ensure that all the maintenance needs are checked, and the data provided by the telematics device on vehicle health is analyzed. 

  1. Motivating drivers for improved performance :

The playback facility of the recorded footage motivates drivers to indulge in better driving behavior. With the help of footage, drivers can analyze their mistakes. Fleet businesses based on this can also assess the driving score and classification of the driver based on performance. This motivates vehicle drivers to perform better. Businesses can make this better by providing incentives and rewards.

  1. Preventing the risk of incidents to identify unsafe driving patterns :

 The use of video telematics solutions is helpful with the need for identifying unsafe driving patterns. The Artificial Intelligence-powered sensors instantly notify users about unsafe driving instances. This proves effective with the need for mitigating the risks of collisions. In this manner, drivers can be clearly monitored based on the number of incidents they report. 

  1. Tracking improvement and identifying ideal behaviors :

 One of the important aspects of video telematics solutions is associated with its ability to provide data-driven AI solutions. The systems of the video telematics device maintain the storage of the accumulated data recorded in real-time.

The smart systems of video telematics solutions have the analytical ability to scan ideal performers. Besides this, with the help of these solutions, the user can also track the improvement of any driver by maintaining the driver’s profile in the dashboard.

  1. Understanding the cause of fatigue :

With the real-time monitoring of the driver’s behavior, the users have the opportunity to deal with the driver’s fatigue. Drowsiness and tiredness with video telematics can be visible to vehicle owners. This can help them to exercise caution and plan journeys better.

  1. Exonerating drivers from false claims :

Video telematics solutions provide an eye-witness account of incidents. This can exonerate drivers from the risks of false claims. The use of video telematics solutions can be made in the investigation process of any incident. With their use, fraudulent claims can be contested, and the innocence of drivers can be proved in unlikely incidents. 

  1. Reducing the burden of cost and liabilities :

The use of video telematics solutions is important for fleet businesses in implementing usage-based insurance plans. This places the mechanisms for covering the safety of drivers, vehicles, and fleet based on the driving behaviors. The safety needs of drivers are prioritized in this manner by availing insurance plans at low rates of premium.

Quick Read: Video Telematics: A Game Changer For Fleet Managers In South Africa

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