AI, Features, Tech Talk, Telematics

Video telematics is a game-changer for fleet managers

When you think of artificial intelligence, something like ChatGPT comes to mind, a chatbot with useful tips on planning a child’s birthday party, a summary of a long article, or great places to eat while on holiday.

It’s important to know, however, that AI is so much more than just a chatbot. The latest AI-powered dashcams show how machine learning has real benefits for transport businesses, and in particular, fleet managers. Yet, even without AI, dashcams and video telematics are powerful tools for understanding your driver’s performance and helping with coaching. AI supercharges them.

How does video telematics work?

Traditionally, telematics devices have been ‘black boxes’ that are hardwired devices installed within vehicles. They log everything from location information right through to vehicle performance and driver behaviour through metrics like harsh braking and manoeuvring and provide details on fuel use, idle, and more.

With advancements in today’s technology, your traditional dashcams have gotten smarter, by integrating telematics alongside the cameras to capture footage alongside vehicle and driver metrics. As events are triggered, you get an even bigger picture of the operation.

The latest AI-powered dashcams show how machine learning has real benefits for transport businesses. Image: Teletrac Navman

Often available in high-definition, the footage is instantly uploaded from the cloud to a fleet management platform, like Teletrac Navman’s TN360 system. This is where those in the back office can view all the fleet’s location, insights, and analytics, including the alerts that are raised for events that occur on the road.

With video telematics, fleet managers can view footage alongside all the data generated, meaning they can see the real story and protect their drivers. There’s no waiting for a truck to come back to base to download footage; the business can help to ensure the safety and efficiency of the vehicles on the road, meaning drivers get home safely at night.

So, where do you get started? Several key items to look for in a video telematics solution include the ability to record all drive-time and retain footage for driving events recorded by the telematics system that can be viewed from the fleet management system.

Ensuring that the system itself is integrated into the overall fleet management solution is important. This ensures that your fleet managers have one platform to see everything, saving time in tracking down information, and seeing the complete picture instantly, helping make decisions quicker.

Where AI comes into play

What if it was possible to automate the process of reviewing footage, where data is analysed carefully for you, and you receive alerts when an event needs attention? That’s where AI steps in.

An AI-powered dashcam supercharges the already powerful fleet management and safety capabilities of regular dashcams by turning the camera into a third eye. Computer vision technology lets the camera constantly review all the drive-time footage as it happens, automatically identifying both positive behaviours and dangerous actions. Not only does it warn the driver, but it provides valuable insights into the fleet previously unobtainable, even with traditional telematics.

These dangerous actions include distracted driving, mobile phone use, tailgating, harsh manoeuvring and braking, if the driver exceeds the posted speed limit, illegal U-turns, driver distractions, and more.

Video telematics can record all these actions in the telematics software, which are available to view at any time. The cameras also include real-time verbal feedback, letting the driver immediately know if they’re doing something dangerous – they may be taking off too quickly off a red light, cornering too hard or, more importantly, getting distracted or showing signs of fatigue.

Teletrac Navman’s TS24 report found that 47 per cent of fleet managers are currently using AI solutions in their fleets, a number likely to grow as more managers realise the benefits of machines and humans working together for better safety and efficiency outcomes.

Diving into the benefits of video telematics and AI

Adding a video telematics solution to your fleet management toolkit has many benefits, including improved driver safety and driver retention. Drivers will want to work for companies that value safety and recognise driving talent, something a video telematics solution provides. Recognition and rewards programs based on transparent video footage are key weapons in a fleet manager’s arsenal for keeping good drivers on board.

A video solution will also help an organisation win new business by demonstrating a commitment to safety and investment in driver wellbeing. Both factors offer a compelling differentiator when bidding for new contracts.

It will also lead to cost savings through better driver behaviour, leading to lower fuel and maintenance outgoings. In fact, Teletrac Navman customer Jarratt Transport Solutions, based in the Port of Brisbane, Queensland, estimates an integrated telematics solution saves it around 3000 litres of fuel per month.

The company also uses driver scoreboards, with the top driver earning a bonus of $500 each month, a cost the company states is ‘a drop in the ocean’ compared to its overall savings on fuel and maintenance through better driver behaviour.

Video is the logical next step for fleets already invested in a telematics solution. Keen to learn more? Talk to your Teletrac Navman representative today.

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