The Case for Integrated Telematics

A wide variety of commercial fleets use video telematics data. It allows fleets to protect themselves from liability and exonerate drivers from false claims, reduce accidents and improve safety, coach drivers to become safer, reward and recognize good drivers, and much more. These benefits contributed to its major growth over the last few years.

What Is Integrated Video and Telematics

Video telematics combines the quantifiable telematics data most fleet managers have been using already with access to camera views to show what really happened. The key is having both integrated and accessible in a single dashboard.

Almost 4.4 Billion and Growing

The video telematics industry has seen a significant increase in growth over the past few years. The market is expected to reach $4.4 billion by 2024, representing a compounded annual growth rate of around 19%. This growth is driven by several factors: the increasing demand for safety and security in the automotive industry, the integration of video technology into connected vehicles, and the growing need for fleet management solutions.

Additionally, the increasing availability and affordability of video telematics solutions is driving the growth of the industry. The cost of video telematics services has decreased significantly in recent years, allowing more businesses to take advantage of the technology. The rising demand for advanced analytics and AI-based solutions is driving growth of the video telematics industry. AI-based solutions are being used to provide more detailed insights into driver behavior and enable businesses to identify potential safety and security risks.

1. Refuting False Claims and Insurance Fraud

When an accident occurs, it is highly likely the civilian driver will blame the commercial trucker because the size of the truck relative to their own vehicle and it is an opportunity to dip deep into company pockets. In some cases, scamming drivers will intentionally “crash for cash”, and cause an accident that may look like you are at fault. The blame game can get tricky without the proper evidence, even if you were driving fully alert and following every rule in the book.

Nuclear verdicts are increasing at an alarming rate. Lawsuits greater than $1 million have increased nearly 1000% from 2010 to 2018. In addition to lawsuits, fleets are responsible for any damages and other expenses. Financial hits like this and unfavorable insurance premiums moving forward have a major impact on trucking companies.

Video telematics helps improve the driver’s experience with you as an employer and on the road. If the vehicle is involved in a not-at-fault accident, the driver knows that the video will protect them against reputational damage and worse. In rare instances when driving is risky, such as a distracted or fatigued driver or a driver who failed to notice a speed sign, alerting the driver is much appreciated.

2. Preventing Accidents

Backing Accidents

While not yet required on vehicles with a GVWR over 10,000 lbs., it is inevitable that the requirement will come:

  1. According to the NHTSA, rearview cameras have the potential to reduce backup accidents by as much as 78%.
  2. The American Automobile Association (AAA) conducted a study that found that rearview cameras reduce the risk of backup accidents by 63%.
  3. According to the National Safety Council, rearview cameras reduce the risk of backup accidents and fatalities by 50%.
  4. A study published in the journal “Accident Analysis and Prevention” found that backup cameras reduce the risk of backing-related crashes by 44%.

It is overwhelmingly obvious that backup cameras reduce accidents and injuries. Accidents result in insurance claims for vehicle damage requiring costly repairs, while injuries and fatalities are another matter. It is bad enough that someone is injured by a truck or loses a life, but the fact that the technology is available to reduce accidents and wasn’t in use could mean negligence in court. Seven-figure settlements are common in these situations.

Unsafe Maneuvers

While G-force sensors and AI dashcams can detect hard cornering, braking, lane drift, poor lane changes and other unsafe maneuvers, sometimes other situations go unnoticed. For example, if a call comes in reporting a driver for an unsafe maneuver that was not automatically flagged, the

interior and exterior video footage can be crucial to understand what went down and if/how to coach the operator.

  1. Speeding
    Obviously, excessive speed is one of the most common causes of accidents, so deterring that behavior and reducing it through coaching can prevent accidents.  In 2016, a study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found tractor-trailer trucks account for more deaths (2,920) than single-unit trucks (826). The study also found that “speeding of any kind” was the most common driver-related factor for large truck drivers, while “distraction/inattention” was the second most common.
  • Distracted Driving and Attention to the Road
    With increasing multi-tasking and the ever-present mobile devices, distraction, in particular, is of huge concern. These are not just percentage numbers. These are incidents that have led to accidents causing huge losses to life and productivity.

3. Reducing Maintenance Costs

Actions like hard braking, hard cornering, and quick acceleration can be taxing for a vehicle and may require more frequent maintenance. Being able to identify and coach drivers to improve behavior can reduce downtime, dangerous behaviors, and the cost and frequency of maintenance.

4. Increasing Fuel Economy  

By combining the detailed insights from telematics data with the contextual clarity provided by video footage, fleet managers can identify and address factors contributing to excessive fuel consumption. This enables the analysis of driving behaviors such as idling, harsh acceleration, or inefficient routing – all of which significantly impact fuel usage.

Video-telematics integration enables targeted driver coaching and training, promoting more fuel-efficient driving practices. This combination leads to considerable cost savings and contributes to environmental sustainability.

5. Improved Driving Habits

Without granular data on driver behavior, coaching is difficult, and the results are not great. This is one reason why many fleets give up. You may vet your fleet driver’s abilities and driving record thoroughly. However, risky habits can creep in at any time.

It is important to help the drivers stay safe and alert them of any risky driving behaviors that can result in a bad outcome for them and the fleet. Driver coaching based on harsh events helps, but a lot of the riskiest behaviors cannot be captured by G-sensors alone.

6. Monitor Precious Cargo

Sometimes specialized transporters haul anything from six and seven-figure rare cars to million-dollar racehorses. When video footage is simultaneously recorded and displayed in the cab for the operator, the possibility of damage or injury is reduced. This can also prove the damage was not the fault of the operator and that the organization is not liable.

7. Increased Productivity

From backup cameras providing enhanced visibility to the many niche applications of camera technology aiding in more efficient operator activity, video technology can significantly impact organizational productivity.

Niche applications occur in a wide variety of industries, and many of these have not been discovered yet. One example is a hopper-mounted camera in the waste industry, eliminating the need for drivers to get out and manually inspect them since they can see them on the screen in the cab.

Another is for sewer Vac trucks which allows trucks to more quickly align to manhole covers by using a camera linked to an in-cab display. The connection here is that a video solution provider can integrate all or some of these views, depending on the need, with the telematics portal for recording and access all in one place.

Towards a Better Future

The integration of video and telematics presents an incredible opportunity for fleet management. By combining the detailed visual context of video with the rich data insights from telematics, fleet operators gain a comprehensive understanding of their operations, leading to enhanced safety, and efficiency.

This synergy helps address immediate operational challenges and paves the way for proactive management strategies, fostering a culture of continuous improvement. As technology advances, this integrated approach is set to become the new standard, driving the future of fleet management towards greater heights of innovation and excellence.