In-cab cameras are becoming more and more popular in the trucking industry with the latest company to launch such a product being Cartrack with the introduction of its Drive Vision system.
This, according to John Edmeston, CEO of Cartrack, is in response to the high number of truck accidents on South Africa’s roads in recent months leaving many fleet managers concerned about driver safety and in particular, reducing preventable accident rates and associated repair, downtime and liability costs.
“Driver safety is of huge concern,” says Edmeston. “Safety on our roads is important and I would like to urge fleet owners to seriously consider various tools that are available to them to address the issue. An 18-wheeler truck is a potential weapon of mass destruction in the wrong hands and we need to not only hold the driver accountable for their actions but also motorists who drive recklessly. Unless we are prepared to collectively take ownership of our actions, the current situation on our roads will not improve.”
Drive Vision places the spotlight on safety by means of on-board audio and visual equipment that is paired with Cartrack’s telematics technology. It effectively allows fleet managers to take a virtual ride with their drivers.
The information that is derived from Drive Vision combines vehicle driver behaviour data and video event recording technology to provide a bird’s eye view of any event that may occur, whether it is an incident of harsh braking or a serious accident.
“The information may well prove to be invaluable in establishing the cause of accidents by accurately reconstructing events as they happened,” says Edmeston.
Drive Vision is a dual camera system that works in conjunction with a competent driving performance program. The on-board visual equipment comprises a primary camera that records video footage with a 120 degree exterior view of the road ahead of the vehicle plus a secondary driver camera that provides a 160 degree view of the vehicle cab with infrared illumination for low light conditions. This is combined with a microphone that records an audio channel that accompanies the visual footage.
The camera system has a built in accelerometer which records events such as speeding, harsh braking and harsh acceleration, among others. When an event is triggered, a trained administrator in the data review centre will review the footage and produce a comprehensive analysis of the event with a driver counselling report.
“The footage spells out exactly what actions led to the event, how it was handled and what the outcome was. It is an invaluable tool for organisations and will greatly assist in risk management efforts and be of great benefit to both the driver and the company,” says Edmeston.
“Drive Vision ultimately translates into predictable and sustainable reductions of a fleet’s operational costs, especially as far as savings on fuel and maintenance are concerned. Central to that, concludes John.