Both dash cams and GPS solutions have proliferated fleets in recent years. These two technologies are being combined in interesting ways. For example, a dash cam solution with GPS and speed recording can provide data about vehicle utilization above and beyond location tracking and video evidence. Combining data from multiple sources is an important part of modern GPS fleet tracking, letting fleet managers see useful details about what their drivers are doing.
How fleets benefit from a dashboard camera with GPS
With GPS alone, it is already possible to track individual vehicles or fleets comprised of thousands of vehicles. This helps fleet managers ensure that drivers are on-route and on-schedule. It is even possible to configure alerts to let you know when a vehicle is off its expected path. GPS provides important safety benefits and can help fleets ensure high quality of service for customers.
A dash cam provides evidence in case of an incident, whether it’s a collision, a near-miss, or just a complaint about a driver’s behavior on the road. This evidence can help prove a driver acted appropriately by taking evasive action—or, if necessary, help identify drivers who are causing problems with aggressive driving behavior. Better still, a dash cam that also includes a driver-facing camera can provide additional information about what is happening inside the vehicle and how it relates to what is occurring on the road.
The combination of dash cam video with GPS data provides a richer understanding of both what is happening and where. This helps show, for example, whether certain geographical locations correlate with certain driver behaviors.
Until recently, cellular broadband networks were too slow and costly to make effective use of these technologies. Now, by analyzing video together with data from GPS and other sensors on a vehicle, it is easy to detect risky driving behaviors such as distracted driving, alert fleet managers to incidents that need their attention, and gather evidence to establish fault in the event of a collision.
More and more companies are seeing the benefits of combining video with GPS tracking on vehicles and other equipment: GPS solutions with dash cam capabilities can help save money, keep employees safe, and provide valuable insight into daily operations.
5 ways combining video with GPS is helping fleets
The best GPS dash cam combo systems go beyond pairing location tracking with dash cam footage. Advanced systems combine data from GPS, accelerometers, the vehicle's engine computer, and one or more video sources to provide valuable real-time context about what is happening in and around the vehicle. This unique combination of data from multiple sources is called video telematics. The benefits of video telematics for fleet management are numerous.
1. Proactively manage driver behavior
When you know what your drivers are doing, you can see who might need coaching to break bad habits and develop better ones. It is important to get insight into the driver's point of view and understand what they are encountering on the road rather than using coaching as a form of reprimand. Use incentives to reward good drivers as well as those who show improvement. Most importantly, by pairing video from the dashboard camera with GPS data you can determine which locations and behaviors are creating risks for your fleet in particular—and why.
Even better than determining who was at fault in a collision: preventing collisions in the first place. If a risky event takes place, you can see not only what the driver was doing but understand why. Sometimes what might look like a risky behavior, without full context, is actually a skillful maneuver to avoid a collision. For example, if a driver slams on his or her brakes to avoid colliding with a child crossing the street. In other cases, you can establish a pattern of behavior that indicates a driver is more likely to have problems in the future.
2. Protect your best drivers
Video evidence and GPS data can help exonerate your driver and reduce fraudulent claims. This is a huge bottom line benefit as legal battles can be very costly, but it also helps you save a good driver's job when an incident wasn't their fault. An all-in-one system that includes GPS with dash cam video can provide crucial evidence to establish what really happened. Additional video telematics data from other sensors can substantiate what the driver was doing—and where—during an incident.
3. Identify hazardous locations
In some cases, location might be a factor for risky driving. Sometimes the reasons are surprising and not obvious. Some areas actually correlate with increases of specific behaviors. For example, a 2018 analysis of over one million instances of cell phone use by drivers using Lytx® solutions, revealed that Memphis and Los Angeles contain the roads with the highest incidence of cell phone use while driving.
4. Optimize productivity
It should go without saying that safer drivers are more efficient drivers, but video telematics can help you optimize productivity in other ways as well. With GPS, fleet managers can see where all their vehicles are, which makes it possible to respond to service calls on short notice by rerouting the closest truck. By tapping into video, a fleet manager can see more about what is going on with a specific vehicle and help the driver solve problems on-the-go—or understand why a driver has gone off their normal route. Geofencing uses GPS to track when drivers are in a specified area such as a highway or company premise, helping fleets understand how much time they spend in traffic on the highway, or how much time they spend at a job site. These insights can be used to improve operational efficiency.
5. Enhance customer service
Fleets can use GPS with dash cam footage to ensure things like proof of delivery, making sure vehicles and drivers are where they need to be when they are servicing a customer. Video can be used to see what was happening in and around the vehicle during an interaction with a customer. Some businesses use video with GPS to help leadership identify ways to improve their customer experience.
Dash cams with a lot more than GPS
The Lytx Fleet Tracking Service takes GPS fleet tracking a step further by adding video from the Lytx DriveCam® event recorder and combining it all into one video telematics system.
Video telematics—combining information from vehicle sensors and GPS with dash cam footage—provides data that can be analyzed by machine vision (MV) and artificial intelligence (AI). Large data sets from billions of miles of real-world drivers is used to train systems to recognize driver behaviors and determine which behaviors correlate with risk. This technology provides deeper insights than a simple dash-mounted camera with GPS can provide.
Lytx DriveCam event recorders use MV+AI to detect risky behaviors such as cell phone use.. When an event is detected, the system can provide immediate feedback to the driver and capture a video clip for your review. This lets you identify which drivers need tailored coaching and which drivers demonstrate exemplary driving skills. Video telematics with MV+AI is not just about pairing video with location data. It is smart enough to know what's going on in context and alert a fleet manager if help is needed.
Get a free demo to see how Lytx can help your business identify and reduce risk while improving customer service and operational efficiency.