by: Karen Bradley
Whether you call it a dash cam, dash camera, or dashboard camera, it is a small onboard camera that records real-time video of the view from a vehicle’s windshield and inside the cabin.
Commercial fleets use dash cams to record video evidence that can protect their drivers and help them investigate incidents on the road. But new camera technologies have changed dash cams from a simple security measure into an innovative, money-saving investment.
Of course, not all dash cameras are equal. Here, we’ll explore which dash cams are best for commercial applications, so you can make a smart investment for your fleet.
Before you hop onto Amazon to order a bunch of dash cams for all your vehicles, there are a few things you need to know. Trustworthy commercial dash cameras and “over the counter” dash cams like those from Amazon are quite different.
All cameras have SD cards, but in the “over-the-counter” versions, the only way to watch recorded videos is by reading that SD card. Data on the SD card is overwritten, so limited data is available. The length of recorded time also depends upon the size of the SD card, so you may have data for only a few hours, up to a few days.
Dash cams from Amazon may be suitable for consumers, but they aren’t suitable for your fleet. So, what’s the best dash cam for your commercial fleet of vehicles? Commercial dash cams like those from EcoTrack Fleet Management combine wireless technology, GPS tracking, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and more to keep your fleet secure, lower insurance premiums, and help you enforce driving standards.
Overall, there are six major differences between over-the-counter dash cams and the AI-based dash cams you can get from EcoTrack.
When you fix an over-the-counter dash cam to a windshield, its wires dangle into the cabin so they can be connected to a power source (like a cigarette lighter). This can cause distractions, especially if the camera is accidentally unplugged. These cameras can also easily be unplugged by drivers.
With commercial dash cams, no wires are dangling in the windshield. The camera is powered by a direct connection to the vehicle’s power source and all wires are hidden. Hardwire installations are also more secure as they can’t be easily tampered with by the driver.
If you combine our dash cams with our GPS tracking hardware and software, you gain complete visibility over your fleet. Both technologies are ideal for accountability, safety, and compliance.
Commercial dash cameras also come with a built-in Wi-Fi connection. This allows you to view the cameras live, transfer data to your servers, and review video from any desired time frame without worrying about your data being overwritten.
Put simply, commercial dash cams from EcoTrack are professional-grade pieces of equipment. They’re made with top-of-the-line materials, not cheap components. Not only are they more durable, but they’re more reliable and will last much longer than cameras from Amazon.
One of the key differences between consumer-grade and professional-grade cameras is their compatibility with advanced technologies. Commercial dash cams can be equipped with AI technology and cloud-based software to perform different functions.
For example, our AI cameras will record and email your driver infractions automatically. AI programs can detect actions such as smoking, texting, cell phone use, seat belt violations, red light and stop sign violations, and following too close, then alert you when they are taking place.
This can save you hours reviewing camera footage and it serves as a great way to coach your drivers and help them improve their behaviors. You can even install cameras that provide drivers with in-cab voice coaching.
Our dash camera, Driveri, provides fleets with invaluable data and helps teams make better informed decisions. Here’s a quick video of all the features that an AI enabled dash camera can do:
5. Video Alerts
If something dangerous is happening on the road, you need to know about it. AI dash cams can also send you video alerts of harsh or dangerous incidents, such as fast braking, cornering, accelerating, and even traffic accidents.
With video evidence in your inbox, you have all the information you need to assess the situation. There’s no need to remove an SD card and scroll through hours of footage.
Finally, you can provide each driver with a digital scorecard that keeps track of their driving performance. This helps you coach your teams more efficiently because you can focus on specific driving habits that require the most attention.
But you don’t always have to focus on the negative with driver scorecards. You can even use them to create rewards and incentive programs. These can help you increase driver engagement and retention, reducing turnover, and hiring costs.
Altogether, these capabilities can provide tangible benefits to your business. Commercial dash cams let you be proactive about driver safety and driver coaching. They can keep your vehicles secure and help you resolve problems on the road swiftly and efficiently.
There are also insurance benefits to dash cams. Dash cams can reduce your insurance rates and even lower your claim rates. You’ll have the capability to send visual proof to insurance companies and law enforcement agencies easily if you need to make a claim. This can exonerate your drivers and reduce false claims.
When you combine AI dash cams with GPS technology, you can get a complete view of your commercial vehicle fleet. You’ll never be in the dark about where your vehicles are and how safely your drivers are operating.
To learn more about our AI dash cams, GPS software, and other solutions, contact EcoTrack Fleet Management today.