Trucking companies the world over are realising the benefits of data analytics in connection with video. The educational value really has no limits on a safety and training level, especially when you consider how much of that training is often self-coaching.
Most cutting-edge video systems react to a reportable event by flagging that section of the recorded video and e-mailing it to the driver, along with potential comments or points about what triggered the system, allowing for review at a convenient time. The driver can then respond to what might have caused the event or even remark on what they can do to assure a better outcome if a similar occurrence were to happen again.
While in-cab video technology hasn’t exactly received glowing reviews over the years, that’s starting to change with next-generation drivers, many of whom have grown up with tech and understand its uses and benefits on a deeper level. In fact, millennials and gen-Z drivers expect it – even rely on it – having spent a majority of their lives interacting with cameras and video-tech in one form or another.
As a result, more companies are taking advantage of this new normal, with some offering performance bonuses connected to video-based education and training. In addition, fleets are finding that highly conscious drivers not only equal fewer accidents, but find themselves in fewer situations where a massive jury verdict could wreak financial havoc and drive up insurance premiums.
Setting their minds to it
The evolution of video tech for the trucking industry not only impacts safety but allows fleet managers to direct expectations and provide feedback on everything from throttling to save fuel to route adjustments (if and-or when needed) to time management. But privacy remains an issue important among drivers, and while outward-facing cameras are widely accepted, inward-facing cameras are still a point of debate with many.
An increasing number, both fleet owners and drivers, are beginning to understand and accept the value of even the inward-facing tech, especially when not having it could spell disaster in court, with a monster verdict against the company and even a civil suit against the driver, depending on the circumstances.
At this point, according to many industry insiders, if drivers aren’t already used to being watched by their phones and other tech gadgets, they can get pretty used to a camera looking at them in the cab if they set their minds to it, especially when they know the camera turns itself off as soon as they hit the emergency brake. As one fleet owner famously said, “The fear is that we’re watching them while they’re sleeping and other downtimes. I will tell them straight up – put a rag over it or put your hat over it when you’re not moving, to get peace of mind. But I have better things to do with my off time than to sit and watch you sleep.”
That said, in-cab video can also be set to record even without the engine running which allows the driver to document incidents that could happen during the above-mentioned sleep, or while he or she is away from the truck. Video-tech can record any dings that may occur from someone else’s mistake or catch someone in the middle of vandalising the truck.
All told, in-cab video-tech has gained a foothold and acceptance among numerous service and freight delivery fleets for its ability to improve safety, lower accident and claim costs and literally protect your fleet. If your company, or your workforce hasn’t made the transition to in-cab video, it’s probably time to start thinking about your future in the modern transportation era.