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The constant evolution of in-vehicle video technology is rapidly increasing the justification for video technology, especially in certain types of fleets

Early video—initial video solutions provided devices with relatively expensive and limited memory as well as high airtime transfer costs.  These were limiting factors around functionality as well as price.  Technology focused on identifying risky events and saving short clips that showed that behavior.  Value was received in terms of claims settlement (recording of crashes) and exoneration (from the recording of “truth”), and, to a lesser degree, in the identification and improvement of driver behavior and associated advances in operational considerations impacted by improved driving.  Challenges included the time required to review video clips or the added cost of paying someone else to review them for you.  Many insurers funded or co-funded video solutions for their insureds because of the clear claims settlement value.

Over the years, cameras have increased in capabilities and quality of recording and rich data transmission costs have decreased.  Continuous video recording is now more common.  Fleet management companies are aggressively adding video components to their offerings as fleets are demanding improved driver behavior and risk identification.

Modern video–There are two very significant relatively recent enhancements to commercially available video solutions that have altered the value proposition of video.  As well as receiving continued claims settlement value, insurers have increased justification for funding video solutions as these advanced capabilities create the expectation of a more effective loss prevention/driver behavior improvement solution for the fleet.  The two specific advancements referred to are as follows:

  • Instead of relying on human video review to determine the value of content in video recordings, there is an evolving focus on more sophistication applied to the automated interpretation of video.  With Mobileye-like capabilities to recognize objects and interpret them in conjunction with driving behavior, companies like Netradyne and NAuto are early leaders in this exciting field.  With more advanced AI, recognition of pedestrians, bicyclists, other vehicles, driver awareness, following distance, lane markers, stop signs, intersections, intersection lights, etc., video solutions are becoming more capable of automatically identifying the contextual risk of a driving situation, combine that with interpretation of actual driving behavior, and provide more relevant and actionable insight to fleets and drivers.
  • The second advancement in video technology relates to the capability of viewing the internal view of a vehicle at any time to see what is actually happening in the vehicle. This may be overkill for many types of vehicles where there is not a lot of “action” in the vehicle.  However for many application where passengers are being carried, this ability to view real-time video of the inside of the vehicle provides a very valuable view as to what the passenger’s experience is.  This is a critical component of customer attraction and retention. For passenger-carrying providers, the understanding of the customer’s experience is a valued competitive insight.

Summary

With recent advancements in video capabilities, fleets and insurers are demanding and receiving more sophistication in the driving behavior identification and correction component of their safety focus.  In addition, the ability to understand to, and react to, customer perceptions are becoming vital competitive advantages for the passenger-carrying fleet.