AI Dash Cams: Why They May Be a Good Fit for Your Fleet
You’ve heard of artificial intelligence (AI)—the technology that enables some robots to respond to the world around them with meaningful actions and output, lets Siri or Alexa fulfill your commands, and helps self-driving cars steer around unexpected obstacles.
You’ve also heard of dash cams. Perhaps you’re even using them in your fleet. Dual-facing models enable you to record footage of your drivers’ behavior as well as the road conditions around them. Dash cams can do much to help you defend your company in the event of a lawsuit, and they also provide valuable information for coaching and rewarding your drivers.
So, what’s an AI dash cam?
AI dash cams don’t just record footage of road conditions and driver behavior—they analyze it. They then provide you with real-time insights that help you keep your drivers and vehicles safe. With AI dash cams, you don’t have to spend hours and hours sifting through video footage to find examples of good or bad driver behavior, or to locate the exact moment a hazard appeared in your driver’s lane before a safety incident occurred. Your highly intelligent camera will highlight all the data you should be looking for, eliminating the need to watch endless footage of “normal” driving.
When you think about it, using AI dash cams makes perfect sense. Your fleet safety program isn’t focused on the routine—it’s focused on rewarding the good and improving the bad. Let’s explore how this technology can help you achieve your fleet safety goals.
How AI Dash Cams Can Help You Keep Drivers Safe
It was probably inevitable that dash cam makers would start including AI in their products. AI seems to be showing up everywhere nowadays. It’s an extremely helpful technology that doesn’t replace human intelligence, but rather frees up time for managers to focus on what’s important. By making many of our routine decisions for us, AI enables us to focus on the ones that truly require human judgment.
That’s why AI dash cams are a giant leap forward for fleet managers. When presented with a series of video clips that were identified by AI as containing good or bad driver behavior, managers can use their knowledge of each driver, the vehicle, and the situation to determine whether a driver deserves a reward or requires coaching.
Take drowsy driving, for example. No fleet manager wants to fast forward through two hours of footage of a driver’s late-night drive to determine whether they were adequately awake to make the drive. But AI can detect telltale signs such as these:
- The driver missed an exit at 8:31 PM.
- The driver missed another exit at 9:02 PM.
- The driver drifted out of his lane at 8:41, 8:52, and 9:08 PM.
- The driver began yawning every minute or so beginning at 9:17 PM.
- The driver began blinking more slowly at 9:22 PM.
- The driver’s head began nodding forward every couple of minutes beginning at 9:25 PM.
And then there’s cell phone usage—a huge risk factor for today’s fleets. An AI dash cam can keep an eye out for when that phone comes up during driving.
The best AI dash cam will also offer virtual coaching via audio notifications – alerting and advising the drivers – so that managers need not even be involved in the correction process. This capability automates the next step in the process and advises the driver in real time in the cab while driving. Then, the driver can take steps to avoid an accident such as pulling off the road for a rest, putting away their phone, or slowing down.
What Else to Look for in an AI Dash Cam
As with any kind of technology, you can’t assume all AI dash cams will be equally effective in helping you meet your fleet safety goals. Here are some more considerations as you shop for cameras and compare solutions:
- Look for experience with your types of vehicles. Ask any potential vendor if they’ve deployed their cameras in companies with vehicles like yours. Next, ask if you can contact these companies and ask for candid feedback on their experiences so far.
- Ask about track record. Every great technology company was once a startup—but many startups fail, leaving their customers without product support. Don’t get stuck in that position. Look for a partner that’s been in the game for at least a few years and has continued to enhance its technology.
- Demand data—and lots of it. The more data AI analyzes, the “smarter” it gets. Ask any potential vendor how much data their AI algorithms have analyzed, what their technology has “learned” so far, and what results it’s delivering for clients.
- Meet their team. And ask how many headcount your potential vendor has assigned to training their AI algorithms. AI needs human intervention to teach it to make basic decisions. The more people your partner has put on this task, the faster their algorithms will learn and the more value you’ll get out of your investment.
- Ask for examples. Ask your potential partner for metrics on how well-performing their AI dash cams are. Remember: it’s not enough to design algorithms that are effective in theory. They must deliver results out on the road.
Let Gridline Help You Choose
At Gridline, we live and breathe fleet safety and we’re excited about the advent of AI dash cams. But we also understand that evaluating and selecting new technology can be a burden for busy fleet managers. If you’d like our help, schedule a free consultation.