What is Video Telematics? Here’s the Only Guide You Need
Video telematics is the use of telematics data in combination with HD video footage to understand driver behaviour and various other aspects of vehicle operations on the road.
Modern vehicles are already integrated with telematics systems that collect information such as location, speed, engine parameters, etc. But the addition of a camera system to record videos provides a clearer picture of the journey.
Imagine a scenario where an accident has happened. There could have been multiple causes for the accident, i.e., driver distraction, speeding, negligence, unfavourable road conditions, etc.
At the time of an insurance claim, it is important to determine the cause of the accident. And this is usually based on how the people involved in the accident recollect the incident. Hence, it is highly likely that the narrative can be inaccurate.
Video telematics can solve this problem and help insurers get a clearer understanding of the incidents preceding the mishap.
This is just one scenario where video telematics is beneficial. In this article, we will deep dive into this technology and understand how it is being adopted around the world.
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Video Telematics Market Size
According to a recent video telematics research report from Research and Markets, the active installations of video telematics systems in North America and Europe was 5 million units at the end of 2022. This is expected to grow to 11.3 million units by 2027, at a CAGR of 17.7%.
Currently, the North American video telematics market is much larger than the European market, where the technology is predominantly adopted in the UK.
The report also states that the use of camera systems in commercial vehicles is currently a massive trend in the fleet telematics domain.
History of Video Telematics
Today, vehicle telematics is prevalent in various domains for managing the movement of automobiles and monitoring drivers. But video telematics is only gaining ground globally.
It is interesting to note that the initial phases of video telematics were quite humble. In those days, a passive video recording system was used for capturing incidents associated with the vehicle. A fleet manager would request for the videos on a need-by-need basis. Most of the time, these requests were made to accelerate the insurance claim process after accidents.
The video files were also quite heavy, and it would take hours before you find the clip that is of interest to you.
As the technology progressed, the components of the video telematics system became easier to handle. It became possible to record video clips at the time of an incident, based on pre-configured triggers.
For instance, if the driver brakes hard (above a pre-configured state), then a video recording is made in real-time. These clips are easier to handle and give a more accurate view of the incident.
Today’s video telematics systems are powered by machine learning algorithms. Powerful camera sensors embedded on the vehicle body capture various video clips of the surroundings. Through the technology of sensor fusion, these visuals can be stitched together to get a precise view of what happens around the vehicle. These systems also monitor the driver’s behaviour to assess whether he/she is distracted and send timely alerts to avert accidents.
In the event of a preconfigured trigger (such as hard braking due to an accident), the video recording starts. These visuals are also transmitted to the cloud in real-time. The videos can be examined later to analyse the vehicle’s movement, driver’s behaviour and traffic situation before and after the event.
How Does a Video Telematics Solution Work?
- The basic form of video telematics today involves the use of smart dashboard cameras embedded with Artificial Intelligence (AI) This transforms the camera into a powerful sensor that captures crucial data and stores it locally on an onboard storage device or transmits it to a cloud server.
- The AI algorithm in the camera system monitors the driver continuously. It can identify distraction and undesirable behaviours such as road rage, use of mobile phone when driving, drowsiness, looking away from the road, etc. The driver monitoring system can provide audio alerts to notify the driver and encourage them to pay attention to the road.
- Some video telematics applications can provide a driving score at the end of the journey. This coaches the driver to stay safe on the roads.
- Along with the recorded video, the system collects various forms of telematics data from the vehicle’s onboard diagnostics (OBD) port or other connected sensors. This data could include vehicle location, speed, braking, acceleration, engine diagnostics, fuel consumption, and more.
- The visuals and telematics data captured by the system are then integrated and analysed together. It is uploaded to the IoT cloud server from where it can be accessed by an administrator through an end-user application. On the basis of this data, the admin/fleet manager can establish communication with the driver and guide them.
Components of a Video Telematics System
In a video telematics system, the following types of cameras are usually seen:
- The forward-facing camera captures the visuals of the road in front of the vehicle.
- A rear-facing camera is added to the system to record the incidents at the rear side of the vehicle.
- There is another camera inside the vehicle that faces the driver. This camera system is being increasingly fortified with AI technology, as discussed above.
- Some video telematics systems have side cameras as well. Such camera systems provide a 360-degree view around the vehicle.
If the camera systems are advanced, the storage and access to the recordings are seamless. Otherwise, limited views of the front and rear sides may be available, and the controls might be completely manual.
In addition to the cameras, a telematics device with a wireless module is present in the system. This device transmits video footage and data to the cloud. The data analysis and processing can be done by a software platform on the cloud. An administrator operates an end-user application that accesses the cloud data and takes suitable actions.
Video Telematics Solutions – Impact on the Inside and Outside of a Vehicle
- Driver Monitoring System
A dashboard camera captures the movements of the driver and matches them with an event. Alerts are generated in case the driver is engaged in activities like:
- Blocking the camera
- Absent from the driver’s seat
- Yawning and drowsiness
- Using mobile phone
Another important aspect to consider is road hypnosis, which is commonly seen in truck drivers. In such a state, the mind of the driver becomes inactive, while his eyes are still on the road! It usually starts after 2-3 hours of continuous driving and can be a very dangerous state.
It is advisable to stop driving every 2 hours to avoid the state of road hypnosis. Video telematics systems can be configured to send alarms at regular intervals to avoid such issues.
The video telematics system captures movements on the outside of the vehicle and triggers a notification when it identifies an event. Here are some examples of such an event:
- Chances of a forward collision
- Violation of a traffic signal
- Reckless lane switching
Applications of Video Telematics
- Fleet Management
Fleet management is a domain that has seen positive disruptions through telematics and GPS. Fleet managers can track a vehicle’s location in real-time, optimise routes, monitor driver behaviour, analyse engine parameters, and more.
After telematics systems have been enhanced with video recording components, fleet managers are empowered to monitor the objects/people outside and inside the vehicle. The video footage collected by the system can be assessed by fleet managers and steps can be taken to coach the drivers and prevent accidents.
There is a wide range of benefits for the people behind the wheel as well – the main one being the alerts from the system that prevent drowsiness and distraction.
Nowadays, 360-degree video telematics camera systems are capable of mitigating the risks associated with blind spots – especially for large trucks and trailers. These advanced systems also have proximity sensors that detect pedestrians and notify the driver.
Here is a snapshot of the benefits offered by video telematics to fleet management companies:
- Enhancing driver safety and behavior monitoring
- Improving fuel efficiency and reducing maintenance costs
- Optimizing route planning and dispatching
- Mitigating theft/damage to the vehicle
Vehicle telematics is beneficial for auto insurance, as it helps drivers improve their driving. When vehicles maintain a history of minimal insurance claims, owners are in a position to negotiate for better premiums.
In case there is an accident, some types of video telematics systems can create short clips that serve as the first notice of loss to the insurer. Understandably, this data is crucial at the time of an accident.
The camera systems can also upload the complete video footage to the cloud, from where it can be accessed by a user. The driver does not have to go through the process of extracting the files and manually uploading them. Moreover, the insurer gets a clear picture of the events leading up to the accident and after.
This helps the insurer in expediting the claim settlement process.
Here are the stand-out advantages offered by video telematics for insurance and risk management:
- Accident reconstruction and liability assessment
- Fraud prevention and claims management
- Driver coaching and training programs
A video telematics system helps transport business owners to operate the fleet with complete transparency. Connected video solutions powered by AI help in collecting, analysing and acting upon real-time data.
An advanced video management system allows managers to capture and store footage of cargo loading and unloading. This helps in improving dock efficiency and reducing detention time.
The system can also assist in detecting and planning the most optimum route. When a cargo mover has finished one task, the system identifies the most optimal route and the next task item on the list that will improve the efficiency of operations.
While the cargo mover is on the road, the system monitors the driver’s behaviour. This not only helps in identifying improper driving, but also assists in coaching the drivers.
For example, if the system detects dangerous driving behaviour, it sends an alert to warn the driver. In spite of this, if the driver continues the inappropriate behaviour, this data is sent to the backend control room. The administrator at the control room can then get in touch with the driver to rectify the situation.
Overall, the advantages offered by video telematics in the transportation and logistics sector include the following:
- Cargo monitoring and security
- Compliance with regulations and industry standards
- Improving supply chain visibility and efficiency
How to Choose the Right Solution
Since there are ample video telematics solutions in the market that cater to various use cases and budgets, it is crucial that you analyse your requirements carefully.
- Define use cases – Be clear on your specific use cases and do some research on the reliable technology solution providers in the market specializing in that domain.
- Understand future goals – If you are looking for a flexible and scalable solution, it is best to go for a custom-designed video telematics system.
- Talk to solution providers – Set up sessions with the shortlisted technology service providers. They will be able to refine your requirements and advise on best practices.
Video Telematics Trends
One of the video telematics trends today is chipsets that can run machine learning algorithms in real-time. These chipsets enable Edge AI – a prime differentiator that sets apart the new-gen video telematics systems from the older versions.
This is particularly useful in fleet management, as the system can identify dangerous driving behavior instantly.
Earlier fleet managers could rely only on events such as hard braking or acceleration to understand driver behaviour. Now, it is possible to monitor various other events such as stop sign violations, tailgating, mobile phone usage, driver distraction, drowsiness, etc. and coach the drivers with actionable insights.
Smart dash camera systems with hardware of varying degrees of complexity and price points are powering modern video telematics systems. Ease of use and intuitive UIs are as important as capabilities or features.
There is also increased focus on the timely upgrade and maintenance of camera system software. Adopters are using various tools to understand the health of the cameras and data consumption. Firmware over the air (FOTA) updates are crucial in this scenario, as they keep the system up-to-date and enhance the possibilities for scaling.
How Telematics Service Providers Are Keeping Up with These Trends
As video telematics technology evolves and gains wider adoption, telematics service providers are innovating as well. They are offering integrated video telematics solutions that are capable of end-to-end operations – location tracking, compliance management, analytics, and more.
One of the deterrents in the adoption of telematics is the high cost of installation and maintenance. Hence, video telematics companies are also focusing on launching cost-effective solutions that add unbeatable value.
Embitel offers custom design and development services for video telematics. If you are seeking a reliable technology partner for your telematics project, let’s talk.