Beyond Fleet Telematics: Video Keeps an Eye on Fleet Driver Safety
For example, usage-based insurance programs, which base plans and pricing on telematics and data on driver behavior, are becoming increasingly popular in fleet sectors. Global Market Insights last year projected that the UBI market would grow about 18% by 2024 to $107 billion.
Reflecting this trend, KeepTruckin has an application integration with insurance giant Progressive that allows Progressive fleet clients to voluntarily send the firm driving performance data. The data arrangement can help them obtain better-priced premiums.
Nokia’s Fuerst added, “You could get a wealth of information out of a truck and its sensors about how that trucker is doing.” The system can detect “if he speeds, or if he’s been nodding off on the road, or if he’s been driving especially safely. These are all things that could go into assigning a risk for that particular driver or for that trucking company.”
Video systems also can help resolve insurance claims. Consider, for example, if a road-facing camera shows that the fleet driver wasn’t at fault for an accident, or the cab-facing camera shows the driver was alert and took immediate action to avoid a collision.
These systems also can help resolve other kinds of insurance claims, Phillippi said, noting “For example, 90% of workers comp claims happen within 10 feet of the fleet vehicle, such as where someone has slipped and fallen.”
The ability to add visual context to on-road and off-road incidents potentially can save fleet companies insurance costs and hassles, and exonerate drivers from blame for crashes and other incidents. Video records of certain behaviors and responses also directly influence the training of drivers on aspects of safe driving and safe operation of vehicle functions and features. Though some drivers may remain nervous about the use of video, especially in cabs, these potential positive effects go a long way toward calming fleet drivers’ concerns about having their every move recorded for posterity.
“There can be some nervousness, but there has been a growing acceptance of video,” Phillippi said. “If there is an incident where a driver is exonerated from blame, that driver may then become an advocate for video within their own company.”
The Road Ahead
The ELD mandate affected roughly 3 million fleet vehicles in the U.S., but these vehicles, mostly from large truck fleets, represent a small percentage of the 16 to 18 million total fleet vehicles in the nation, Sears said. The others include everything from school buses and public transit buses to public safety vehicles and construction vehicles like dump trucks. While there aren’t federal mandates forcing such vehicles to make room for ELDs or similar devices, companies like Lytx and KeepTruckin hope to convince them that video technology helps support a clearer path to safety.
“That’s what I think is coming next, the under-side of the iceberg,” Sears said. “What we hope to show is that the government shouldn’t have to require something like an ELD for those vehicles and that we can demonstrate the value of having these devices or safety and efficiency. Over time, we’ll start to see other types of fleets realize the benefits.”