Author: Justin Schmid
Content Marketing Specialist
Fleet dash cams vary in price. See what separates cameras at different price points in this blog post.
- Basic — Lower resolution, mostly forward-facing cameras.
- Second Tier — Slightly higher resolution than basic cameras; some cameras have multiple views
- Multiple Views and Connectivity — True higher-resolution, some connectivity to transmit data
- Advanced AI — Fact-based driver performance info, distracted driving technician, excellent image quality
What does a Fleet Dash Cam Cost?
Keeping It Basic
At the entry level, you’ll find no shortage of forward-facing dash cams. Just put them on the dashboard, plug them in, add a storage card, and you have a dash camera.
If your driver gets in an accident, you’ll have to get a hold of the storage card, find the footage in question, store it somewhere safe, and share it as needed.
That’s as simple as it gets.
With that simplicity comes low prices: You’ll see some cameras as low as $40.
Here’s the question, though: Do you want to trust a major fleet safety initiative to a dash cam that costs $40?
There’s also the question of whether or not it will be able to provide evidence in the event of an incident like a crash. Many of these lower-end cameras advertise a decent 1080P resolution – that number isn’t the end of the story, though: Many budget cameras use internal software to “upscale” images. That means you might get fuzzy images that reveal very little.
You should also consider the amount of time you’ll have to put in to manually reviewing footage. If your fleet operates across a large territory, you may also spend a lot of time just obtaining the media card from the vehicle.
Stepping Up to 4K (Kind of)
The next step up sees an increase in video resolution. The higher the resolution, the more likely you are to get a detailed image that can determine what happened in an incident.
It’s possible to find dash cams promising GPS capabilities and 4k video for as little as $69.99 on Amazon, with some going up to $249.99.
Cameras at the higher price points may even include looping video, which automatically records over previous footage.
Well, there are still compromises. Many of these cameras will still rely on “upscaling” and won’t provide true 4K video. Most will only face forward, though some models may also include a second camera to attach to the back of the vehicle.
Like the even simpler models, these dash cams are best for personal vehicles. They have too many compromises to be part of a fleet safety initiative.
On to Dash Cams with Multiple Views
The next step up is significant for a few reasons:
- This is where you’ll start to see cameras equipped with 4G connectivity and multiple views
- They require a SIM card, which could increase the cost of ownership.
- This is where you’ll see real dash cams intended for fleet use.
You might notice that many of these cameras advertise 1080p resolution, which means they’re actually being honest about the image quality.
At this level, you’ll also see cameras with 360-degree views: forward, to both sides, and toward the driver.
This class of camera ranges in price from about $300-$600. However, some options will have a different pricing structure: Companies that specialize in fleet tracking are more likely to offer a monthly price for both hardware and monitoring services, which may be bundled with GPS tracking hardware.
The Cost of a Fleet Dash Cam with Artificial Intelligence
Now we’re on to the highest level of capability in dash cams. Even within this price category, though, there is some variation in capabilities.
AI cameras can discern different types of driving behavior. Many can recognize unsafe behavior, but how they handle it varies. The most-advanced cameras in the category can send automatic alerts, while less-capable models still require an employee to manually review footage.
AI-equipped Dash cams that automatically handle these tasks offer the most utility to fleets:
- Evaluates footage so your employees don’t have to sift through it to find relevant clips.
- Flags examples of safe driving – for example, slowing down to let another vehicle merge or stopping suddenly to avoid a child who ran into the street.
- Detects distracted driving.
- Scores drivers regularly and providing statistics for fact-based coaching sessions, all without human intervention.
- Provides fleetwide and individual statistics.
These features are critical for fleet managers and owners that want to properly coach drivers. They allow you to build a complete picture that allows you to coach drivers to reduce unsafe behavior, while also rewarding safe driving.
As a whole, AI cameras will also provide crisp images.
With the complete visibility and insights that advanced AI dash cams provide, it’s possible to make significant, lasting changes within days of deploying AI dash cams. The next tier down will not be able to approach these capabilities.
Most fleet dash cam costs are bundled into a fleet software solution price, which includes monthly monitoring fees. The Driveri smart camera from GPS Insight, for example, costs $30 to $60 per month, per vehicle.
Summing up Fleet Dash Cam Cost
It’s possible to spend more per month on a well-equipped fleet dash cam than you might on a lower-end camera.
It won’t take long for you to recognize the difference, though. The basic camera will only provide video if you have an accident, and you might find the image quality lacking. You might not get the evidence you need. And you’ll spend time finding, securing, and analyzing the footage.
On the other hand, AI-equipped fleet dash cams can provide measurable results that can help you negotiate better insurance rates while proactively preventing accidents.
Also, you might be able to arrange a pilot to see what an AI-equipped camera can do for your organization before you commit to fully equipping your fleet.