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Author: Justin Schmid

Content Marketing Specialist

Should I Get a Dash Cam from Amazon?

Right now, many people are asking if they should get a dash cam online. Our answer? It depends.

If this is for your personal vehicle, ordering one from Amazon or your favorite online store might be perfect. But if you want real insights for a business with a fleet of vehicles, you’re not likely to get the results you want.

Dash Cam Versus Fleet Camera

A basic camera mounted on the dashboard is great for reactive situations: Your driver gets in an accident. You want evidence to find out what happened. That’s a perfect use case.

Some can also show hard stops, hard accelerations and other high-G events.

If your organization would rather prevent accidents and coach its drivers, you need an option beyond the basic dash cam. That’s where fleet cameras come in. The features that separate these from dash cams are multiple cameras, driver scoring, and artificial intelligence.

More important than the features, though, are how you can use an in-cab fleet camera. They’re really for preventing accidents from happening in the first place. They give drivers and managers more actionable information about driving habits — some cameras can even detect signs of distracted driving. This enhanced awareness can help them make decisions that avoid dangerous situations.

And they also help fleet managers put everything that happens in the cab into context.

dash cam

What Do You Mean “In Context?”

Let’s say your telematics devices detects a hard acceleration, a sudden stop or even a high G-force event like a hard turn?

Without any information, that can make your driver look bad. But what if that data is the result of actions your driver took to avoid a collision? An AI-equipped in-cab camera will see that as a positive event and give you the data to stand by your drivers for their quick thinking and their skills.

This can help your organization identify and build on good drivers. They can model best practices fleetwide. That’s good for your organization, your drivers, and your customers.

No Pouring Over Footage

With most in-vehicle cameras, you’ll have to comb through hours of footage to find relevant events. An AI-equipped camera saves you from that time-wasting exercise: It automatically saves a segment whenever there’s a “triggering event” like hard braking or running a red light.

The AI processor analyzes what’s happening, and it knows when to save a segment. You can also use a mobile app to access videos on the go, in real time. The camera itself stores 100 hours of data locally.

dash cam

Views and Information to Suit Your Needs

You can select a number of views from in-cab cameras. The best models can give you a full 360° view, a straight-ahead view, side views, driver-facing views, or any combination necessary. They offer a far higher level of technology.

This flexibility gives you the information you need to make your fleet safer. You can tell if your drivers are focused on the road, whether another driver’s actions prompted them, and even how carefully they’re following speed limits and road conditions.

Basic vehicle cameras won’t be able to match the proactive approach of an in-cab fleet camera – from U-turn detection to speeding violations to following distance.

Wrapping Up the Dash Cam Question

Yes, you can buy an in-vehicle camera from any online retailer. But here’s the real question: What’s your goal, a fleet that looks like it’s trying to be safer or a fleet that really is committed to safety? If you’re in it for real improvement, you need more than a dash cam.

Want to know more about fleet cameras? Be sure to visit the first post in our Guide to In-Cab Cameras!

 

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