One of the least common additions to telematics systems, is a camera, but it can have a dramatic effect on driving practices and insurance claims, according to Intelligent Telematics. While the company might be inclined to be a little biased, since it sells a 3G equipped telematic camera system, it claims that as many as 45 per cent of accidents that were taking place before introducing the technology, can be avoided by doing just that.
Out of the 2,000 vehicles it analysed as part of the study, Intelligent Telematics said that over a six month period, it saw a dramatic decrease in accidents. This is being put down to improvements in driver behaviour since they are aware that they are being monitored and their standard of driving brought into question if they act out. They can also be found at fault more easily if they do cause an accident, or damage to their vehicle, as there is a live video feed,. If they arer found to have potentially caused it due to factors like speed, it can be seen on the camera footage and the other built in sensors.
Another benefit of the camera system is that it’s helping firms avoid insurance fraud. When an accident does occur and the driver of the opposing vehicle claims that it’s the fault of the telematics user, the data from the device, including the camera feed, can be used to exonerate them. Overall, the companies that were surveyed were found to have cut back on insurance payouts by some 27 per cent after the introduction of the camera.
Even when the accident does turn out to be the fault of the telematic equipped driver, the data recovered as part of it and through the camera feed is being used to analyse potential ways that the accident may have been recorded and is being used to improve driving training to give a better chance of preventing such incidents in the future.
“The 3G cameras are not only preventing incidents and discouraging other road users from making fraudulent or inflated claims, but when an accident does happen the footage is available from the scene within seconds so first notification of loss is helping achieve substantial insurance claim cost savings,” says Nick Plowman, chief technical officer for Intelligent Telematics (via Transport Engineer).
He went on to say that what separates Intelligent Telematics’ camera solution from other companies’ offerings, is that it’s 3G connectivity means incidents are stored in the cloud instantly, rather than backed up locally to an SD card. This prevents all sorts of security issues, that might see an unscrupulous driver delete the information from the card, or it could become damaged in an accident.
He also highlighted how it is handy for fleet managers to be able to view live streams of the drivers, or hear about potential problems immediately through incident reporting, so that drivers can receive instant assistance if needed, and another person can be sent to cover their work if damage to the vehicle prevents further transit.