Vehicle Cameras for Fleet Management

Vehicle cameras are becoming more popular as a fleet management tool.

Vehicle cameras are becoming more popular as a fleet management tool.

As with any new tool, it takes time to understand the best ways to leverage camera use on your fleet vehicles. When selecting and setting up your vehicle camera system, managing consumption to avoid data overage needs to be considered. Ask yourself some questions when you begin.

What information will be most beneficial to you in video format?

How do you plan to use it?

Who will be responsible for reviewing it?

There are several different types of camera systems, designed for different purposes, and it is important to select the system that will record and deliver the specific type of video record you need. No longer are dashcams just a risk management measure to have a record in case of an accident. Forward-facing dashcams monitor the road and potential hazards in front of the vehicle. They can stand alone or be used with peripheral cameras.

Vehicle Cameras - CrewChief T2 Dashcam For Fleets

Some systems also have an interior view of the cab to record what the driver is doing. Adding side, rear, and cargo area cameras can provide valuable information as well as security. Full-featured camera systems integrate with the Geotab tracking platform for even more functionality.


Automatic Event Recording

Vehicle cameras designed to record events are primarily used to document the conditions an event occurs. Events may be predefined by the camera system or you can define them yourself when integrated with your vehicle tracking system. Being selective about how many of your rules generate email notifications helps to limit unnecessary email overload. In the same way, be selective about the rules you choose to trigger video downloads to avoid data overage.

Speeding is a common rule that you may want to trigger a video download, but if you have several speed rules, choose carefully the one that triggers the video. A rule like 5 mph over the posted speed limit can trigger often and use up your data plan in a hurry.

Cameras with AI

Some vehicle camera systems use artificial intelligence to identify events. They can identify speeding, lane drift, following too closely, even road obstructions. Combined with a smartphone app, these systems give feedback to the driver to avoid potential hazards. With an in-cab view, cameras with AI can also identify and record cell phone use and smoking events.

Dv6 Dashcam from Rosco - Advanced Dashcam Technology

You can see examples of video from a variety of cameras as well as installation tips on our YouTube channel.

Live Feed

Certain business models such as the Security Industry may benefit from live feed capability from vehicle cameras. Supervisors can view live video to consult with and advise the field employee. Managers can view job site progress and several jobs without leaving the office. Live feeds need to be used responsibly. If you forget to turn off the feed and leave for lunch, extreme data overage is the likely result.

Monitor your Data Consumption

If your system offers a feature to monitor how much data you have used, check weekly to see that you are within your data plan limits. Becoming familiar with how much data you are using will allow you to get the most out of your vehicle camera system without incurring costly overages.


data consumption


Driver Facing Video Data Management

Controlling Costs With Driver Facing Video

When using driver facing video, understanding how camera settings impact your video quality and monthly cost will ensure you find a balance between the two. In general, the default settings have been found to be the best for the average customer. Changing these can increase your cost exponentially so be careful.

Full featured camera systems may also include AI (artificial intelligence) features focused on driver behaviors. They can identify and send alerts or auto download video clips for behaviors like talking on a cell phone, looking away from the road, yawning, or eyes closing.

These AI features may be a huge source of ROI. Early detection gives you the opportunity to coach drivers to lower risk. They may also vindicate a driver who has been falsely accused.

In-cab video (ICV) is all about data transfer cost. The smaller the video files and the fewer you transmit, the less chance there is for expensive overage fees. These variables also determine how much data can be stored on the SD card in a looping memory. If you normally get 300 hours of recordings, you would only get 150 if you double the size of the data files. Learn more

Data File Size

driver facing video
Be careful what you change to avoid expensive data overage fees

File Sizes

There are 3 primary variables that impact the data volume used from the monthly data plan. Testing should be done on 1 camera before making changes to all to avoid expensive overage fees.


  1. Frame-rate-per second (fps) – The number of images that are captured per second. 7 fps is about what the eye can see. Moving this to 14 fps will double the data being transmitted and consume more of your data plan.
  2. Resolution – The quality of the images captured can make a big difference in the file size. This impacts the data transmitted as well. A standard resolution image is often good enough and produces a file of 2 megs. Going to HD might make the same file 8 megs or 400% more data.
  3. Exception settings – Video exceptions should be for the most important exceptions only. Exceptions such as accident detection or movement after-hours should produce video clips. Creating video exceptions for speeding events could create an excessive amount of exception videos that have no real value. Each driver facing video deducts from your data bucket so choose wisely. If you opted for the live streaming service, leave some data available to stream a few times per month without going over your data plan.

Live Video

Live video is an option for some driver facing video systems. This enables a user online to “see” through the camera and view in the cab or outside the vehicle. This can be handy in specific applications but it consumes a lot of data. Live streaming should be limited to special situations or spot checking. Live streaming cannot be run continuously due to the cost so most cameras timeout after 60 seconds. You can then enable it over and over if needed.

SD Cards

The driver facing video cameras contain an SD card to store video continuously. The number of hours that can be recorded depends on the above variables as well as the size of the SD card itself. 64 gig cards hold a lot of data. If you use a slow or smaller SD card you can run into issues. If an event is not captured as an exception video clip, the SD card can be inserted into a computer and the looping video reviewed to find a particular date and time.

Learn More

Dashcam Catches Flying Car

Upper Deck Parking

Car jumps median, caught on dashcam
“Recreational marijuana slows response time and will lead to increased accidents.”

Dashcam Catches A Car Crash Into the Second Story of a California Building


A dashcam caught a car traveling at a high rate of speed crashing into the second story of a dental office. The car hit the median at a which acted as a ramp, launching the car into the second story office. The passengers were relatively unharmed and one person was able to escape from the vehicle before fire rescue arrived.

The passengers admitted to being literally high on narcotics. Cameras are about the only defense a fleet operator has to combat a wild story such as this. The Fleetistics GPS tracking system, includes telematics and HOS but can also be integrated with in vehicle camera systems to capture exact information during an accident.

GPS tracking is great but there are behaviors and situations that a dashcam can prove invaluable. When it comes to proving your innocence, there is nothing like having video. The flip side is, video can be subpoenaed and quickly be used against you. If your company is focused on fleet safety, a dash camera system is a good investment.

Recognizing Driver Fatigue – #1 Safety Stumbling Block

Recognizing Driver Fatigue

Acknowledging and preventing, ultimately recognizing driver fatigue is one sure way to prevent avoidable collisions and injuries. A shocking new study by AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety shows most drowsy drivers don’t even realize they are drowsy to the point of impairment.

The study used a driving simulation designed to induce drowsiness and observed what factors influence a drowsy drivers’ decisions regarding whether to take breaks during long drives. They found that a driver’s self-assessment of their level of drowsiness was often not in alignment with more objective measurements of eyelid closures. You can read the full report on the foundation website.

To simplify the findings, drivers often are either unaware of how drowsy they are or unwilling to admit it and pull over. So how can fleet managers proactively address recognizing driver fatigue and the potential liability? We see the solution as a combination of technology and humanity.


On the human side, make sure scheduling expectations are reasonable. Take an interest in the drivers you manage. If you know a driver is going through a rough life event, keep an eye out for signs that driver may not be getting the rest they need. Offer time off, lighter duty schedule, or temporary change in position while they work through it.

Another issue that can manifest as driver fatigue may be sleep disorders that the driver is unaware of such as sleep drunkenness or sleep apnea. If you suspect an underlying issue, encourage the employee to see a physician and seek treatment. It’s up to fleet management to pay attention to whether or not drivers are paying attention to ensure that every driver comes back safe every day.

Recognizing Driver Fatigue
Taking pills to stay awake
Asleep at the wheel

Your Driver Fatigue Action Plan

If you discover a driver is fatigued, what do you do? Do you have the authority to cancel a delivery, reschedule a route, or pay overtime to those covering the route? These are serious questions which need to be answered before the pressure of daily operations takes over. You will need members from various teams to participate in the process including management, sales, legal, operations, and HR.

In larger organizations you may need to include warehouse, sales and other departments which might be impacted by route changes. Managers need to be recognizing driver fatigue and know what they can and should do to control the risk. Drivers should know and understand the consequences of driving impaired by drugs or fatigue.

Technology Aids

In cab facing AI cameras are designed to capture and report facial movements that would indicate drowsiness as well as cell phone usage and aggressive actions. Forward facing AI cameras will spot lane drift, another sign of drowsiness. Some will even give the driver an audible alert. Preventing an accident is the name of the game. When a dashcam reports multiple fatigue events, a dispatcher can screen the driver and alert management if there is a concern.

Fatigue events picked up by AI

Alternately, more affordable camera systems without AI, can be useful to spot check for driver alertness and video can be invaluable in the event of a collision that is not the fault of the driver.

Driver safety scorecards are another good tool, but these are predictors based on past performance. A scorecard will not tell you how a person feels today, just that they are inclined to be a higher risk. Harsh braking and hard turns can be signs of inattention.

All in all, monitoring driver safety and keeping an active safety conversation going will help management identify at risk drivers and take appropriate steps to educate and improve or take them out of your company vehicles. Weekly safety meetings are a way to maintain awareness but can also be a time to see who is falling asleep or appears sleepy.

Dash Cam event captured with AI
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Protecting Your Privacy When Surveillance Cameras Are a Fact of Life

Protecting Your Privacy – Dash Cams

The subject of protecting you privacy came up recently when we were advised of some inconsistency in how insurance companies feel about in-cab facing vehicle camera data. In the past it was encouraged to have in cab facing cameras to document driver behavior. For instance, if a driver was accused of using their cell phone, the camera data would confirm or disprove that, avoiding lengthy and costly litigation.

Contact Fleetistics for Dash Cams  855.300.0527 

Fleet Dashcam - Protecting Your Privacy

Some insurance companies are now saying that as a matter of protecting your privacy and the privacy of your drivers, they want clients to have only forward facing cameras. They say simply disabling the interior facing camera on a dual camera system can be construed as having something to hide, so they are asking clients to replace dashcams capable of an interior view.

Government and Industry Perspectives

As early as 2014, an article on Truckers Report was posted saying, “The California Attorney General has stated that the use of driver-facing in cab cameras does not violate any state codes, and may be used to take disciplinary action against drivers. There are a few factors stipulating when and how the video may be used, but the decision makes it clear that – in California at least – a driver-facing camera is not considered an invasion of privacy.”

Trucking Truth, another respected industry website has a great post that lists Trucking companies that do and don’t use driver facing cameras. Their post is designed to help drivers understand why these companies have in cab facing cameras, and have a list they can reference when seeking work, so they know what to expect.

Dashcam Distraction - Look Away

We have long held that a company policy needs to be in place to disclose that cameras are in place and how the video data will be used. A quick Google search brought up a couple of well-crafted video policy documents you may want to mirror to create your own policy document for employees to sign off on.

Dash Camera Policy & Procedures : Riverside Contracting, Inc.

442.17 In-Car Camera Policy | Saint Paul Minnesota (

Protecting Your Privacy – Surveillance Cameras

While arguments both for and against in cab video can be easily made, it got us thinking about privacy in general and all the cameras out there recording our lives. Cameras at intersections are recording us as we drive. Cameras on people’s homes are recording us as we walk our dogs. Cameras in retail stores are recording our shopping habits, and the list goes on.

Protecting your privacy considering all the other cameras out there may not be as easy.  Consider Google Street View. For years, Google has been capturing images street by street business by business to enhance street view. In some locations you can navigate the images and virtually enter the place of business and look around.

If your car is parked in your driveway when Google captures the image, your license plate number may be in plain view. If your children are playing in the yard, their faces are now public information. And if burglars have targeted your property, they can look in street view for the location of security cameras on your home and plan their safest point of entry.

Thankfully, Google provides a way for you to request that information be blurred in their images. Here is a quick how-to video to get you started protecting your privacy in Google Street View.

Summing it Up

Protecting your privacy is an ever-evolving process. We all need to be mindful that we are almost always being observed when we are out and about, and take the steps that we can to mitigate any negative impact.

Vehicle & Asset Telematics

Electronic Forms

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Vehicle & Asset Telematics

Electronic Forms

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