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Video telematics doesn’t just improve safety – it helps to reduce costs.

Reducing costs can be challenging in any business. One area of importance for transport businesses to consider is helping drivers operate vehicles responsibly and efficiently.

In fact, operating efficiently has never been more important and up to 33 per cent of a vehicle’s fuel consumption comes down to how the driver operates it.

When considering maintenance, vehicles with misaligned wheels or improperly inflated tyres can impact fuel efficiency by up to 10 per cent.

In all professions, there are tools needed for the job, and video telematics has a significant role to play in a fleet manager’s arsenal.

With the latest AI-enabled cameras, such as Teletrac Navman’s AI-enabled and TCA type-approved IQ Camera, businesses can get real-time insights into how a vehicle is being driven and coach drivers to reduce poor habits across the board, reducing fuel costs and wear and tear on the truck.

There is an opportunity for real savings to be made. That said, there are two types of devices – smart video telematics and conventional dashcams. A conventional camera records footage to subsequently be viewed by fleet managers after the fact, while smart cameras use AI to provide richer data, real-time feedback to the driver and more.

For most in the industry, the new generation of AI cameras has quickly become the logical choice for their technology requirements, as they offer an innovative leap over conventional cameras and telematics.

An AI camera comes into its own by providing context to on-road events according to Shannon Kyle, Solution Specialist Manager, Teletrac Navman.

“A conventional camera might register basic harsh manoeuvring, but it won’t tell the fleet manager why those incidents occurred,” he says. “Through the use of AI and the power of telematics data, smart cameras provide insight.”

The reason for why a driver suddenly brakes harshly, for example, might be caused by a road-user cutting in front of the driver, necessitating emergency braking — the data and the footage now on hand confirms it.

By providing context and correct visuals, the driver is empowered, knowing they did the right thing and not being penalised for something that was outside their control.

“For fleet managers, this data becomes the lifeblood of the operation,” says Shannon.

“You gain intimate insights into what’s happening with their fleet when it happens with footage to back everything up. Managing maintenance and implementing strategies designed to improve proactive schedules helps avoid unplanned downtime where the truck is off the road and not making money.”

Most importantly, AI cameras can significantly boost safety outcomes.

By capturing distractions, drowsiness, and mobile phone use, drivers’ attention can be safely focused back on the road ahead with alerts. Safety and efficiency are not mutually exclusive, according to Shannon.

“The reality is that a safe driver will also be a more efficient driver, leading to fuel and maintenance cost savings for the business,” he notes.

“A safe driver will always drive their vehicle smoothly, won’t typically accelerate or brake harshly, and will look to minimise the amount of time spent idling once it reaches its destination.”

With smart technology like this, fleet and safety managers can coach drivers, either individually or on a fleet-wise basis. Video footage and telematics data can be used as examples, allowing your team to create safety programs and incentives for good behaviour and performance improvements.

“Equally important, with an AI-enabled camera, you can monitor positive driver behaviours and actions, allowing the business to reward and recognise high performance and their contribution to the company, its safety culture, and the well-being of other road-users,” says Shannon.

“By promoting healthy competition between your drivers for best performance, the scoreboard system becomes your best friend.”

Video telematics is an integral part of a wider suite of measures, including Teletrac Navman’s TN360 fleet management software, which is designed to help operators improve safety and boost efficiency.

Using regulatory programs like Smart OBM and complying with the TMA schemes means business owners can further maximise their loads and optimise routing, reducing the time the truck is on the road, saving fuel and minimising wear and tear while also helping drivers manage their fatigue and rest schedules.

“Ultimately, having a safe fleet and safe drivers will improve the operator’s bottom line, increasing profitability in these uncertain times and ensuring that Australia keeps moving,” Shannon concludes.

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