Lower-quality in-car cameras could cost fleets millions on insurance claims
So says Nick Plowman, CTO of Intelligent Telematics, who reckons that fleet operators are at risk of severe financial losses by adopting inadequate forward-facing camera solutions that are failing to capture correct data of an accident or driving incident.
‘There is massive interest in forward facing camera technology because businesses are recognising the benefits it can deliver in terms of proving what really happened and protecting against avoidable insurance costs,’ said Plowman. ‘Any camera will help to mitigate claims, but as the insurance sector becomes more technically aware it will become critical to ensure that GPS accuracy and G-force measurement provides highly reliable impact speeds and force to prevent any challenges to the validity of data.’
The firm adds that many cameras currently only capture data at one second intervals meaning that these solutions are often only able to provide impact speeds before or after an accident. Consider that a harsh braking vehicle would typically go from 40 miles per hour to standstill in three seconds, there is considerable risk of presenting information that is massively inaccurate. Moving forward, companies need to insist on cameras that capture data at 10 times per second to ensure impact speeds are identified at the exact point when an accident occurs.
Meanwhile, it is essential that a camera is mounted perfectly square on both horizontal and vertical planes to have a zero G-force reading when stationary, something that is impossible to achieve through manual installation.
To make matters worse, fleet operators are often advised to mount cameras angled forward to pick up more of any blind spots, so a vehicle will automatically be registering up to 0.45g at standstill (many telematics provides consider this level of g-force as harsh driving incident). Auto calibration is a necessary requirement of any camera solution that will ensure correct measurement and protect the legitimacy of any data capture.
‘Not all camera solutions are fit for purpose and as levels of adoption increases and the technology becomes embedded in the road transport and fleet sectors, poor quality data faces the risk of being dismissed with operators ultimately having to absorb the added costs. Therefore, it is important that companies carefully consider any camera investment to avoid potentially spiralling insurance,’ concluded Plowman.