Alison Bailey ICanProve.IT
VideoMatics - the future of fleet management?
On Track - May 2019
Video recording on vehicles is not a new concept, and fleet telematics is well established. But, where these two meet there is an exciting new technology. Greater than the sum of its parts, VideoMatics is developing in response to fleet-operators’ needs in an environment of rapid technological development.
The fleet operator is working in an environment of constantly changing legislation and changing risk landscapes, with fraud a daily reality. A good camera solution is a vital component which can protect drivers and the companies they drive for. VideoMatics ties video and vehicle data together, creating the potential for greater savings on overall fleet operating costs than either can alone. The realm of what is possible grows daily. UK-based developers are pushing the boundaries of what can be delivered with fleet managers seeing the benefit of new capabilities.
What is VideoMatics?
VideoMatics combines an automated system for retrieving and storing HD digital video files with telematics; not just tracking vehicle location but also providing data on driver behaviour (for example speed, indicator use, braking), tachograph reporting, maps, etc. And all of this is combined into one reporting platform.
The advantages of grouping all these together are at least two-fold.
The first advantage is simple ease-of-access. By having everything in one place, managers have single-click access to vehicle or driver data, including links to video files, without having to switch between apps or browser windows. The days of having to visit a vehicle in the yard to manually retrieve files are thankfully long-gone.
The second advantage is the game-changer. By having all this information in one interface, suddenly you can see and understand the whole picture of driving events by vehicle and driver. You can identify map-based clusters that might alert you to a danger zone. This can inform targeted training, with the potential to prevent future incidents. You can also compare trends over time or between depots/drivers, giving the forward-thinking fleet manager a chance to recognise and reward good driving behaviour. This will allow Transport & Fleet Managers to target training more effectively and transform compliance.
In our experience having all this information in one place and in an easy-to-use, visually accessible format, gives the fleet manager capabilities they had not previously been able to predict. For example most people expect that having reliable video will be useful in the event of an incident (where previously there may have been a significant delay gaining access to a vehicle to retrieve footage or, worse, gathering statements and sketches). Fleet operators are often surprised that within a few months they are giving restricted access to the VideoMatics platform directly to their insurance provider or broker so that they too have all the information instantly available when needed.
Fleet operators have gone from spending hours or days of their working lives obtaining information relating to insurance claims, to being able to take the managerial overview that their role truly requires.
Let me share an example from a real-world customer experience: “Our client’s vehicle proceeded correctly along an A-road when a third party, driving in the opposite direction, came around a bend, encroaching into our client’s lane. This resulted in a heavy impact.
The other driver suffered serious head injuries and needed to be airlifted to hospital. The video footage clearly exonerated our driver from any liability.” A nasty collision which was unavoidable by our driver. It also serves as a great example for understanding the
financial impact of having video footage and telematics data instantly available in high-impact incidents. Insurers and the companies they protect need to make provision against any unresolved claim and this has a tangible financial impact. “Without the footage, the insurers would most likely have placed a minimum £1m provision against the claim, due to the level of injuries sustained. That would have remained until all parties were satisfied that liability had been determined. The impact of a provision of that size would have factored in premium negotiations at renewal also.”
Complex high-stakes claims like this typically take many months to resolve without the benefit of video and the financial burden of carrying a £1m provision in budgeting terms is huge. Potentially a large and active fleet might have multiple such incidents in a year.
For major incidents you will not be surprised to know that reliable instant video is transformative. Or that having video in context with location, telematics and other driving data will help you to clearly demonstrate what happened.
What about minor incidents - the daily headaches fleet operators live with? One customer tells us that, before having VideoMatics, they expected to pay out on 80% of claims made and would contest only 20%. Since having reliable video in context they now believe that they have turned those figures on their head – only paying out one in five whilst successfully contesting four. Added to that are anecdotal accounts of falsely accused drivers, who point to on-board camera equipment and see their accuser melt away fast.
Industry figures suggest that successful intervention in a claim produces savings of between £500 and £1,900 in each case.
Some of the benefits people find in on-board technologies are not the ones they expect. Live streaming from the lenses on your vehicles allows you to quickly answer questions about on-site working conditions or the causes of a delay. Giving managers the ability to respond instantly to changing conditions makes teams more productive.
Whilst this is already transformative technology, it’s the immediate future that has us really excited. For instance, we are in the process of launching an all-new full VideoMatics access platform: browser-based reports that analyse and filter all the incredible data your vehicles are producing. This is a platform that collates that data and presents it back to you in a truly usable, meaningful way.
It can be a challenge to make data sound exciting. Sadly, the internet of things is a bit of a conversation killer. Which is a shame because it has tremendous potential for benefit. If you can understand what is happening you can ask better questions and plan brighter futures. The fleet operator that uses VideoMatics is likely to spend less time investigating claims. That means more time using data proactively to target training, identify potential dangers, optimise practices and procedures and highlight and share best practice.
Effectively a fleet manager with this technology at their fingertips is much more likely to enjoy their job, whilst the financial case for savings is also highly persuasive. The VideoMatics-enabled fleet manager has tools to improve compliance, run a fleet that is the best it can be, and do their job in a newly informed manner. When you are free to be proactive, you can plan for the future instead of spending your days chasing after memories or sketches of incidents or reacting to the next incident that you were powerless to prevent. You can enable your drivers with targeted training and protect them from false accusations that could cost them their livelihood.
These are the changes we are beginning to see and it is fantastic to be part of this journey.
Starting as a way of combatting crash-for-cash or similar attacks on fleet vehicles, and through conversations with key partners, ICanProve.IT was born. VideoMatics provides a new combination of technologies - High quality, HD, digital video cameras; all-round (full 360° with no blindspots) vision; on-board processing and mobile data connectivity; safety-first driver support that accesses emergency services; integration with insurance companies that expedites claim processing.
For more information, contact Alison.Bailey@sitoc.com