Dash cam systems have become an indispensable and integral tool for managing modern-day fleets. They hold many benefits, including boosting fleet safety and security, helping businesses reduce costs, increasing fleet efficiency, and improving driver behaviour.
Dash cams capture real-time location data and footage that can prove valuable in the event of an accident. This footage can help businesses avoid legal liability and protect against false accident claims and insurance claims.
However, like any other electronic device, dash cams occasionally experience glitches and technical problems that hinder their effectiveness, such as poor video quality and corrupted SD cards. This article will discuss the various technical complications users can experience with dash cams and how to address and fix these issues to ensure maximum benefit to your business.
Common Dash Cam Issues
Fleet managers may encounter a range of issues with their fleet dash cam systems, including:
Poor-quality videos can lead to a lot of frustration and impact the usefulness of dash cam footage. Some of the common video quality issues include:
- Blurry or pixelated images
- Low frame rates
- Incorrect exposure
These issues may be caused by faulty camera sensors, incorrect lens settings, and inadequate lighting.
To address these issues:
- Ensure the dash cam is correctly mounted.
- Check that the dash cam is angled in such a way that it captures clear footage.
- Adjust the dash camera settings (resolution, frame rate, and exposure) to improve video quality.
- Regularly clean the camera’s lens to remove dust or dirt that may reduce image clarity.
- Check for and update outdated software (that can lead to poor-quality videos).
Fleet dash cameras can, at times, experience connectivity issues which may hamper access to live video footage. Connectivity issues may also make it difficult to retrieve videos and audio, and updating of the dash cam’s software.
To troubleshoot and fix connectivity issues, try the following:
- Check and verify that the camera system is connected to a strong Wi-Fi or cellphone network signal.
- Reboot or restart the camera, network router or cellphone connection to reestablish the wireless connection.
- Check for any software updates which are required to ensure proper connectivity.
- Also, check the dash cam’s firewall settings to ensure they are not blocking your remote connection capabilities.
If you’re still struggling with connectivity issues, Crystal Ball’s range of SmartCam systems offers users remote connectivity which allows easy, on-demand access to recorded footage.
Fleet camera systems generate immense volumes of data. This data needs to be stored – for future use – which can present storage challenges. If not properly planned for, the data can be challenging to store, organise and retrieve. Some fleet managers may also be overwhelmed by the sheer amount of data that’s constantly fed into the central storage database.
To address these storage challenges:
- Opt for a cloud-based storage solution that can remotely receive, process, and store recorded footage.
- Use a user-friendly data management system to organise and store video files.
- Implement clear data-retention and access policies to indicate how long footage is stored before being archived or deleted.
A dash cam system is usually connected to the vehicle’s battery for its main power source. Due to wear and tear or other issues, these wires can often be damaged or become disconnected.
Power interruptions or fluctuations can lead to a malfunction of the dash cam or the loss of recorded footage.
To prevent power source failures:
- Check the wire connection and power cable for any damage or loose connections.
- Check the battery’s health to ensure it is providing a stable and constant power supply.
- Install a dedicated power backup system (with a high-quality, reliable power cable) to ensure the camera’s battery has an uninterrupted power supply.
SD card health
Many fleet dash cam systems typically store recorded footage on an SD card. These SD cards can often become corrupted or fail, leading to a loss of recorded video footage and hampered access to much-needed video evidence.
Crystal Ball’s SmartCam system uses an SD card but also uploads event footage directly to the cloud where it can be accessed remotely. This means that even with memory card troubles, your footage can easily be retrieved and stored.
There are several strategies businesses can use to improve the effectiveness of their fleet dash cam systems, including:
- Designing and implementing a system maintenance protocol to ensure the regular cleaning and inspecting of the video storage system. A well-planned maintenance schedule also ensures that software is regularly updated to ensure optimal system performance.
- Training drivers on the importance of recording, handling and using recorded dash cam footage.
- Implementing data backup policies and procedures to ensure that unneeded and redundant footage is deleted to help prevent device failures.
- When purchasing and installing a dash cam system in your fleet vehicle, opt for high-quality cameras (from a reputable brand) to ensure maximum durability, reliability and performance.
Try Cloud-Based 4G Dash Cams
Crystal Ball’s SmartCam is an all-in-one solution for businesses that require a reliable and high-performing onboard camera system. This award-winning system has 4G, cloud-based storage capabilities and, integrated with Crystal Ball’s FleetTracker system, offers real-time GPS tracking and a range of smart features.
Crystal Ball’s SmartCam system also offers:
- Direct access to recorded footage (from the dash cam’s onboard SD card or cloud-based storage system)
- Integrity and accessibility of recorded camera footage
- Remote data access, allowing for improved real-time vehicle and driver monitoring and intervention.
- Cloud-based storage capabilities to store and access large amounts of data
- Powerful GPS tracking abilities of vehicle tracking systems – integrated with a high-quality dash cam system – to improve fleet visibility and management
Using the tips in this article, you can easily identify and troubleshoot common issues related to dash cams. Issues – such as reduced video quality, connectivity issues, challenges with data management and storage, and power source disruptions – can cause users and fleet managers a lot of frustration. To avoid them, ensure your dash cam system is installed and set up correctly and regularly maintained.
Request a demo of Crystal Ball’s SmartCam system to see how this state-of-the-art telematics solution ensures you have remote access to high-quality video footage, while also enjoying the benefits of cloud-based storage. Contact Crystal Ball today to learn how using the SmartCam system – with state-of-the-art vehicle tracking systems – can help you improve your fleet efficiency, save on insurance premiums and boost your vehicle and driver safety.