With the increasing number of accidents and fraudulent insurance claims that happen today, having a reliable dash cam has become an essential tool for vehicle fleets. A dash cam, or dashboard camera, is typically installed onto a vehicle’s dashboard or windshield and captures footage while driving. Dash cams are able to offer a range of benefits, regardless of what vehicles you manage and operate. From providing evidence from road traffic accidents to monitoring driver behaviour, dash cams have proven themselves to be an indispensable piece of vehicle tracking technology for fleet managers.
However, with so many options currently available in the market, it can be difficult choosing the right one for your vehicle fleet. In this guide, we’ll be exploring the key factors you’ll need to consider before installing new dash cams throughout your fleet.
As with other types of camera equipment, video quality is an important factor to consider when comparing dash cams. This determines the level of clarity and detail captured in the footage. Fleet managers will ideally need to install dash cams that can record at least 1080p full HD video footage as it will be able to capture essential details such as licence plate numbers and road signs. For those looking for the sharpest images possible, there are high-end models that offer 4K Ultra HD resolution for maximised image clarity.
Field of view
Top performing dash cams will also feature a wide field of view. Field of view, or FOV, refers to the extent of the scene that the dash cam is able to record. A wider FOV means more of the road and/or incident will be visible in the footage. We recommend looking for a camera with a wide-angle lens and minimum FOV of 140 degrees. The wider recording coverage will ensure that the dash cam captures any important information.
Some dash cams will store the footage in a memory card, while other dash cams, including Crystal Ball’s SmartCam, are cloud-connected and will automatically send the data straight to the cloud in the case of detecting a road event. Dash cams that support cloud storage are our preferred option as you won’t have to frequently wipe every vehicle’s SD card every time its capacity is full. This is especially useful when using a high-quality camera as recordings in full HD can quickly use up memory.
If you do decide to install a dash cam that uses memory cards, it’s important to choose a model that supports high-capacity memory cards that offer ample storage space. Doing so ensures that you can keep recording sufficient amounts of video footage before older recordings are overwritten. For peace of mind, look for dash cams that use microSD cards or SD cards with a capacity of at least 64GB.
In the event that the dash cam does run out of storage, you’ll need to ensure it has loop recording capabilities. Loop recording is an important feature that makes sure the dash cam never stops recording by overwriting old footage with new recordings once storage is full. With this feature, you won’t need to manually delete files regularly and you’ll have added peace of mind knowing that the dash cam is providing continuous coverage. The best dash cams will offer seamless loop recording to ensure that the footage remains uninterrupted and accurate.
Some dash cam systems will also include multiple cameras instead of a single front-facing camera. While a front-facing lens is obviously the most important feature of a dash cam, additional cameras can provide even more accurate driving data that will help fleet managers make more accurate decisions.
The SmartCam is available in different versions, with cameras facing multiple directions to help provide a more complete picture of any road incidents. While our standard SmartCam offering only features a forward-facing camera, we also provide more comprehensive versions of the SmartCam with additional driver-facing, rear-facing, left-facing, right-facing, and AI cameras. The addition of multiple cameras will help to provide detailed evidence in the event of a road accident.
Some dash cams come with built-in GPS location tracking capabilities, which allows them to record the vehicles location and speed along with the video footage. This data provides an added layer of protection as it can be used as additional evidence in case of an accident or dispute. Dash cams that feature GPS tracking will often also provide more helpful features such as route tracking, geotracking, and geofencing, which can then further aid in strengthening fleet management systems.
Wi-Fi and smartphone connectivity
Dash cams that have internet connectivity via Wi-Fi or the 4G mobile network will allow you to connect the cameras and sensors to the system’s integrated smartphone app. This feature enables convenient access to recorded footage, real-time information, and historical data through a dedicated mobile app.
SmartCam is a fully smart dash cam system that uses the Android operating system rather than a basic black box system, which future-proofs the dash cam system and makes it compatible with our Manager App. This app provides fleet managers the ability to view real-time vehicle locations, and journey data through its intuitive interface. Built-in app compatibility simplifies the process of gathering footage and vehicle data without the need for accessing a computer or removing the dash cam’s memory card.
Fleet managers should also ensure that their dash cam has a built-in accelerometer that can detect any changes in g-force. An accelerometer is designed to measure any movement or impact the vehicle experiences. With this feature, which is included in our SmartCam, the dash cam will be able to monitor the vehicles movements more effectively and identify any dangerous movement such as harsh braking, acceleration,
SmartCam will also automatically trigger an event-generated video as soon as the accelerometer detects anything out of the ordinary. This can be especially useful for monitoring driver behaviour and settling claims after a road traffic accident.
As fleet managers and vehicle owners, it’s essential that all your supporting systems are user-friendly to ensure all processes are as hassle-free as possible. Dash cam models that have features such as an intuitive menu system, easily accessible buttons, and a clean on-screen display will be able to help maintain this smooth process. An easy-to-use interface will help you navigate through settings and access the desired features without any confusion. Any new users will also be able to use the system with minimal to no training, which helps to create an even more efficient workflow.
You’ll also be able to find dash cams that offer additional features alongside their video recording capabilities. For instance, the SmartCam includes digital vehicle checklists, driver behaviour analytics, and an integrated driver performance app to provide additional support for fleet managers. When looking at dash cams with these added features, remember to consider your specific needs and preferences to ensure that you’re choosing the right dash cam for your vehicles.
Investing in the right dash cam is crucial for maintaining employee safety and peace of mind while operating a large vehicle fleet. By considering several factors like image quality, field of view, night vision capabilities and other additional features you can find a dash cam that perfectly suits you and your company’s specific requirements. With the right dash cams installed in your vehicles, you can capture important footage, deter criminals, and have valuable evidence on hand in case of any incidents.
If you’re interested in protecting your vehicles, contact our team today. Our experts here at Crystal Ball will help you set up the perfect tracking and protection system for your vehicles. Whether you want to protect your personal vehicle or an entire fleet, we’ll find the perfect solution for you.