(View the original article by Diesel Talk here.)
Auckland-based IVCS (In Vehicle Camera Systems) Asia Pacific’s DriveCam system representatives, well known to Kiwi transport operators, is a success across the Tasman.
Victoria based global logistics giant, Linfox has announced a trial of IVCS’ DriveCam system in 40 of its Western Australia vehicles, following quickly on the heels of a successful trial and full deployment in Queensland.
Warren Kaeding, Linfox operations training manager, says: “Results from our previous Queensland trials show DriveCam leads to fewer motor vehicle incidents and that drivers are very positive about the system.
“During the initial Queensland trials, our Larapinta site in Brisbane experienced a 60% decrease in the number of motor vehicle incidents (MVIs) and a 46% decrease in triggered events. There was an 88% decrease in MVIs over the three test sites.”
Kaeding says that instances of manual trigger activation of DriveCam by drivers also significantly increased during the trial.
“We’ve had terrific feedback from drivers as they’ve become familiar with the technology and its role in improving safety,” says Kaeding.
Drivers use the manual trigger to capture other drivers poor driving or near misses for incident reporting.
The DriveCam system is quite different to SD card driven dash-mounted cameras. DriveCam records forward on-road footage and driver-facing cab footage, using one dual camera unit, triggered by G-force increases such as a sudden braking or swerving action.
DriveCam continually loops and overwrites except for manual driver activations, or when driving behaviours cause sharp vehicle movements which will trigger the system to save incidents to its hard drive - eight seconds prior to trigger-point, and the following four seconds - which are crucial in determining what happened in an MVI.
That video and data is then uploaded in real-time via secure cellular connection to DriveCam’s data centre for independent review and analysis, and made simultaneously available to fleet managers for instant analysis if required.
Haydn Bowbyes, IVCS managing director regards this as a critical point of difference between DriveCam’s holistic system, incorporating driver safety and education as central tenets, rather than dash-mounted ‘spy cameras’.
Says Bowbyes:“DriveCam as a system provides a suite of proprietary data analytics which when combined with expert video review highlights the causes of poor driving - and will prioritise the action required to decrease this behaviour, thus dramatically reducing fleet risk and operating costs."
Those risk-reduction and training factors proved crucial in gaining Linfox acceptance of DriveCam – being able to identify dangerous behaviours that could lead to an accident. ”For Linfox” says Bowbyes, “the system allows them to target their training resources directly to the risk(s) clearly and visibly identified by the system.”
DriveCam is fully GPS enabled and heavy truck-specific, eliminating risk of triggering cameras through normal heavy-vehicle vibration.
Key to DriveCam’s system, says Bowbyes, is the ability for fleet managers to configure alerts for ‘hotspot’ mapping of dangerous or poor driving. “In the event of poor driving, the system applies coaching methods based on operational demands and subsequent monitoring verifies those lessons have been implemented, protecting drivers and resulting in fewer preventable collisions."
Best-practice program reviews ensure any safety programme is on track, and the data analysis provides driver-to-driver profiling and comparison. Site-to-site and region-to-region are similarly measurable metrics.
"It is these broader analytical tools, and the capability to deliver training, that is attractive not just to transport companies, anything from two vehicles and up," says Bowbyes, "but also to Lumley Insurance, which has incorporated DriveCam into its heavy commercial motor risk management portfolio."
Bowbyes urges transport companies and fleet operators to be ever vigilant around their driver safety and training. He says fleet managers should have a good understanding that stand-alone dash-mounted cameras, while cheap, generally are not a risk reducing solution for fleets of more than two trucks.
“Like IVCS has done since 2007, many companies sell dash [mounted] cameras. These, as long as they are designed for heavy transport vehicles, are fine for use in a couple of trucks, but years of experience dictate that any more than two trucks in a fleet with SD card-driven dash cams, become just too hard to monitor and essentially these cams end up becoming simply reactive crash-recorders.”
Smaller transport operators, often time-poor, may be self-deceived into believing a dash-mounted camera might tick their driver safety box, but it is not a significant tool in reduction of risk or provision of ‘driver science.’
The Operator Ratings System places increasing onus on transporters to be genuine around needs for driver safety and training. That onus is market driven, not just COF compliance driven- major contracts will increasingly specify a level of safety rating.
A passionate advocate on changing driver behaviour, Bowbyes says: “While there is always industry talk about safety and risk reduction, IVCS does, rather than just talk – our clients know our system works in reducing accidents, injuries and fatalities because it identifies, monitors and reviews risks – and reduces that risk.”
The IVCS team culture is imbued with similar dedication: “The whole IVCS team actively plays its part in getting truck drivers home safely. It saddens us all when we hear of another driver being injured or killed when so many of these incidents are preventable by the identification of poor driving behaviour and the resultant re-training," says Bowbyes.
“DriveCam has really opened a new window into driver behaviour. Some very interesting data is being gathered. For example, often we hear of driver fatigue being bandied as the biggest cause of major single vehicle accidents. With over 150,000 DriveCam units running worldwide - and over six billion kilometres of captured events - it is valuable to note that from our findings, fatigue related major accidents captured actually made up only approximately 2.4% of the root cause.
"The biggest killer on our roads is complacency in the cab followed closely by distraction," says Bowbyes.
No spy-in-the-cab scenario, Bowbyes’ approach to changing institutional dangerous driving behaviours is unequivocal - he says transport companies should acknowledge theeir part. “Our solution clearly identifies and changes risky behaviour before it contributes to a major accident, but sadly, some transport companies still just don’t get it,” Bowbyes says.
Bowbyes tells DIESELtalk that DriveCam as a solution will pay for itself within a couple of months. “It offers a suite of dollar saving advantages as well as protecting and crucially, training drivers, because the system’s captured image and data helps target driver training resources."