Truck drivers remain divided on in-cab cameras. On one hand, proponents say cameras can protect drivers from being blamed for an accident caused by another vehicle. Others, however, believe them to be an intrusion on privacy. But is there a middle ground?
Netradyne product manager Brandon Buckley joined FreightWaves NOW to offer a new perspective on in-cab cameras, describing how fleet safety and driver satisfaction can both be attainable with the right technology in place.
“A lot of what’s happening in the industry today is that drivers are used to vehicles with no in-cab cameras, but then all of a sudden, the fleet decides to install in-cab cameras, and it feels like they’re giving up a sense of freedom where their privacy is violated,” Buckley said, acknowledging why some feel uncomfortable with perpetual monitoring. “I think it’s really important to focus on transparency to provide visibility into what the camera’s actually detecting.”
Netradyne’s Driveri fleet safety solution leverages the power of advanced AI to identify signs, signals, pedestrians and other objects in real time to contextualize every safety event. Its cameras transform visual data into performance metrics that fleets can use to reward good driving behavior and identify areas for improvement.
Once drivers are familiar with the cameras’ objectives, adoption becomes a lot easier, especially when fleets utilize safety metrics to offer safety bonuses. According to Buckley, punishment-based instruction is the most primitive form of motivation, which he noted many in the trucking industry rely on.
He added that the most elastic, streamlined way of coaching is by empowering drivers to be part of the solution, rather than targeting them for punishment. Netradyne’s mobile app empowers drivers to self-coach their driving by reviewing key events, video data and intra-fleet rankings.
Buckley said that everyone has an innate desire to win, which explains why Netradyne’s gamification of driver safety has seen success in motivating drivers to compete. The ability to see how they’re performing compared anonymously with others in the fleet provides drivers with a much-needed benchmark as to what’s expected of them when they are hauling for your brand.
“[Drivers] want a camera that can accurately represent what they’re seeing on the roadways, not just detecting the bad, but detecting the bad, the good and every time that they are within compliance as well,” Buckley said.
“The alternative is really just relying on the back office and safety managers to call in drivers whenever they see the camera catch anything, but it’s really not a very scalable solution for maintaining safety in your fleet,” he added. “We really like to engage and empower the driver, giving them the tools to succeed and work with fleets to provide the right incentive as well.”
Netradyne’s fleet safety solutions are credited with reducing distracted driving by 60%, increasing following distance improvement by 76%, and helping 90% of fleets achieve better compliance.
The adoption of such technologies isn’t cheap, but it’s a realistic investment considering the potential benefit. Buckley said the cost of a single truck accident alone, minus injuries, will set you back around $155,000. But that pales in comparison with what’s at stake when lives are lost because safety wasn’t treated as paramount. The opportunity cost is well worth the consideration.
In talking with motor carriers looking to increase performance, Buckley said that many have opted for advanced safety cameras instead of adopting other high-tech solutions such as electric vehicles. They describe it as the best thing they’ve done for their fleet, because at the end of the day, it saves lives.