J.J. Keller & Associates

Product Spotlight: AI Dash Cams

March 29, 2024
Sometimes it helps to have an extra pair of eyes on the road, especially with such large, complex piece of machinery as commercial trucks. Here are a few options to help keep drivers safe on the road.

While driver opinions can be varied on the use of dash cams, some fleets have been able to use these tools to further driver coaching and to improve safety while on the road. And, in larger cases, dash cams can help provide further evidence for fleets if an accident does occur.

Below are a few of the dash cams currently on the market and comments from the companies who have used them.

DriveCam by Lytx

The Lytx DriveCam delivers real-time alerts that can help address distracted driving in the moment and provide video evidence for protection when needed. The device can connect up to four additional cameras using the Lytx Hub adapter and additional SF-Series or third-party auxiliary cameras. It records up to 100 hours of continual video and enables drivers to proactively record video when needed. An 8-lm infrared light provides clear visibility, even at night, and a wide-angle dual lens shows the inside and outside of the vehicle.

“The technology, with all the ways we’ve learned to use it, has become such a valuable tool. If there was one technology I could have had throughout my 32 years in the transportation business, Lytx would be it,” said Jerry Welsch, safety manager of risk management at A.D. Transport Express. “It’s another set of eyes. It’s proof. It protects the driver and it protects the company.”

FM6510 dash cam by Orbcomm

The FM 6510 dash cam from Orbcomm is geared toward service fleets with light commercial vehicles interested in managing unsafe driving behavior and driver coaching. The FM 6510 features outward- and inward-facing cameras with night vision and AI to detect behaviors such as speeding, distracted and drowsy driving, phone use, tailgating, and harsh acceleration, braking, and turning. Additionally, the driver coaching features allow management to send audio messages to drivers. They can also be notified with customizable alerts, such as if a vehicle is experiencing unexpected trips and excessive idling.

Read more: All AI dashcams the true winner in technology comparison study

“Integrating Orbcomm’s smart dash cam is a great way to promote a safety-first culture and extend a fleet’s visibility of events happening on the road and in the cab in real-time,” said Gregg Plonisch, SVP of product management at Orbcomm. “By leveraging our telematics-enabled video solution, service fleets can keep their drivers, vehicles, and reputation safe; reduce risk in their operations; and optimize fuel efficiency and maintenance costs, all of which deliver a strong, long-term ROI.”

Driver•i D-430 video safety device by Netradyne

The Netradyne Driver•i D-430 video safety device is equipped with four onboard cameras offering real-time processing and analysis of drive time, enabling fleet managers to evaluate driving behavior and identify areas of improvement. The system includes a GPS module, NVIDIA processor, and dual-core Denver 2 64-bit CPU. The D-430 also offers eMMC storage instead of an SD card, allowing for up to 256GB of total storage, and a detachable cable for ease of installation.

“Real-time alerts for behavior change is huge,” said Karen Smerchek, president of Veriha Trucking. “We all have bad habits and they’re not going to change overnight. If it’s an experienced driver, the roots of a habit are pretty deep. Many times the habits are so ingrained that the drivers don’t think they’re driving distracted until we show them the videos.”

CM32 Dual-facing Dash Cam by Samsara

The Samsara CM32 Dual-facing Dash Cam analyzes driver behavior and road conditions in real time to reduce high-risk behaviors, like distracted driving and tailgating, with live scene analysis and a built-in speaker to enable driver coaching. This also lowers safety-related costs and provides deep visibility into fleet operations. The cameras have a 1080p resolution and 30 FPS. The forward camera offers a 121-degree view, while the inward camera offers 177 degrees.

“Our drivers operate in high-risk, unpredictable environments. That’s why it’s so important to change behavior in the moment,” said Tim Janssen, COO of the Rasmussen Group. “The AI technology powering in-cab alerts helps us proactively improve driver awareness and safety.”

About the Author

Lucas Roberto

Lucas Roberto is an Associate Editor for Fleet Maintenance magazine. He has written and produced multimedia content over the past few years and is a newcomer to the commercial vehicle industry. He holds a bachelor's in media production and a master's in communication from High Point University in North Carolina.