To monitor your fleet vehicles, you need to install a system to capture the data (images, video, and sometimes even audio), process it, and store it or transfer it to other locations. Digital video recorders (DVR) perform the function of processing and storing the data when it comes to analog cameras.
The importance of fleet camera DVR recording as well as surveillance systems cannot be overemphasized as they play a significant role in helping to provide video and images to counter accusations against you, for example after an accident or any other incident. They also provide footage to prevent theft and commuting of other crimes such as vandalism of vehicle parts. They may also help to monitor driver behavior for corrective action or to reward good behavior and even for training purposes.
Types of Fleet camera DVR
Nowadays, two kinds of video recorders for use in surveillance systems are available:
- Digital Video Recorders (DVR) – These used with analog cameras.
- Network Video Recorders (NVR) – These combine with an Internet Protocol camera (IP camera) that receives, controls, and transfers images over the internet.
While NVR can connect to the internet directly, DVRs cannot and has to connect locally and act as a part of a closed-circuit system. Some video recorders are hybrid, which means that they have inputs for both analog and IP cameras.
Choosing the best system for your fleet
It is critical to select the best surveillance system for your fleet so that it meets all of your needs and you get value for each dollar that you invest in it. You need to engage professionals in fleet surveillance, and you need not look further than Eyeride, a renowned company in vehicle safety and security technologies.
Here are some considerations when choosing a system:
The number of cameras you need
Fleet surveillance cameras systems can vary drastically. There are single front-facing dash cams that are simple and affordable, and there are also complex multi-camera systems with 360-degree coverage on both the inner and outer sides of the vehicle. Multi-camera systems could have anywhere from two cameras up to twenty and are fitted as per their intended purpose. They are beneficial because they offer comprehensive coverage of the vehicle in the event of a crash as well as act as surveillance to ensure compliance with on-site procedures and deter theft of any cargo in the vehicle. You should choose the system that suits your situation and needs well.
Method of accessing the footage
Camera footage may be accessed in two ways—by manually downloading it or by accessing it remotely. Camera systems that only use memory hard drives such as MDVR and SD cards need the user to access the hardware stationed in the vehicle to download the footage from the camera. While this may work for owner-operated vehicles and fleets with only a few vehicles that go back to the site daily, it may be cumbersome and time-consuming because it requires a person to go to where the vehicle is to download the data before it is overwritten. Systems that involve manual downloads also have the risk of data interference since the data storage is easily accessible and removable. As such, the risk of data interference or loss makes it unsuitable for some fleets.
On the other hand, camera systems that have remote access capabilities from which data can be accessed through an internet connection are a better option for fleets whose vehicles are away from the site for many days. With this system, the data can be accessed at any time regardless of the vehicle’s location. If an incident occurs, fleet managers can access the data within minutes without leaving their offices. However, this camera system is more costly due to data charges for downloading and streaming footage in real-time. Besides having 3G or 4G and Wi-Fi connectivity, these cameras also have inbuilt data storage such as SD cards or even bigger DVR hard drive storage.
Duration of storing footage
All camera storage systems can retain your footage for a given duration before it exhausts the space and starts overwriting the old recordings. The length of time for storing footage depends on the storage size. For SD cards, they can store data from a few hours to several days. The storage period for MDVRS range from a few days up to three months depending on the capacity of the hard disk and the number of cameras installed on the vehicle.
Installing the right fleet DVR recording and surveillance system on your car is critical to ensure that it meets your needs. You need to consider what is important to you and make sure you do not compromise on it like you consider other factors like the cost.