A vehicle picks up unwanted passengers from alongside the road, fuel is illegally siphoned from a vehicle, transported goods arrive at the destination damaged or missing, a vehicle is involved in an accident which was not the fault of the driver or was due to some action of the driver prior to the accident, calls are received from the public regarding a road incident or the way the driver is driving, a vehicle is delayed for an unexpected period of time and the reason is unknown.
These are only a few of the scenarios that are costing companies an increasing amount of money, and in most cases they are unaware of the problem.
These issues cannot be identified and answered by the traditional fleet monitoring systems and companies are looking towards an old and trusted visual method to finding a solution to these problems – “a picture paints a thousand words”.
Currently, there are several trends in the market: Vehicle Recorders which are typically camera units that are installed on the vehicle windscreen and store their data to a SD card. These are usually a very inexpensive solution to providing a visual to what is happening in front of the vehicle, and some units can provide simultaneous footage of what the driver is doing. Models can be purchased that integrate GPS data into the video footage.
The product is, however, essentially a logger that can store the video footage for a very limited amount of time and the idea is that one is able to manually retrieve footage should it be required as proof or for investigation.
Models are also available that can upload the stored footage to a computer when the unit comes within Wi-Fi coverage. IP Cameras are cameras which allow a customer to connect directly to the device over the internet.
These are useful for live monitoring but hold no ability to capture and store video footage on-board, which requires that this function must be performed at the systems side and needs a constant costly mobile data connection. Typically, these devices do not integrate GPS data into the footage. Event Recorders are units that identify an event through the sensors and inputs of the device and store a limited amount of video footage around the event.
This footage is uploaded to a server and is typically available for customer viewing in a web browser or is emailed together with analysis of the event. This is currently being used for driver behaviour Inkwazi Video Tracking A vehicle picks up unwanted passengers from alongside the road, fuel is illegally siphoned from a vehicle, transported goods arrive at the destination damaged or missing, a vehicle is involved in an accident which was not the fault of the driver or was due to some action of the driver prior to the accident, calls are received from the public regarding a road incident or the way the driver is driving, a vehicle is delayed for an unexpected period of time and the reason is unknown and education.
GPS information is normally integrated and is typically used as one of the sensors to the event identification. Mobile Digital Video Recorders (MDVR) are devices that are able to capture and store video footage from multiple cameras on-board on a hard drive or SD card.
They have ability to transmit live video or download stored video footage over 3G or Wi-Fi. They integrate GPS data into the video enhancing the visual footage with tracking information. These products are typically produced by companies in the CCTV industry and are primarily aimed at using the video footage to monitor a vehicle’s activities. Inkwazi Tracking has approached this from a different position.
The company has been developing products for the vehicle tracking market since 1997. Instead of creating a typical CCTV monitoring product, where tracking data is used to enhance the video footage, we have extended our tracking products to use video footage to enhance the tracking data. This means that the customer has the all the fleet management functionality with the added ability to apply a visual component to the reporting.
Using MDVR technology we are able to provide live real time visuals from multiple cameras in a vehicle to any user at any location as long as they have an internet connection. Added to this we are able to capture and store high quality video footage on-board for an extended period of time, typically around 30 days.
The user has the ability to replay historical footage as a video stream from the vehicle in response to a time-based request by the user, even if the vehicle is out on the road, or can download the video files directly.
Through the tracking technology, the system is able to identify user definable events and will automatically download a customisable time period of video footage around the event to the system, where it will be preserved until deleted. The time period can later be changed to increase the amount of video footage to be included. These events are highlighted within the system, allowing the customer to quickly identify and view critical video footage.
The majority of influential activities cannot be identified by the tracking system alone and only come to light after the fact. The system has the ability for users to not only review the video footage, but also generate user-defined events, forcing the system to automatically downloaded and store the relevant footage and tracking data.
The Inkwazi system is aimed at any vehicle owner who wishes to reduce costs by monitoring the activities of their vehicle. The system can be used by the single vehicle owners and by organisations with large fleets. The flexibility of MDVR technology allows different types of cameras to be installed in any location in the vehicle and allows for a multitude amount of monitoring scenarios to be dreamt up.
In many cases this has not been a preventative measure, but an enhancement to the customer’s business model, such as the farmer who is able to view the status of his lands while the tractor moves around and the customer that used the product as a time and attendance system by asking the workers to stand in front of the camera – with Inkwazi Video Tracking the possibilities are endless.
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