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How does an in-vehicle camera system work?

Data Blocks
Data Blocks

Dashboard cameras use digital video technology and can be broken down by how the system operates, how the device manages data, and how that data is used. While a majority of simple dash cams are face forward, an integrated system offers multiple cameras installed across the vehicle that can capture a 360-degree visual. 


In-vehicle camera systems are hardwired into the vehicle’s ignition system and installed across multiple points of the vehicle. This means that when the vehicle is switched on, the camera solution is automatically activated and begins being able to record.

How it Works:

  1. Sensors detect an anomaly, an event is raised all while high-definition video footage is continuously recorded
  2. Footage & telematics data is communicated to the fleet management system
  3. Information is analysed in real-time into actionable insights 
  4. Event view, reports and analytics are created for the back-office to view

How a dashboard camera manages data

Simple in-vehicle cameras do not record the video feed; they provide a continuous display transmitted to a monitor, like the backup cameras in many modern vehicles. 

An in-vehicle camera that records the footage on storage media – a flash drive or internal SD card – has limited memory space. When the storage reaches capacity the device automatically overwrites the existing oldest files. To save a file, the user downloads the data to another resource by physically retrieving from the vehicle. 

In-vehicle cameras that transmit the footage can make the video record available for viewing at a remote location. An integrated and advanced system allows the user to recall footage from the office for the given date and time selected, saving the effort of going into the vehicle. 

Some multi-camera solutions include a feature that is especially useful in commercial vehicle fleets: they can manage the data to preserve certain events. These cameras continuously record and overwrite files – but if the vehicle is subjected to an impact, sudden braking or other incidents, the device automatically uploads the recording segment that began a few seconds prior to the event and ended another few seconds following it.

This way, the multi-camera solution captures a video record of the collision or similar occurrence.

How dashboard camera data is used

When installed in commercial vehicles, multi-camera solutions provide fleet managers with information that helps these professionals evaluate driver behaviour. Visual analysis of driver performance enables the manager or owner to recognise which drivers will benefit from additional training. This can improve fleet safety and reduce the expense caused by violations or incidents.

In-vehicle camera footage serves as protection against fraudulent insurance claims or civil litigation. The footage is an objective record that can help settle disputes more quickly and decisively than other forms of evidence can provide.

Some commercial vehicle insurers consider multi-camera solutions a cost-effective security and safety feature that qualifies the vehicle fleet for discounted insurance premiums.