SmartWitness is a global video telematics company. Founded by an American who had been previously employed by a technology company which had been developing products in the sector, he discovered that the firm was to exit the market. He saw the potential for this type of technology and partnered with his father-in-law to launch SmartWitness.
The latest product to be launched by SmartWitness is the AP1 ADAS camera. ADAS stands for Advanced Driver Assistance System. The company claims that the camera is a cost effective method of increasing safety for commercial van fleets, providing audio feedback to drivers when it senses that an accident is imminent. The AP1 alerts the driver to hazards such as getting too close to another vehicle, failing to move away when the vehicle in front has done so, crossing over solid white lines in the centre of the road, and avoiding an imminent collision. Camera images are monitored constantly in real time by the software contained in the unit, triggering the audible warnings that help keep the driver and other road users safe.
SmartWitness suggests that a major factor in SMEs and fleets being slow to adopt a combination of video and telematics data is one of cost and complexity. The SmartWitness AP1 combines the two in a single device solution, which can be self-installed, helping to identify poor and high risk driving behaviours therefore preventing accidents. In addition, video evidence supported by accurate GPS positioning data can aid accident investigation work by the authorities and insurance companies.
The SmartWitness AP1 is the first camera in its class that captures video and telematics data in a single unit. Not only does this save the expense and space in the cab, it also seamlessly combines all the data onto a single server. It can be installed in as little as 15 minutes with a simple windscreen mount and plug-in connection.
Whilst some systems record data and images onto an SD memory card contained within the device, this has to be retrieved from the vehicle before it can be accessed, sometimes causing delays in being able to accurately analyse the recorded information and commence investigation work. The SmartWitness AP1 works in conjunction with what the company claim is a ‘first in class’ companion smartphone app, allowing for instant retrieval of the accident or incident video to meet these insurance or law enforcement requirements without requiring access to the memory card, creating a user friendly experience.
Summarising the advantages of the AP1, SmartWitness said: "This mix of features and capabilities removes cost barriers and customer resistance that have limited adoption of video telematics safety devices in van fleets. The SmartWitness AP1 has multiple benefits for van fleets and last-mile distribution commercial fleets, including the ability to identify risky driving behaviours, prevent accidents, exonerate drivers who are not at fault in accident situations, and reduce accident, litigation, and insurance-related fleet costs – as well as improve road safety for the public."
In 2020, VisionTrack launched a product called Autonomise.ai. Essentially a cloud-based platform it has been developed as the most advanced video-enabled risk management tool for van fleet operations, with over 55,000 connected camera devices.
Data collected from 194 billion data points and 4.6 million videos in a 12-month period covered 528 million miles of journey data. This provides concise and actionable insights, giving fleet operators information needed to improve road safety. For example, during the first lockdown notwithstanding a reduction in traffic drivers increasingly flouted speed limits and, despite a 22.6% reduction in miles driven overall incidents increased by 2.61%.
This year, VisionTrack partnered with Humanising Autonomy to bring advanced vulnerable road user (VRU) perception to van operators. Ultimately empowering camera technology which will analyse and predict human behaviour, live collision warnings will have the highest degree of accuracy.