On Thursday, Verizon Connect announced its new Integrated Video technology for American drivers, aimed at improving the driving habits of those in commercial vehicles. The smart dash-cam solution uses artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to garner insights on driving actions in real-time.

Significant misperceptions exist around the driving habits of American commercial drivers. The majority (83%) of regular American drivers believe they are safer drivers than those of commercial vehicles, but only 3% of severe crashes in the US involve commercial trucks, according to Verizon Connect.

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This misperception is likely due to the intimidating size of commercial vehicles compared to personal vehicles and the knowledge that commercial vehicles often carry heavy or hazardous materials, said Kevin Aries, Verizon Connect’s head of global product success.

“We also know that commercial vehicle accidents are more, for lack of better words, memorable,” Aries said. “We’re accustomed, in our daily commute, to seeing fender benders and different vehicle incidents. But to see a commercial vehicle completely inundated or off the road or sliding down a bank—those things tend to stick with us.”

However, Verizon Connect’s Collision Course: Commercial Vehicle Driving Safety report found that just because commercial vehicles aren’t involved in many severe crashes doesn’t mean that drivers aren’t practicing unsafe driving habits.

More than 80% of Americans said they witnessed a commercial vehicle driving dangerously, and 67% said they believe commercial drivers are making decisions that pose a threat to other drivers, the report found.

These dangerous habits included speeding (69%), abrupt lane changes (55%), erratic driving (46%), nearly running off the road (38%), and taking turns too quickly (37%). But, the report showed that 41% of unsafe driving goes unreported, mostly due to a lack of evidence (37%).

Video monitoring provides an effective way for drivers and fleet managers to actively protect themselves against unsubstantiated claims, as well as keep their drivers and others protected, according to the report.

City residents want video monitoring: 84% of adults living in cities said commercial vehicles shouldn’t be allowed on the road without video monitoring, and 69% of adults in the suburbs said the same.

Verizon Connect’s Integrated Video solution can help contribute to this movement.

What is Verizon Connect?

“Verizon Connect, as a whole, helps customers be safer, more efficient, and more productive by providing them with mobile workforce solutions,” Aries said. “We do this by providing insights around their vehicles, assets, and people.”

Fleets of commercial vehicles are the main consumer base for Verizon Connect, and the primary focus has been GPS fleet tracking, according to Aries.

“Having visibility into where your fleet of vehicles is is really important. That helps us make sure our workers are being productive, because we know where they are,” Aries said. “It also helps us provide a better customer experience, by being able to tell the end customer when their delivery or when their service may arrive.”

Verizon uses engine data, along with the GPS data, to tell companies how safe their drivers are being. Whether the drivers are hard braking, accelerating quickly, or even just speeding, that data is communicated to companies, Aries added.

The Integrated Video solution, however, takes this data a step further.

How Integrated Video works

Integrated Video uses AI to capture video and classify how severe a dangerous driving event is, only providing the relevant and significant footage to operations managers, in real time, according to the press release.

“Our Integrated Video solution is really the eyes on the road,” Aries said. “Although we’ve already been providing that data to companies, data around harsh driving and safe driving, now they can actually see it with their very own eyes.”

While anybody could go to Best Buy and buy a regular dash camera, this intelligent camera only provides the necessary information, Aries said.

“We’re not wasting the time of our customers who would have to sort through hours and hours of video, looking for something that may be pertinent to them,” he said. “These video clips are directly correlated to harsh driving events that are happening with the vehicle.”

The piece of hardware can either be professionally installed or self-installed and works wirelessly only over Verizon’s network, communicating between the solution and Verizon servers.

Verizon hosted a soft launch of the product earlier in 2019, according to Aries, but US customers are able to buy Integrated Video now. This technology is not only beneficial for companies wanting to keep their drivers safe, but it is also helpful for drivers wanting to practice safe driving standards.

“Smart video monitoring technology is a super effective way to improve driver behavior, mitigate risks, and make sure our roads are safer for all,” Aries said.

Check out a demo and inquire about pricing here.

For more, check out 13 NFL stadiums will offer Verizon 5G for the 2019-2020 season on TechRepublic.

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