If you’ve decided to invest in a dash cam solution for your fleet, you might still be wondering how to choose between the numerous options available today. A key feature to consider when evaluating dashboard cameras is how they transfer and store the footage they capture.
Wired vs. wireless dash cams
Typically, there are two ways that dash cams store your video footage:
Dash cams that store footage locally on a memory card
Dash cams that are internet-connected and store your footage on the cloud (sometimes called "wireless" dash cams)
While you might see dash cams that claim to be totally wireless, you'll generally find that most dash cams currently on the market do require some sort of wiring to draw power. There are a few dash cams that run entirely on internal batteries but these are usually only able to record for a few minutes.
For the purposes of this piece, we'll only be discussing dash cams that store their footage locally and internet-connected dash cams.
With dash cams that rely on memory cards to store your footage, you’ll have to manually retrieve your video recordings by removing the memory card each time you want to access the video. On the other hand, most internet-connected dash cams, like Samsara’s AI dash cams, can quickly upload high-resolution footage to the cloud, eliminating the need for manual retrieval.
Read on to learn more about how an internet-connected (aka “wireless”) dash cam can help your fleet.
Three benefits of internet-connected or wireless dash cams
1. Accessible footage in real time
One of the primary benefits of an internet-connected dash cam is how quick and easy it is to access your footage. While dash cams that rely on local storage require you to manually remove memory cards in order to access your footage, wireless dash cams allow you to remotely access your footage within minutes.
This quick access is especially valuable when it comes to driver exoneration. For example, if your driver is involved in a collision but is not at fault, wireless dash cams enable you to quickly download and share video evidence of the incident with the authorities, exonerating your driver on the spot.
Samsara's wide-angle lens dash cams, for instance, automatically upload high-quality video to the cloud anytime a harsh event—like speeding or sudden braking—occurs, giving you immediate visibility into how your fleet is functioning.
Additionally, Samsara dash cams use cutting-edge AI technology and g-sensor motion detection from the Samsara Vehicle Gateway. For instance, when a collision occurs, Samsara’s AI can detect whether the driver was distracted because he was looking down at his phone or away from the road. Samsara’s dash cams are also equipped with the latest in edge computing. This means that the dash cams can instantly recognize a dangerous situation and alert you in real-time, allowing you to respond within minutes.
For Markstein Sales Company, a regional beer distributor, Samsara's real-time harsh event alerts and easy video retrieval have been vital in defending against false claims. After one incident left $12,000 worth of damage to one of their vehicles, Tom Roberts, Markstein's Director of Operations, was able to retrieve the video recording of the incident, send it to the other driver's insurance company, and have the insurance company accept liability—all within 15 minutes.
2. Greater storage capability
Dash cams that can only store video footage locally, on memory cards, have a limited storage capacity. While some of those dash cams offer you the ability to expand the storage capacity, you'll need to purchase an additional microSD card to do so.
Internet-connected dash cams, on the other hand, can offer unlimited video storage in the cloud as well as limited local storage. For instance, Samsara dash cams automatically upload full HD video footage of harsh incidents to the cloud. Additionally, the dash cams store high-quality video of the past 40 hours of drive time locally, allowing you to access the footage on-demand.
Additionally, Samsara’s dash cameras capture and upload still photos every two minutes, a feature that's come in handy for Tumino’s Towing. More than once, the Tumino's team faced false damage charges long after an incident occurred. Luckily, even though the claims came in long after the incident, they were able to access the images stored by Samsara dash cams and prove their driver's innocence.
“We were able to get still pictures, and it proved to both insurance companies that it wasn’t our driver’s fault,” said Larry LaManna, Tumino's CFO. “It’s always a ‘he said, she said’ scenario and having a camera has helped."
3. Secure and private footage
High-quality dash cam footage can provide you with the video evidence you need to protect your drivers against false claims, identify dangerous driving behavior, and reduce accidents across your fleet. But it's vital that the technology you use is able to keep the data it collects private and secure.
Wireless dash cams upload your footage to the cloud over a secure connection, which can make it more difficult for unauthorized users to gain access. Some of the best dash cam solutions available, like Samsara's AI dash cams, make data security a key focus.
With Samsara, for example, your footage is encrypted to protect it from security breaches. Once it's uploaded, you can only access your footage by logging in to the Samsara dashboard. You can also use the dashboard to designate approved admins, giving you complete control over who can access your video recordings.
How Samsara dash cams can help you
Wireless dash cams offer fleet managers quick access to video footage, greater storage capacity, and ensure peace of mind by protecting sensitive data.
Samsara’s AI dash cams are built on a powerful cloud-based platform that alerts you about harsh events in real-time, helping you exonerate innocent drivers within minutes. Built-in AI technology can help you identify distracted driving and improve driver safety, while high-quality encryption helps you ensure that only authorized users can access your data.
Check out our guide to selecting the best dash cams for your fleet for more tips and advice. Or, if you'd like to learn more about how Samsara's dash cams can help your business, explore our complete video-based driver safety platform or start a 30-day free trial today.