Driver POV driving down the road

Video telematics: What is it & how does it work?

Published on July 15, 2021 in Marketplace by Chris Pflanz |  2 minute read

Learn how video telematics can change the way your business operates with insight and data from before and after events.

Once thought to be a commodity or even a potential liability, vehicle cameras are now becoming more important to have in your fleet. We’re seeing an evolution from normal dash cameras to video telematics. 


There are two key advantages with video telematics over a typical dash camera. The first advantage is that managers can use video telematics to identify and modify risky driving behavior. The second benefit of this technology is that managers can receive timely video evidence of critical incidents — called “first notification of loss (FNOL)” by insurers.

What is video telematics?

Video telematics is a technology that integrates cameras and analytics with fleet tracking. Companies can use video telematics as a tool to record collision evidence, for driver risk management, or security.

What is a telematics camera?

A telematics camera refers to the hardware part of the solution. To get the most value, look for a compact, high-resolution camera with generous storage capacity, multiple recording modes, and GPS/GLONASS. Other useful video telematics camera features include an internal microphone, Wi-Fi connectivity, and 4G/LTE data transmission.

How video telematics works

Fleet video telematics combines vehicle data and driving data to provide more context around any incident footage while transmitting the video evidence in real-time over a cellular network.


Multiple camera options are available, including: 

  • Road-facing only
  • Road and driver-facing
  • Multi-camera (4 total cameras inside and/or outside the vehicle). 

The SmartWitness solution includes a smart g-force sensor, GPS, HD video recording, microphone, and built-in LTE.


MyGeotab users can easily view their video telematics data right from the software application. Having all their fleet data in one place makes it easier to analyze and act on the information.  

Trip View: Review fleet trips and pull captured video from any point along that trip in MyGeotab.

How many people use video telematics?

In North America and Europe, the number of companies using video telematics systems is growing year-over-year, with overall installed units reaching into the millions.

Benefits of video telematics

In the case of a collision, video telematics can help provide the answers to who, what, where, when, and why. Telematics technology plays an important role in improving the safety of drivers and others on the road. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, there were over 4,800 fatal crashes involving large trucks and buses in 2017, an increased number from the previous year.


Here are more benefits of telematics with video:

  • Immediate notification of incidents — manage the direction of claims through early interception 
  • Remote access to video footage — instant access when needed by the claims department 
  • Vehicle tracking and monitoring —  the speed and behavior metrics and whether the vehicle was in the area of the incident at the time

What is next for video telematics?

While the industry rushes to add more features on the device using artificial intelligence, the real race to watch will be what happens off the device. 


The cameras themselves are limited by the processing power that can be squeezed onto the device without impacting its size or cost. The device will always have limitations because it’s hardware. But cloud-based AI is nearly infinite in terms of what’s possible. Cloud-based AI will enable predictive and prescriptive capabilities related to driving behavior.


The growing benefits of telematics include lower operational costs, an increase in fuel efficiency and productivity. Video telematics in specific is helping businesses improve the way their fleets operate by providing greater visibility to help increase safety. 

About SmartWitness

SmartWitness is a world leading designer, manufacturer, and supplier of in-vehicle cameras, recorders, and software. Our industry leading vehicle equipment and API access has produced exceptional results for our clients and solutions which undeniably redefine the way vehicle risk is analyzed. 


SmartWitness GoCam+ captures high-resolution video and audio inside and outside of the vehicle, providing up to a 360 degree view of events. Fleet managers can watch a live playback, see trip and map information, and share a web link to specific events as needed.


For more details, please go to SmartWitness on the Geotab Marketplace and click Request Info.


Originally published on June 26, 2019.

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Geotab's blog posts are intended to provide information and encourage discussion on topics of interest to the telematics community at large. Geotab is not providing technical, professional or legal advice through these blog posts. While every effort has been made to ensure the information in this blog post is timely and accurate, errors and omissions may occur, and the information presented here may become out-of-date with the passage of time.

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