This episode of The Road Forward is hosted by Truckspy’s CEO Flint Holbrook. He’s joined by Matt Drake and Alex Chubenko, also on the Truckspy team.
Matt is our new COO and has a long history working in safety. He started as a P&D driver for FedEx Ground and eventually became a driver trainer for FedEx. During his time with FedEx he began to notice the trucking industry embracing technology more and more. This was about the time Matt got involved with video safety. About 5 years ago he joined Netradyne, a company that uses AI to help fleets understand risks and driver best practices.
It’s no surprise that Flint and Matt are both big fans of the driver-facing camera, but Alex is a bit more skeptical about the concept. We’ve noted some of his big concerns and what Flint and Matt had to say about them:
Cameras are only good for big companies where drivers might be tempted to stage an accident for insurance money.
This is definitely true, however this can apply to any company big or small. Video footage can also serve the purpose of clearing a driver from involvement in a road accident. It’s not unheard of for other drivers on the road to try to blame a truck driver for an accident where he was not at fault.
I wouldn’t want to be spied on by my manager.
Realistically, fleet managers just don’t have the time to sit and watch their drivers. Even if they wanted to, data limitations means it’s just not feasible to livestream drivers 24/7.
Could I lose my job because the camera flagged something incorrectly?
In an industry with such high turnover, no one is looking to get rid of a driver. Instead, it’s more likely that these cameras are being used to help drivers improve. It’s highly unlikely that someone would be fired solely based on camera footage, especially an isolated incident. If something is flagged, a manager is likely to review the footage and would be able to tell if it was a false positive.
Can a driver tell if they are being actively watched? This could especially be a concern for women drivers entering the industry.
Our cameras are equipped with a privacy mode that activates when the truck is stopped. This means that the camera shuts off and cannot be turned back on until the truck begins moving again. In the event that livestreaming is enabled while the truck is moving, the driver is alerted. In addition, although the cameras have audio capability, this feature is usually disabled.
The conclusion? While it is true that driver facing cameras mean that a driver can be recorded, the reality is that you’re most likely not being spied on by your manager. In fact, cameras have features that prevent the driver from being watched while they are off duty. The intent of the camera is not to spy on the driver but rather to learn where drivers and the fleet as a whole can improve. In fact, drive cameras can protect both the driver and the company in the event of an accident. If you’re a driver reading this who has been skeptical about drive cameras in the past, hopefully some of these facts will put you at ease.
Be sure to check out the full episode to hear some real world examples showing how drive cameras can save drivers and companies.
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