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September 16, 2021 1:15 PM, EDT

J.J. Keller Launches VideoProtects Service for Geotab Users

JJ Keller software Fleet managers can review video clips of dangerous driving events to support driver coaching. (J.J. Keller & Associates Inc.)

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Fleet safety and regulatory compliance firm J.J. Keller & Associates Inc. has introduced its VideoProtects video monitoring service for companies using Geotab’s connected-vehicle technology.

VideoProtects, which J.J. Keller acquired in January, uses onboard cameras and artificial intelligence to identify dangerous driving events and sends video clips and safety alerts for drivers and fleet managers to review.

The video service integrates with Geotab’s in-vehicle telematics devices to record footage of trigger events such as crashes and harsh braking or harsh cornering incidents. It also utilizes AI to recognize driver fatigue and risky driving behaviors, including cellphone use, distracted driving and tailgating.

In addition to video recordings and safety alerts, VideoProtects provides analytics and workflow tools to support driver coaching, either in person or through a smartphone app.

“Video safety technology is one of the most effective tools fleets can use to help keep drivers and highways safe, while also reducing risk for their companies,” J.J. Keller CEO Rustin Keller said in the Sept. 14 announcement.

Onboard cameras have been gaining traction in the trucking industry as a way to proactively coach drivers and provide liability protection in the event of a crash. A growing number of fleet technology suppliers have introduced or acquired onboard video product lines in recent years.

While VideoProtects is not among the earliest entrants in this expanding market, the product is intended to bring video analytics capabilities to a broader range of fleets at a lower cost, said Michael Nalepka, general manager for VideoProtects.

inward facing camera

J.J. Keller’s VideoProtects service offers optional driver-facing cameras.  (J.J. Keller & Associates Inc.)
 

The video service is designed to work for all types of commercial fleets, from Class 8 trucks down to light-duty vehicles, Nalepka said while providing a product demo to Transport Topics.

VideoProtects offers a basic service that uses only a forward-facing camera to record the road ahead, as well as a “Pro” version that also incorporates a driver-facing camera to support additional safety features.

Nalepka estimated that the onboard video market in Class 8 trucking is split about evenly between fleets that don’t want a camera facing the driver and those that do.

“We’re trying to accommodate both sides of that coin,” he said.

Fleets that start with the basic service can later upgrade to Pro through an over-the-air software update with no hardware changes.

VideoProtects also can support fleets that want to use the inward-facing camera for some drivers but not others.

“It’s not either-or,” Nalepka said. “You can blend a fleet. You can change it over the air.”

outward facing camera


J.J. Keller’s VideoProtects service offers road-facing cameras.  (J.J. Keller & Associates Inc.)

Nalepka believes the trucking industry is migrating toward a more targeted approach to driver-facing cameras.

He predicted that cameras on the driver “are almost always going to be used for new drivers, drivers in training, and also maybe for drivers that have had a lot of high risk,” but not necessarily for those with a proven safety record.

VideoProtects currently is available on the Geotab Marketplace, an online source of fleet-management technologies and applications that integrate with Geotab’s open telematics platform.

In a statement, Geotab CEO Neil Cawse described VideoProtects as a “cost-effective but capable camera solution that focuses on ease of use and open access to cameras.”

J.J. Keller is also studying other market options for VideoProtects such as a potential stand-alone product offering, Nalepka said.

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