Trimble sees video as a liability mitigator

by Abdul Latheef

August 24, 2020

SUNNYVALE, Calif. – When Kent Kelly worked as the fleet manager at a Minnesota food hauling company many years ago, his first video in a vehicle was a VHS cassette deck in the back of a squad car.

Today, Kelly is the sales manager at Trimble for Video Intelligence, which he says will help mitigate liability for both driver and employer in the event of an accident.

TrimbleTrimble’s four-channel DVR offers a 360-degree view of the truck. (Photo: Trimble)

“Video is very believable in a court setting. And it’s a powerful way to capture what happens at any given time, as our drivers are out there on the road,” Kelly said.

He was speaking on the first day of the three-day Trimble Virtual Conference and Expo, which is showcasing various products and services being offered by the company.

Video evidence is particularly significant in the U.S. trucking environment where carriers, regardless of their size, face nuclear verdicts — awards that are out of proportion with the damages suffered.

Fewer videos

“When your drivers know that there is a camera in the truck, they are going to drive more cautiously,” Kelly said.

Trimble’s multiple-camera digital video recorder (DVR) system offers a 360-degree view of the vehicle environment. They also record moments before and after an event.

“We create fewer videos than in an accelerometer-based system, which measures every bump in the road.”

Kent Kelly, sales manager of Video Intelligence, Trimble.

Kelly, however, stressed that the Trimble system creates only a manageable number of videos.

“We create fewer videos than in an accelerometer-based system, which measures every bump in the road,” he said.

The Trimble system also filters the video.

“That is a big difference. You need to see just what you need to see, and not the false triggers.”

Crash study

Kelly also cited a study conducted by the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute to underline the importance of onboard video.

He said in the study of 8,309 car-truck crashes, car drivers were assigned fault 81% of the time versus 27% for truck drivers.

“Without video evidence, the odds are unlikely to be this favorable toward trucks. In other words, without video, there is just no way you can fight those claims.”

Trimble offers DVRs with two or four channels. Kelly said 95% of its customers have chosen the four-channel system as it covers Class 8 vehicles well.