The Evolution Of Dash Cam Technology: Video Footage vs. Live Streaming

November 24, 2021


The Evolution Of Dash Cam Technology: Video Footage vs. Live Streaming

Dash cams are extremely effective safety tools for commercial fleets. Generally, fleets install dash cams because they’re looking for better visibility into driving behaviour on the road. The footage generated from dash cams can be used for driver coaching, accident avoidance and, in worst case scenarios, evidence for exoneration.


Most dash cams can either record video and auto-upload incident footage, or offer a live streaming feature. Live streaming makes it possible to view live video from the dash cam remotely, in real-time, directly to your computer. Dash cams with live streaming are the equivalent to a virtual ride-along, allowing fleet managers to coach and support drivers remotely. 


Where it began


The earliest known dash cams were developed in the United States around the 1980’s. The first dash cams were developed specifically to outfit police vehicles. Large and bulky, these dash cams weren’t mounted on the dashboard of cars as seen today but rather held up by a tripod on the front or rear windows. 


Unlike modern dash cams, early models used analog technology; their recordings weren’t saved digitally, but recorded on VHS cassettes. As you might imagine, this made the transfer and storage of recordings intensely time-consuming. The earliest dash cams also had poor video clarity and quality, making it difficult to identify physical features or license plate numbers in the recordings.


Currently, many dash cams offer similar storage, though now on memory or SD cards rather than their bulky cassette predecessors. Dash cams are also considerably smaller, less expensive and more efficient than their predecessors.


Where it is now 


In addition to better price points, a reduction in size and better video quality, new dash cams such as our newly launched ZenduCAM AD+ offer full-service support for you and your fleet. Our HD digital video recordings provide next-level identification of people and events; when paired with GPS and AI functionality, you get a full view of what’s happening within your vehicles as well as on the road. 


What makes these tools so efficient is the use of live streaming. Today’s dash cams are more “connected” than ever; fleet managers can now obtain footage via an online portal without the need for an SD card. This speeds up the claims process and keeps costs low. Live streaming also enables you to train your drivers in real-time, correcting any adverse driving behaviours and helping them avoid issues before they start.


The ZenduCAM AD+ live streaming feature makes it possible for safety personnel and fleet managers to stream road-facing and cab-facing video to their dashboard in real-time. Approved admins can initiate a live stream on the dashboard for vehicles that are on active trips and have cellular reception. The dash cam is able to stream live video and audio with live playback, and drivers are notified when a live stream starts and/or ends to ensure they know it’s activated.


Dash cams with live streaming make it possible to remotely coach and engage with your drivers in new ways, including:

  • Full visibility: As a fleet manager, it used to be impossible to know where your drivers were at any given time, or what the road conditions were. Live streaming makes it possible for you to check in on your drivers and make sure they’re safe and engaged properly on the road. 
  • Checks and balances: Live streaming allows you to check in on your drivers periodically, whether it’s for the purpose of coaching, or gathering data on their driving habits.
  • Remote training: It’s not always feasible to train new drivers in person. Live streaming lets you provide training and feedback remotely, and safely.


With the ZenduCAM AD+ dash cam, you can live stream to improve driver behaviour based on specific trigger events; no more searching through hours of video footage to retrieve an incident. Save time, reduce claim costs and keep your drivers safe on the road with full telematics, streaming and camera functionality. Contact your consultant today to learn more about ZenduCAM AD+!