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How to select the right storage solution for your video telematics systems

Aug. 18, 2021
Video telematics systems combine video, data, and integrated cameras in fleet vehicles to monitor driver safety performance and deliver insights that can help improve fleet safety, efficiency, and customer service.

Video telematics systems combine video, data, and integrated cameras in fleet vehicles to monitor driver safety performance and deliver insights that can help improve fleet safety, efficiency, and customer service.

The global fleet management market for the commercial transportation industry—including trains and trams, buses, trucks, and other transport vehicles—continues to grow. Once valued at $4.5B in 2019, it is expected to reach $15.8B by 2026 (CAGR of 20%)1.

The implementation of video telematics systems in fleet vehicles will result in huge volumes of data. This will require system optimization among data storage, data processing and communication from an end-to-end topology perspective—driving the next innovation in video telematics solutions.

Types of VT Systems

Video telematics systems generally fall into two categories:

  • Cameras with onboard storage mounted in the vehicle
  • Cameras connected to a mobile recorder mounted in the vehicle

In both scenarios, cameras cover the view of the driver, passengers and outside conditions and monitor for road safety and driver behavior. In addition to video monitoring, these solutions are integrated with GPS tracking and other vehicle-related monitoring, such as fuel, speed, temperature, etc.

With system connectivity improvements, it is possible to transmit data to a centralized management system for real-time monitoring/management. However, for cost efficiency and connection reliability reasons, surveillance video archives are typically stored in a local storage device, like a mobile recorder.

With the growing volumes of data generated by these systems, a robust storage solution is critical for successful operation of video telematics.

This brief describes video telematics systems and discusses how to select a suitable storage solution for your system.

Storage Options for Video Telematics Systems

Video telematics systems generally use one of three options for storing recorded video:

Hard disk drives (HDDs)

Typically used in mobile recorders, HDDs require additional designs for protection from external vibration and shock.

Solid State Drives (SSDs)

Primarily used in mobile recorders because of their capability of operating in harsh environments, SSDs offer protection from vibration and shock.

microSD Cards

Broadly used in dash cameras and mobile IP cameras and recorders, microSD cards offer flexibility and size advantages.

Storage Requirements

Determining Suitable Storage Options for Video Telematics Systems

To determine the most suitable storage options for a video telematics system, four key factors should be considered:

  1. Ability to Operate in a Harsh Environment:  Because the system is in a vehicle, the storage solution must be resistant to vibration and shock while also supporting a wide temperature range.
  2. Footprint (Size): Mobile design aesthetics are trending to smaller, less obvious form factors; therefore, the size of the storage footprint is an important consideration.
  3. Storage Retention: In general, a seven-day storage retention period covers most video telematics application usage models in the transportation sector.
  4. Upgradability: Removable storage with ease of installation is ideal for storage upgrade requirements in the field. Increasing days of retention, upgrading camera resolution requirements, or adding additional cameras in a vehicle are all scenarios that are easily serviced by simply opening the camera/recorder slot and replacing the storage device with the appropriate density.

Design Considerations

Using microSD Cards as Primary StorageGiven the storage requirements discussed, solid state storage with industrial, ruggedized design and up to 1TB capacity can address most use cases. Industry advancements in NAND technology have enabled high-density solutions in the microSD card form factor, enabling smaller footprint and removability features that provide additional system design benefits. As the microSD card becomes the mainstream primary storage in video telematics systems, designers, installers, and end users must be aware that not all microSD products are the same.

Key considerations with using microSD cards in video telematics systems include:

  1. Endurance and Quality, Lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO): Is the microSD card designed to handle three years of continuous recording? A typical video telematics system needs to be ruggedized toward all-weather resistance. To reduce maintenance and decommission costs during service years and to lower TCO, a high-endurance, optimized microSD card is essential.
  2. Recording Performance Optimization (Lower Risk of Data Loss): Does the solution give confidence that the microSD card is capturing all essential and critical footage at all times? Continuous video recording into a microSD card can cause frame drop issues. The microSD card must optimize its recording performance for continuous video recording usage to reduce the risk of data loss

Micron’s Industrial microSD Card for Video Telematics

Micron’s industrial microSD cards are specifically designed for edge storage workloads and features:

  • Storage densities of 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, 256GB, 512GB and 1TB enable more video to be stored at the edge and increase design flexibility
  • Three years of high-quality, continuous, 24x7 video recording in a wide range of temperatures and environments
  • A two million hours mean-time-to-failure (MTTF) or 0.44 percent annualized failure rate (AFR)
  • Special firmware designed for continuous video recording that minimizes frame drops
  • Technology for the cards to self-monitor and provide information on usage and expected useful life remaining

Learn More: Video Surveillance (micron.com)

References
[1]  Global Market Insights – Fleet Management Market Report 2026 Forecast
[2]  Based on modeling of vendor’s published specifications
[3]  Based on testing with a commercially available camera utilizing a variety of retail cards and Micron’s industrial card; data may vary with different cameras

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