Friday, April 23, 2010

4-wheeler cuts in front of you? There’s an app for that

It’s well documented that a significant majority of accidents involving big rigs and smaller vehicles are the fault of the of the small-vehicle drivers. But if a picture is worth 1,000 words, a video should be worth a novel the size of “War and Peace.”

Thus, my excitement over the announcement of a free app for Android-based phones that can continuously shoot video – from inside a cab, for instance. DailyRoads Voyager “acts as a video black box, recording everything, but only keeping what the user is really interested in,” according to a review on DailyRoads.com. The video files can be times tamped and geotagged and uploaded for sharing.

I’ve known several drivers over the years who have attempted something like this, with video cameras, or later webcams, mounted inside their cabs or elsewhere. The big improvement here is adapting the idea to a mobile phone and enabling it to be programmed so a driver doesn’t have to fumble with the device and thus become a hazard to all and sundry.

It potentially gives drivers an unbiased and objective witness to events that lead up to accidents. It could also be useful in documenting long lines at shippers and receivers. They think you’re checking your email, but really you’re taping the dock boss saying something like, “I don’t care that your appointment was at 9. We just gave you that so we’d be sure to get to you by 2.”