How High-Tech Security Solutions Protect Auto Dealerships and Save Money

An auto dealership is monitored by VIVOTEK security solutions.
(Image credit: VIVOTEK)

When a customer brings a vehicle into an auto service center, vehicles tend to have pre-existing damage, even as small as chips in the windshield and scrapes on the bumper. When the customer charges that the dealership caused the damage after the vehicle was brought in to be serviced, disputing the claim is difficult and sometimes impossible, thus resulting in a settlement and costing the dealership thousands of dollars to fix an issue they did not cause.

As a result, a video surveillance system was requested to detect damage of any and every size as the vehicle entered the dealership’s service bay to be able to dispute any unwarranted claims. ARG Communications chose VIVOTEK (opens in new tab) and a total of 38 of its indoor and outdoor security solutions to solve Martin Honda, Mazda, Kia security surveillance solution issues.

An auto dealership is monitored by VIVOTEK security solutions.

(Image credit: VIVOTEK)

One of the more challenging requests for this system was to design an application whereby virtually every angle of the vehicle could be caught on video surveillance in such a way that it could detect pre-existing damage on the vehicle.

[Cloud Power: What You Need to Know About Security in the Cloud] (opens in new tab)

The VIVOTEK Video Surveillance System was designed to be on its own network. ARG installed a separate network router/firewall and POE switches for this system. ARG’s lead technician Richard Pharoh, working with Aaron Logan, designed an application whereby the cameras could detect such pre-existing damage for any size vehicle from a standard car to a minivan to a full-size SUV. They came up with a solution in which the VIVOTEK cameras were mounted offset from the wall covering the left and right sides of the vehicle for all three of the dealership’s bays, and the top of the vehicle was covered from above. There was a total of eight cameras installed for this application alone.

Overall, ARG installed 32 other cameras throughout the service center, carwash, and parking lot. Two CC9381-HV panoramic network cameras are being used for stairwells. 13 FD9187-HT fixed dome network cameras are being used in various indoor locations. Six IB9387-HT bullet cameras are being used in various exterior locations. 13 FE9191 360-degree fisheye network cameras are being used in the service bay. Three MS9321 20MP multi-sensor panoramic network cameras are being used in the parking lot. One MS9390 multi-sensor network camera is being used in the parking lot, and two ND9541P 32-channel NVRs provide the throughput and storage needed for the system.

An auto dealership is monitored by VIVOTEK security solutions.

(Image credit: VIVOTEK)

To date, this solution has proven that damage occurred either prior to a customer bringing a vehicle in for service, or that the damage did in fact occur while it was in the hands of the service personnel. They installed two NVR’s with 32TB of storage each to record each camera and hold recordings for the requested timeframe. As a part of this system installation, they also installed monitors for the service manager and assistant service manager to view live video. ARG installed VMS client software and a cell phone application so that they could also view and access recordings on their PC’s or cell phones from anywhere.

The system has performed as the customer had hoped. When you can prove damage was on the car when they drove it in, it makes it easy to refute unwarranted claims and save thousands of dollars as a result. It is true that “a video is worth a thousand words”. With a drive thru that sees more than 100 vehicles every day, the customer really needed a robust system. The customer has already avoided more than 25 damage claims in the first six months of operation.

[Pro AV 2023: Trends to Watch] (opens in new tab) 

“The customer was very pleased with the quality of the system and picture,” said Joseph Ruggieri, ARG Communications president. “They were even asked by another vendor working on the project to provide our contact information, as this vendor works with other dealerships that would be interested in this specific design.”

“I really appreciated the flexibility [ARG] showed in tuning the cameras so we could see everything we needed to see,” added Dave Jernegan, service and parts director for Martin Honda, Mazda, Kia. “[ARG] was outstanding as they brought the ideas we brainstormed into a reality for us. We couldn't be more pleased with the product or its implementation.”

The AVNetwork staff are storytellers focused on the professional audiovisual and technology industry. Their mission is to keep readers up-to-date on the latest AV/IT industry and product news, emerging trends, and inspiring installations.