SCI Distribution adds video to fuel management

Clearwater, Fla.-based SCI Distribution has added a new video option to its RF Fuel management system for on-site or mobile fuel tanks. The cameras can record compressed video of all fuel transactions, including incidents of fuel theft. The video images are transmitted wirelessly from the pump to SCI’s Web-based fuel management software.

For under $350, a fleet could install a mobile fuel recording system on a vehicle that consists of two cameras, a GPS receiver, a sensor and wireless modem. The cameras could record all fuel transactions including siphoning, says Tal Ezra, president of SCI. The minute an object enters the tank inlet, the sensor triggers the cameras to record.

To reduce the bandwidth needed to store and transmit video images, SCI is using a new software compression technology developed by the same Israeli scientist that invented the first cable modem for television, Ezra says. The technology compresses video 16 times better than the leading MP4 compression standard that is used today.

The RF Fuel system offers several options to dispense fuel, each of which can now be used to trigger a video record of the event. Drivers can enter a code into a keypad or swipe a magnetic key at the fuel island. They can also enter their vehicle mileage. All data, including the video, is transmitted between the fuel island and the office through highly encrypted radio frequency (RF) signals.

For ultimate security, SCI also offers RF “ring” technology that fits around the tank opening and a separate ring that fits around the fuel nozzle. The ring on the tank contains a chip that stores the identity of the vehicle. The system verifies that the vehicle is indeed a company vehicle before authorizing the pump to dispense fuel.