Car Dealerships - System Design

When you have millions of dollars of inventory sitting outside and the general public has access to it, you need a professional video surveillance system. Period! Car dealerships use security camera systems to protect the inventory, assure employee safety, protect against accident liability, and to alert sales representatives of the arrival of a customer in the lot. All of this can be achieved with a well-designed system.



Perimeter- Inventory Surveillance

Some car lots can be quite large and may require multiple long range cameras. Stationary cameras or pan tilt zoom (PTZ) cameras are both good options. Keep in mind a PTZ cameras, even as powerful as they are, can still only see in one place at one time. Often it makes sense to use more, lower cost, stationary cameras. This increases the number of eyes watching the inventory, for equal or less money than a couple of PTZ cameras.


The cameras should be matched to the distances expected to view. Camera placement should be chosen so each camera provides maximum coverage without over extending the cameras abilities. The cameras should be mounted high to provide a better viewing angle at distance. Each camera should be chosen for its specific location. The following diagram shows common camera locations.


Car Dealership Camera Locations

Interior Camera Placement

Small dome cameras are best for the interior. The camera should be chosen based on the viewing area desired. Vandal Domes can be used in the work shop as well as the sales floor. They mount on the wall or ceiling and can be aimed in any direction. A wide angle lens should be used to cover as much area as possible. Cameras should cover all entry points and traffic areas. It’s recommended that each shop work bay has a dedicated camera for safety and to document any employee accidents.

Sales Department

The cameras located in the sales area can be equipped with a built-in microphone for audio recording. Audio can be an incredibly useful management tool. For example, monitoring the performance of a sales department. Imagine having clear audio/video documentation of conversations. Management may use this as a way to document the negotiations with the customer. If you do use audio recording, it is best to display a sign stating the conversation maybe recorded. Also check with your states guidelines for legally recording conversations. Cameras with built-in microphones.


The cameras report to a Network Video Recorder or NVR. This is the brains of the system. A hard drive is installed in the unit to record the cameras. Motion alerts, remote viewing, audio recording, playback and camera control are all performed by the video recorder. The system can be accessed by management using their work computer or smart phones to monitor the facilities operation.


The total number of days the system stores recorded video is a function of the number of cameras and the size of the hard drive. We also recommend using the motion activated recording feature. This can increase the total days of stored video by 50-100%.


How motion recording works: The cameras are always streaming the video to the recorder. The recorder monitors the pixels of each camera and can identify movement. The system, because it is always buffering the video, adds the 10 seconds of video prior to the movement into the video clip, so no part of the activity is missed. Each camera can be set up to record continuously or on motion using automatic schedules.



Expert Business System Design

Our business design experts have over 30 years of combined experience. We have designed thousands of business systems for retail, office buildings, malls, parking lots, storage facilities, airports, police stations and many government facilities. Designing an effective security solution requires expertise. We have that expertise, and can design an effective system for your business or facility.


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