Managing Editor, Features
Samsara Expands Connected Fleet Technology to Improve Driver Productivity, Boost Safety
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SAN FRANCISCO — Fleet technology supplier Samsara is rolling out product updates designed to streamline drivers’ daily routines, mitigate unsafe driving and improve fleet management, marking the latest steps in the company’s mission to make transportation operations more connected.
The growing amount of data collected by onboard sensors and devices is unlocking further gains in fleet efficiency, safety and sustainability, said Samsara CEO and co-founder Sanjit Biswas, who compared this trend to past technology revolutions such as the proliferation of smartphones and the rise of the internet.
“We at Samsara believe the next big wave of technology transformation is not just about connecting people, but it’s about connecting things — everything,” Biswas said June 15 at the technology company’s inaugural customer conference, Samsara Beyond 22.
Samsara offers a range of products and services — including vehicle telematics, mobile applications for drivers, equipment monitoring and video-based safety — through its integrated technology platform, the Samsara Connected Operations Cloud.
The San Francisco-based company, founded in 2015, has been expanding its technology offerings for commercial trucking businesses and other fleet operations in recent years.
The technology firm, which went public in December, reported annual recurring revenue of $607 million in its fiscal first quarter ended April 30, up 59% year-over-year.
During the conference, Biswas highlighted Samsara’s expanding list of data integrations with other technology vendors, vehicle manufacturers and service providers. Samsara has built integration partnerships with more than 150 companies, he said.
“We took this data and connected it to systems all across the industry,” Biswas said. “We started breaking down silos.”
Connectivity and data “are making experiences possible for your workers that we couldn’t have imagined a generation ago,” said Kiren Sekar, Samsara’s chief product officer.
Sekar introduces new product features. (Seth Clevenger/Transport Topics)
Sekar outlined the latest ways the company is expanding the capabilities of its technology platform.
The updates include enhancements to Samsara’s Driver Workflows, which guide drivers through various compliance- and safety-related tasks to help simplify those processes. New end-of-day workflows help ensure drivers complete the right tasks before they sign off for the day.
Fleet managers can customize the workflows to match each driver’s specific requirements and can create links to third-party applications to include additional tasks.
Samsara also announced In-Cab Nudges, a new feature that gives drivers opportunities to self-correct risky driving behaviors after receiving an in-cab alert. If drivers cease the unsafe behavior they can maintain their safety scores and avoid potential coaching, Sekar said. In-Cab Nudges will be available in open beta testing in the fall.
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Another new feature is Multi-Stop ETAs, which give dispatchers and managers up-to-date predicted arrival times at all stops along active routes based on real-time trip progress. The feature, which is currently available, can help fleets provide more timely customer service for multistop routes, the company said.
Samsara also announced Remote Support, which will allow administrators to easily view and control mobile devices from any location. Remote Support will be available in open beta testing in the fall.
In addition, Samsara announced new integrations with manufacturers and suppliers to improve fleet customers’ access to data. An integration with Thermo King provides real-time visibility to transport refrigeration units with no additional hardware requirements. Samsara also announced connected-vehicle data partnerships with General Motors’ OnStar services and Stellantis’ Free2move platform.
During the conference, Samsara highlighted how customers such as oilfield services fleet Liberty Energy are improving their operations with telematics data.
Liberty Energy said it has been able to connect disparate systems such as its payroll and maintenance software to the platform.
The fleet also discovered an unexpected opportunity to cut costs. The company expects to save $10 million by identifying more accurate tax rates through improved reporting using Samsara’s vehicle location data.
Fleet telematics hardware on display at Samsara’s Beyond 22 user conference in San Francisco. (Seth Clevenger/Transport Topics)
On the safety front, Liberty Energy has deployed two-way cameras in the cabs of its trucks.
Despite initial resistance, drivers came to appreciate the video-safety systems because the recordings could exonerate them in the event of a crash, said Michael Tuomi, the fleet’s health, safety and environmental manager.
“The cameras sold themselves,” he said. “We were very hesitant to implement, but the drivers told us that’s what they wanted.”
Workforce development was another recurring topic of discussion at the conference as transportation providers continue to face a challenging labor market.
During the event, Samsara released its Connected Operations Report, which found that 54% of respondents view easy-to-use technology as a key element of their workforce recruiting and retention efforts.