Samsara Expands Connected Fleet Technology

Virtual Driver Coaching, Data Connections Among Advancements
Samsara CEO Sanji Biswas
Samsara co-founder and CEO Sanji Biswas announces new features for the company's Connected Operations Cloud. (Seth Clevenger/Transport Topics)

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AUSTIN, Texas — Samsara is expanding its connected fleet technology with new features designed to support more proactive driver coaching, integrate more data streams and provide customers deeper insights into their operations.

The technology provider showcased its latest product enhancements and reiterated its vision for more connected and increasingly data-driven fleet operations at its annual customer conference, Samsara Beyond 2023, held June 21-23.

“We live in a time of digital transformation,” said Samsara CEO and co-founder Sanjit Biswas, who illustrated how the landmark technologies of recent decades have achieved widespread adoption at an accelerating pace, from desktop computers to smartphones and now artificial intelligence capabilities such as the AI chatbot ChatGPT.

“These waves of digital transformation keep hitting us,” he said. “They go faster and faster and faster.”

This transformation is happening not only in consumer technology, but also in commercial fleet and industrial operations, Biswas said.

Technology-enabled driver coaching and AI-supported dashcams are yielding significant real-world improvements in fleet safety, efficiency and environmental sustainability, he said.

Extrapolating from improved safety and efficiency results, Samsara projected that its customer base prevented more than 120,000 crashes in 2022 while digitizing more than 110 million workflows and eliminating 130 million hours of engine idling to save fuel and reduce carbon emissions.

On the safety front, Samsara is extending its support for driver coaching.

The company introduced its new Virtual Coach feature, which enables drivers to review their safety performance, learn from their errors and improve their driving behavior while they are out on the road.

Rather than waiting for in-person coaching, drivers can access video of potentially unsafe driving along with fleet managers’ personalized notes via the Samsara Driver App at the beginning or end of the day, or even during a rest break.

The beta version of Virtual Coach is now available to customers.


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Less-than-truckload carrier XPO is piloting the new virtual coaching feature, along with Samsara’s in-cab alerts, which notify drivers if they are speeding, following too close or obstructing the cab camera.

Those real-time alerts, combined with the opportunity to later review video of risky driving events, empowers drivers to self-correct their behavior, said Greg Pawelski, XPO’s vice president of health and safety.

“Inherently, professional drivers want to be safe. They want to do the right thing,” said Pawelski, who added that the driving profession has become more challenging due to worsening traffic congestion and sharing the road with motorists who are all too often distracted while driving.

XPO ranks No. 5 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest for-hire carriers in North America.

To unlock greater efficiency for fleet operators, Samsara is pushing forward with its efforts to connect disparate data sources.

Samsara’s Connected Operations Cloud now supports more than 240 integrations with various technology vendors, equipment manufacturers, fuel card providers, insurance companies and other industry partners.

The company’s larger customers are now utilizing about six data integrations on average, up from about four a year ago, Biswas said.

“That just goes to show you the momentum in the market to bring all this data together and find more insights and have more impact,” he said.

The telematics company also announced it is adding new data connectors with third-party data integration platforms Fivetran and Apache Kafka and data analytics software Microsoft Power BI, enabling fleets to gain more holistic visibility into their operations.

Insights extracted from all this data are transforming the way drivers work and fleets run their businesses, said Jeff Hausman, Samsara’s chief product officer.

“Data is your fuel for better outcomes,” he said.

Another new software feature is Mobile Experience Management, which enables drivers and other workers to receive customized support such as remote training and troubleshooting through their mobile devices while preventing unnecessary digital distractions.

“That is going to help keep them connected and productive,” Hausman said.

Samsara also is expanding its asset monitoring capabilities.

The company’s new Find My Asset feature enables managers to quickly pinpoint the location of trailers and other assets.

Samsara also added a new two-way integration with Thermo King’s TracKing system to make it possible for customers to not only monitor but remotely control their Thermo King transport refrigeration units from the Samsara dashboard.

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