Dashcams have become a staple in the trucking industry. They provide an indisputable record of the actions of commercial vehicles, which protects drivers in the face of crashes and other accidents.
Samsara offers two types of dash cams. There’s the front-facing CM31 dash cam and the dual-facing CM32 dashcam.
In this review, we’ll go over the specifications and the advantages of the front-facing Samsara CM31 dash cam. We’ll also show you how to integrate the Samsara CM31 dash cam with your commercial vehicles.
How Does the Samsara Dash Cam CM31 Work?
The CM31 front-facing camera relies on the latest in artificial intelligence (AI) to record real-time road conditions. It can also easily detect immature driving behavior including tailgating, running a red light, and other unsafe driving measures.
The camera has a wide-angle lens with a 121-degree field of vision. Video is captured with 1080p resolution at 30 frames-per-second, offering unparalleled quality and detail.
The system is activated by the accelerometer sensor, which detects circumstances like sudden acceleration, braking, and other driving-related behaviors. The CM31 captures footage five seconds before and after these events occur, too. From there, the device uploads the footage to a cloud-based storage system.
Additionally, still images are taken every few minutes as long as the vehicle is in motion. The CM31 even offers voice feedback designed to correct poor driving habits, making it a valuable coaching tool for your commercial fleet.
Samsara Dash Cam CM31
Given the number of dash cams on the market today, it’s understandable that internet message boards have been abuzz with questions about the CM31. Here are some of the most common questions that people often ask about the Samsara CM31.
What is the Purpose of the CM31 System?
Like any dash cam, the CM31 is designed to provide an indisputable record of driver behavior. This data can be used for many purposes, namely as a way to proactively coach bad drivers and provide exonerating evidence in the event of an accident. You may wish to investigate the dash cam laws in your state to learn more about how to comply with local regulations.
Does the Samsara CM31 Record Audio?
The Samsara CM31 records audio, though in order to protect employee privacy, this feature must remain deactivated until all affected staff have been notified that audio is being recorded.
What Can the Samsara Cloud Dashboard Do for You?
The Samsara CM31 uses cellular data to automatically upload relevant videos to the cloud. The cloud-based system provides unlimited video storage, and the past 40 hours of driving time are retrievable for review at any point in time.
Does the Samsara Dash Cam Record While Parked?
The AI system of the Samsara is only activated when it detects sudden movements, like accelerating or braking. However, the dash cam captures still images regardless of sudden movements every few minutes as long as the vehicle is being operated. The CM31 does not record while the vehicle is parked.
How Do I Access My Samsara Camera?
Camera footage is accessible through the cloud-based storage system. Be aware that only authorized administrators will be able to review the footage.
Performance Factors of the Samsara Dash Cam CM31
When it comes to quality and clarity, the Samsara CM31 makes a fine addition to your fleet. The high-resolution video capturing system offers features for low-light and night driving, making it ideal for a variety of conditions.
Additionally, the plug-and-play capability is a nice feature as well. It ensures that the CM31 can be installed on virtually any vehicle in your fleet.
Granted, the CM31 is only a front-facing camera, so it won’t record driver behavior inside of the cab like the dual camera CM32 will. But the advanced AI and audio coaching tools make the Samsara CM31 an affordable option for your commercial fleet.
How Has the Samsara Dash Cam CM31 Improved?
Previously, Samsara only offered the CM12 front-facing camera, which included many of the same standard features as the CM31. However, the CM31 has improved on these features in every way, offering higher resolution and a more advanced AI system to record greater levels of detail.
Who benefits the most from the Samsara CM31?
- Fleets of any size
- Fleets seeking to proactively coach bad drivers
- Fleets looking for a cost-effective alternative to dual-facing dash cams
- Fleets looking for an easy-to-use cloud-based tool
Note that Samsara offers discounts for bulk purchases and multi-year commitments, making this dashcam scalable for any kind of commercial fleet.
One of the Best Front-Facing Cameras Today
The performance of the CM31 is undeniable, though the price point may be a bit steep for smaller fleets. Still, the basic features of the Samsara CM31 make it a cost-effective alternative to dual-facing cameras. The coaching features are also ideal for proactively coaching your commercial drivers.
Using the Samsara CM31 requires a CM license, which includes the hardware, cloud software, cellular connectivity, and ongoing updates and support.
Pricing varies, but the standalone license and hardware cost $428 per year. However, Samsara’s website indicates that discounts are available for volume purchases. Discounts are also available for those who pursue multi-year contracts.
Pros & Cons
The Samsara CM31 offers many benefits, some of which include:
- A high level of detail
- Audio coaching
- Advanced AI
- Quick installation
- Simple user interface
Basically, the CM31 offers a reliable dash cam without the added cost of the dual-facing CM32.
There are also some drawbacks to the CM31 that you should be aware of.
- Does not record driver behavior inside of the cab
- Video footage cannot be viewed in real-time
- Video segments are limited to 60 seconds
- Does not upload footage as a result of speeding
- Pricing may be prohibitive for smaller fleets
Like any new technology, your fleet may need time to adjust to the user interface and features associated with the Samsara dash cam CM31. However, it’s not entirely clear what level of customer service Samsara provides, which means that those who are searching how to access my cloud dashboard and looking for answers may find it difficult to adapt to Samsara’s product.