FreightWaves Ratings cuts through the noise of freight technology product reviews to make you a smarter buyer

Samsara

The Samsara camera is for anyone who wants real-time accident detection and preventative in-cab coaching while on the road. This applies to fleets of many sizes, spanning various industries – from owner operators of commercial, heavy-duty vehicles, to electric vehicles. In the trucking industry, dual-facing dash cams, driver-facing dash cams, and road-facing dash cams play a critical role in road safety and driver monitoring. They also help to improve fleet safety and protect drivers.

In this Samsara dash cam review, we will explore the AI dash cam by Samsara to help you make an informed buyer’s decision. There are many benefits to installing a dashboard camera in your vehicle—from capturing reckless driving and recording unexpected occurrences to minimizing road accidents and collecting evidence after an accident. In the aftermath of an accident or incident, drivers who have dash cams in their vehicles stand a better chance, legally, than those without.

As a fleet owner or owner-operator, you’re looking for an efficient, all-in-one surveillance solution to help you protect your drivers and vehicles. We will explore the technology that makes this device the go-to for many small to midsize logistics companies.

Have you used the Samsara AI Dash Cam? Tell us about your experience by submitting a review

Who should get the Samsara Dash Cam?

The Samsara camera is for anyone who wants real-time accident detection and preventative in-cab coaching while on the road. This applies to fleets of many sizes, spanning various industries – from commercial, heavy-duty vehicles, to electric vehicles. In the trucking industry, dual-facing dash cams, driver-facing dash cams, and road-facing dash cams play a critical role in road safety and driver monitoring. They also help to improve fleet safety and protect drivers.

What is it?

The Samsara camera is a technologically advanced electronic logging device that supports owner-operators and fleet owners with real-time incident detection and in-cab coaching. The device harnesses its power from artificial intelligence and G-force accelerometer data that lies within it. These two technologies work together to detect high-risk behaviors in real time and audibly alert the driver.

The Samsara AI Dash Cam is a product of Samsara, a connection operations company founded in 2015. The company provides an all-in-one vehicle telematics solution for fleet owners to avoid hours-of-service violations, streamline operations, and reduce costs. Samsara is headquartered in San Francisco and maintains offices in Atlanta, London, and San Jose, California.

Currently, the company collects 1.6 trillion IoT data points annually and boasts more than 20,000 customers worldwide. Samsara has also been named the fastest-growing video telematics vendor in the U.S. by Frost & Sullivan, helping users save an estimated $250,000 per year by using video to help defend against false claims. Samsara has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, and its AI dash cam is an FMCSA-approved ELD.

How to use the Samsara dash cam

It typically takes fewer than 15 minutes to get your easy-to-mount Samsara camera up and running. Because the device has no complex electrical wiring or IT configuration, you only need to plug it into the Samsara Vehicle Gateway and follow a few instructions. The gateway is the hardware that transmits engine data to the driver app and dashboard.

The dash cam protects drivers by using a looped three-step process.

  • First, it analyzes the road and vehicle for high-risk behaviors that could result in an accident.
  • Second, it uses artificial intelligence to send in-cab alerts when it detects an avoidable accident. This helps the driver to adjust their behavior or make calculated decisions to avoid a crash.
  • Third, the technology automatically uploads the footage to the cloud for review. The owners or administrators can log into the dashboard and review the incident and take action.

The in-cab alert system can determine:

  • Distractions: The device alerts the driver to focus on the road.
  • Tailgating: It alerts and coaches a driver to be careful when they follow a vehicle too closely.
  • Harsh driving: The Samsara dash cam can automatically detect forms of reckless driving.

Whether you opt for the dual-facing dash cam or the front-facing dash cam, you must know that it is the technical features that make the device top-notch. These features include:

  • Full HD video
  • Motion and object detection
  • AI-processor for live scene computing
  • Automated cloud upload
  • Embedded audio speaker for real-time driver assistance

Cost

The cost of the Samsara dash cam depends on several factors. This includes the type of license you opt for: one, three, or five years. Upgrades and specialized features such as its 177-degree, wide-angle, loop recording, motion detector HDR; an infrared LED for night recording; and an automated cloud upload can affect the overall Samsara dash cam cost. Get a free quote from Samsara.

Remember, this is an estimation. Several factors will determine the actual cost, including whether you have a compatible device, whether you need back-office access, and the variable cost of mounting hardware. 

UP FRONT COST

MONTHLY COST

3-YEAR TOTAL COST

  • $2,399

 

Pros & Cons

PROS:

  • Real-time in-cab alerts: Samsara data shows that when drivers receive in-cab alerts for harsh braking and harsh acceleration, the frequency of those behaviors s reduced by up to 40%.
  • The AI Dash Cam also improves driver behavior with HD video-based coaching tools.
  • Video evidence: The Samsara camera can protect drivers against false claims, prevent the suspension of licenses, and increase driver retention. By harnessing the power of its full HD resolution lens, you can have video evidence to avert false claims and prevent costly litigations. According to the company, users have saved an estimated $225 million by using its videos as evidence.
  • Visibility into critical events: The Samsara camera gives users visibility into critical matters. Owners and administrators can monitor the driving habits of employees. They can also review reckless driving, near-misses, and accidents. It also helps to confirm whether your drivers are HOS compliant.

CONS: 

  • Inflexible contracts: Samsara does not offer monthly contracts, only annual. The one, three, and five-year contracts favor the company heavily and may make it difficult for a user to opt out.
  • Poor Wi-Fi connection: Some users report that the in-cab Wi-Fi loses connection in certain areas. This could interfere with the efficiency of the camera and prolong cloud uploads.
  • Driver app design: Some users dislike the mobile app design, as it uses elements of gaming architecture to promote safer driving behaviors.

User Reviews

4.5
5
(50%)
4
(100%)
3
(0%)
2
(0%)
1
(0%)
Product solves a problem and lowers insurance cost
Darrell Hayes — 03/30/21

Took time to get set up properly in the cab and support time was a bit long at first. After everything was finally installed I have no issues to report.

Happy with service
Steve — 03/23/21

Lowered insurance costs and provided evidence to clear a legal dispute

Technical Specs