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Motive vs Samsara: which is better?

Having a reliable dashcam is an essential part of safety and security for truckers. Though you can find a host of options for a dashcam, two of the most popular models on the market come from Samsara and Motive. This article compares these two leading brands while also examining their features, pricing and usability so that you can choose which dashcam is the best for your distinct needs. 

Samsara AI Dashcam: the basics

One of the most popular brands on the market, Samsara’s dashcam offers a wide range of features that make it a best-in-class option for truckers of all types. With easy-install options, Samsara’s dashcam is simple to get up and running quickly. Another perk when using any Samsara product is its highly rated customer service team.

This device combines sleek, wide-angle lenses with artificial intelligence (AI)-powered software to:

  • Capture 1080p HD video at 60 fps
  • Record at a standard rate of 30 fps
  • Analyze driver actions and road conditions live
  • Provide in-cab coaching via instant alerts for unsafe or illegal behavior
  • Automatically upload tagged footage to the Samsara dashboard
  • Present drivers and fleet managers with scorecards and trend reports
  • Offer a 130-degree wide-angle lens
  • Feature infrared LEDs for reduced ambient light
  • Provide custom alert setups for speeding, sudden braking or accelerometer-activating events 

The Samsara dashcam currently comes in two models. Its dual-facing dashcam takes front- and driver-facing video and can store up to 100 hours of on-demand video. For fleets that want a cheaper option, the front-facing dashcam can store up to 75 hours of road-facing drive time. Both units plug directly into the Samsara vehicle gateway.

Finally, Samsara’s dashcam is a great value for its feature set, customer service and quality. While there may be cheaper options on the market, none offer the same combination of features and easy usability.

Cost: Use Samsara’s pricing tool to find out the cost for your trucking company.

Motive Smart Dashcam: the basics

The Motive Smart Dashcam is an ideal choice for truckers seeking an efficient solution with expanded AI functionality. Another easy-install dashcam option, Motive’s interface has optimized its UX to highlight its numerous features.

The San Francisco-based company founded in 2013 services over 85,000 customers. With fleets ranging from small trucking companies to Fortune 500 enterprises, it should come as no surprise that Motive manufactures one of the top-rated dashcams on the market. 

General Features:

  • HD recording at 1080p resolution
  • 140-degree wide-angle lens
  • Two built-in microphones and speakers to improve communication between fleet managers and drivers
  • Motive’s Driver Match facial recognition, which enables fleet managers to verify drivers’ identities upon vehicle entry
  • Geofencing technology for enhanced driver location statuses on job sites and at weigh stations

Motive’s Smart Dashcams are designed to proactively detect and alert drivers to unsafe events before they occur. These AI-enabled devices analyze video, road conditions and driver behavior in real-time to detect:

  • Speed limits
  • Route deviations
  • Tailgating 
  • Cell phone usage
  • Hard braking and acceleration
  • Collisions
  • Sharp corners or turns
  • Camera tampering

By combining Motive’s Driver Score system with customer alerts, video footage of unsafe incidents can automatically be tagged and uploaded to the Motive Safety Hub via mobile connection. Once the tagged video is uploaded, fleet managers can take immediate action with drivers to automate coaching. Upon contact, managers and drivers can retrieve and review videos from the past 35 hours on demand. 

The Motive dashcam is also easy to install, with no mechanic required. Though it connects to the Motive Vehicle Gateway (ELD) and works with any Motive subscription plan, certain safety features are only available in the Pro or Enterprise plans. 

Motive’s Dashcam provides truckers with an effective solution for comprehensive driver monitoring with actionable performance insights. Ultimately this can benefit your company with improved Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) scores, which may lower insurance premiums.

Cost: The dual-facing AI dashcam costs $400 per unit. There’s also a monthly fee for the app of $40 per month. Reach out to Motive directly for a complete quote based on your exact fleet size.

Motive vs Samsara dashcam: which one is right for you? 

When choosing between Samsara and Motive for your dashcam needs, it’s important to not just consider features or price, but the actual qualities necessary for your company. 

Samsara’s dashboard is highly user-friendly, making it simple for drivers of all experience types to quickly become familiar with the system. Though both cameras can record video in HD and have a wide range of customizable alerts, Samsara comes with a free 14-day trial. With a try-before-you-buy model, especially with a purchase of this scale for fleets, testing Samsara’s dashcam before committing is a huge plus. With Samsara’s user experience being intuitive, this dashcam is ideal for those who don’t have the time or patience to learn a more complex system.

In comparison, the Motive Dashcam requires a monthly subscription fee, with additional fees added based on usage and features. Though these costs can add up quickly if you’re running a large fleet or require frequent updates, Motive’s AI dashcam technology is best in class. While the Driver Score feature contains a breadth of data points about driver performance over time, this feature might be too basic for more experienced fleets that need more detailed reports.

Overall, Samsara offers an excellent balance between cost-effectiveness, user-friendliness and features that meet most fleets’ demands. While Motive may offer advanced features that appeal to some fleets, its recurring costs could make this option less attractive than Samsara for those looking for an economical solution that still meets their needs.

Economic vs. technologic

Samsara is the better choice for trucking dashcams when looking for an easy interface and lower cost. With a flat-rate subscription option that includes unlimited data usage for up to five vehicles, Samsara provides great value compared to Motive’s pricier plans. Additionally, Samsara’s extensive features, including custom alerts and HD recording, make it the ideal choice for fleets looking to track driver behavior and performance trends over time.

Ultimately, Samsara is the more economical solution for those in search of an efficient trucking dashcam. That being said, Motive’s ever-expanding technology allows fleet managers to have a bird’s eye view of their entire fleet in detailed analytics and mapping.


Is Samsara better than Motive?

Samsara is the more economical solution, while Motive’s technology is a bit more expanded. Samsara offers a free 14-day trial in comparison to Motive’s seven-day trial. One other way that Samsara may outperform Motive is in its flat rate pricing, whereas Motive requires a subscription.

Why is KeepTruckin now Motive?

In a 2022 statement, Motive’s CEO, Shoaib Makani, said that “changing our name to Motive better reflects the diversity of customers we serve and problems we solve.”

Does Samsara’s dashcam record while parked?

Samsara’s dashcam does not record while the vehicle is parked, but if the vehicle is being operated, the AI engages during any accelerometer-activating events and takes pictures every few minutes.

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Motive–Everything you need to manage your fleet. All in one place.

Create a safe, efficient fleet with reliable ELD compliance, advanced GPS tracking, and the AI-powered Smart Dashcam.

Motive–Everything you need to manage your fleet. All in one place.

Create a safe, efficient fleet with reliable ELD compliance, advanced GPS tracking, and the AI-powered Smart Dashcam.