Samsara offers AI-enabled safety features and IoT solutions for operational efficiency

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Updated Jul 8, 2024
Sanjit Biswas, CEO of Samsara, said the company are aiming to further offer actionable insights and products to tackle challenges that its clients face.
Sanjit Biswas, CEO of Samsara, said the company are aiming to further offer actionable insights and products to tackle challenges that its clients face.
Pamella De Leon/CCJ

IoT cloud platform Samsara added new features to enhance operational efficiency, streamline workflows, safety and driver training.

Last year, Samsara processed more than 9 trillion data points as its fleet customers drove 60 billion miles, CEO Sanjit Biswas said, at its user conference, Beyond.

“That’s a staggering amount of data that we can use to compute and find insights,” Biswas said, "and that’s what starts unlocking value. It’s the insights that we’re able to find in that data.”

Leveraging data and artificial intelligence, Biswas said the company is aiming to further offer actionable insights and products to tackle challenges that its clients face.

Leading its list of new innovations is the new Asset Tag, designed to help customers manage and track small, high-value items, such as toolboxes or services gloves. It uses industrial-grade Bluetooth technology and Samsara’s network of cloud-connected devices across the U.S. and worldwide.

[RELATED: Samsara unveils enterprise-grade Asset Tag to track high-value equipment]

Regarding safety, the company announced new AI-enabled features including drowsiness detection, which uses Samsara’s inward-facing dash cams. Using similar technology that can detect phone usage, it can also track factors such as eye movement, yawning, facial contortion and a blank stare, and give real-time alerts to drivers and, if needed, letting their safety manager know.

Lane departure and forward collision warnings are also introduced to help drivers avoid potential accidents. Data from these systems gets sent back to the Samsara dashboard, wherein fleet managers can review incidents or offer coaching to drivers.

Improving automation

Last year, Samara released Connected Forms to help digitize paper processes, such as maintenance logs, bills of lading, timesheets and other information that would usually be kept on paper. This year, the company introduced Connected Workflows to automate multi-step workflows and save time for drivers and employees alike.

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Connected WorkflowsConnected WorkflowsSamsara

Connected Workflows can automatically assign form assignments and create tasks by detecting triggers, such as entering a geofence location or detecting an accident. Companies can customize their own workflows and use data that’s already in the fleet’s Samsara platform. 

As an example, Samsara showed a geofence around a site. When a truck arrives on the geofence location, the driver can automatically be notified of forms and tasks, such as conducting an inspection. If during inspection the driver realizes there’s a broken ladder, he can create a simple ticket for the supervisor to review or assign to another employee.

Reed DesRosiers, Samsara staff product manager, explained that the team is focused on developing Connected Workflows in four main areas: equipment, safety, transportation and workforce management.

“We want to make it 10 times easier to fill out a form,” said DesRosiers. “Ultimately, we want to make it as easy as possible for users to use this product, and make sure these processes are automated for both ends of the spectrum, whether you’re out in the field, in the cab, in the back office.”

Amy Wilson, director of DOT and fleet compliance at NexTier Completion Solutions, shared that the new workflow had improved time consuming tasks. Prior to using the platform, drivers need to complete a physical form, take a photo of the form and submit it via email.

“It was very time consuming, and we couldn’t guarantee that we were going to get every employee to follow,” Wison said. With the platform, what used to take 5-7 minutes can now be done to 1 or 2 minutes.

Additionally, Samsara also introduced Connected Training, which allows fleets to offer customizable driver training through continuous remote learning using the Samsara driver app. Managers can centralize all training within the platform and integrate it with existing workflows.

Connected TrainingConnected TrainingSamara

To address poor driving behaviors more swiftly, rather than waiting for a driver and fleet manager to meet in person, training can be sent automatically after an incident.

As an example, Samsara showed a driver who was caught using his phone during a trip. Without requiring a supervisor at a dispatch center, the driver was sent a notification to complete training videos and quizzes through the app. Fleets can use premade training modules or custom ones.

In beta testing Connected Training showed a 35% decline in safety issues.

Carlos Arias, CFO of Trayecto, noted that the new feature helps coach drivers, but is also an added advantage for driver safety. With a panic button feature, Trayecto’s drivers can quickly contact the company if they experience a health issue or notice suspicious activity.

Arias said, “We’re getting better at safeguarding our people and our assets.”

Pamella De Leon is a senior editor of Commercial Carrier Journal. An avid reader and travel enthusiast, she likes hiking, running, and is always on the look out for a good cup of chai. Reach her at [email protected]