Samsara Dash Cam Reviews

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Samsara was founded in 2015 by the co-founders of Meraki. It is headquartered in San Francisco and has offices in San Jose, Atlanta, and London. Some of the solutions offered by Samsara includes vehicle telematics, driver safety, mobile workflow and compliance, asset tracking, and industrial process controls.

Samsara offers two variants of dash cams – front facing and dual facing. The front-facing model, CM31 records the road whereas the dual-facing CM32 records the road as well as the inside of the cab.

Samsara Dash Cam Cost/Pricing

The price for dash cams vary across both variants.

Below are the packages for Samsara dash cams:

  1. Dual-Facing AI Dash Cam – Standalone License + Hardware costs $624 per year. The Samsara CM32 dash cam package includes the following:
  • Dual-facing dash cam license
  • Dual-facing dash cam hardware
  • VG34 Vehicle IoT Gateway hardware
  • Samsara vehicle cable
  1. Front-Facing AI Dash Cam – Standalone License + Hardware costs $468 per year. The Samsara CM31 dash cam package includes the following:
  • Front-facing dash cam license
  • Front-facing dash cam hardware
  • VG34 Vehicle IoT Gateway hardware
  • Samsara vehicle cable

The Samsara AI Dash Cam does require a subscription to the Vehicle Gateway from what we could find out. Due to this the pricing is far too high and requires a 3 year contract.

Score: D

 

Design

Samsara CM32 dash cam design best truck dash cam

Samsara CM32 dash cam

samsara CM31 dash cam design best truck dash cam

Samsara CM31 dash cam

 

Samsara Dual-Facing AI Dash Cam (CM32) and Front-Facing AI Dash Cam (CM31)

The Samsara dash cams are wider than the other dash cams available in the market. Its dimensions stand at 4.3 x 1.6 x 2.4 inches. It has minimum operating temperature of -4 degree Fahrenheit and maximum operating temperature of 149 degree Fahrenheit.

Score: B

 

Samsara Dash Cam Installation

Samsara installation best truck dash cam

Samsara AI dash cams can be plugged directly into the Vehicle Gateway, which connects to the OBD port. One of the biggest drawbacks of OBD port installation is its lack of portability. If a fleet wants to move a dash cam from one vehicle to another, or even remove it from the vehicle when needed, dash cams that plug into a cigarette lighter or is battery powered is ideal.

Score: C

 

Samsara CM31 Dash Cam Manual

Click here to download. 

Samsara CM32 Dash Cam Manual

Click here to download.

 

Samsara AI Dash Cam – Artificial Intelligence

Samsara artificial intelligence best truck dash cam

The dash cams by Samsara are powered by artificial intelligence, or AI. Leveraging the AI enables moving the heavy lifting associated with analytical analysis from the cloud into the camera, which opens the door for real-time notifications. It efficiently alerts drivers about speed limits, pedestrians, and vehicles in dangerous proximity in real-time.

Samsara’s object recognition and real-time alerts offer warnings and safety alerts and watch for safety coaching opportunities as advanced driver assistance systems, ADAS do. The dual-facing dash cam offers live scene analysis and built-in speaker for driver coaching. M32 is purpose-built to reduce high-risk behaviors, like distracted driving and tailgating, lower safety-related costs, and provide deep visibility into fleet operations.

Score: A

 

Vehicle Gateway

samsara vehicle getaway best truck dash cam

The VG34 Vehicle Gateway provides live GPS tracking, FMCSA-approved ELD capabilities, engine diagnostics, a built-in Wi-Fi hotspot, driver workflows, advanced analytics, etc. The Vehicle Gateway costs $129 plus $400 annual license on a 3-year contract that includes maintenance, support, cloud software, and cellular data, if applicable.

Score: C-

 

Samsara Dash Cam Audio

Both Samsara dash cams feature an in-built microphone that captures audio. By default, this feature is turned off. If the user activates audio capture, Samsara confirms if admins have notified all drivers and affected staff. This feature protects a driver’s privacy.

The Samsara dash cam does not record footage in speeding events. However, audio alerts can be activated to warn drivers when speeding event occurs. Also, text and email alerts can be sent to managers directly.

Score: B-

 

Samsara Dash Cam Video

The dash cams upload a footage 10 seconds before and after an incident is recorded. Samsara’s front facing dash cam features wide angle lens (121° angle) that captures video with full HD 1080p. It also offers HDR mode for low-light and night vision. The inward facing camera features wide angle lens (177°) with full HD 1080p video, HDR mode, and Infrared LED for low-light recording and night vision. Both capture 30 frames per second (FPS).

The videos however cannot be streamed live. Incident footage is uploaded once the event ends. The footage for non-incident events can be requested in short intervals. For dual-facing CM32s, the previous 40 hours of driving time is accessible. For front-facing CM31s, the past 24 hours of driving time is accessible.

Score: C+

 

Battery

The dash cams feature a 1300mAH battery for backup power.

Score: C

 

Memory/ Video storage

A Samsara dash cam is plugged into a Vehicle Gateway. The recorded footage is auto-uploaded to Samsara cloud as soon as a vehicle detects an incident. It also seamlessly integrates with the Vehicle Gateway.

Score: C

 

Samsara AI Dash Cam Security

The footage captured on Samsara AI dash cam is secure. Data is transferred using SSL/256 bit AES encryption (military-grade). Only approved and authorized admins can review and request video.

Score: B

 

G-force accelerometer

The internal accelerometer recognizes impacts like crashes, harsh braking, acceleration, and turning. When these incidents are avoidable, the in-cab alert warns the driver to adjust their driving behavior. The sensitivity level vary across the setting (i.e. car, light truck, or heavy duty vehicle). The dash cam also uses computer vision to detect traffic violations, for example, rolling through a stop sign.

Score: B

 

Driver score card and analytics

The Samsara dash cam and the Gateway also curates driver and vehicle safety scorecards. It displays statistics about the distance driven, time, event summary, fleet trends, and a total score for a driver on these aspects.

Score: B+

 

 

Pros

  1. Real-time assistance and coaching for drivers via audio speaker.
  2. Rolling stop detection.
  3. Infrared LED.
  4. Auto speed updates.
  5. Safety trend graph.
  6. Distracted driver detection with artificial intelligence.
  7. Cloud storage.
  8. Computer vision with ability to read and interpret stop signs and speed limits.
  9. Auto-upload of event footage.

 

Cons

  1. Unable to retrieve segments more than 60 seconds in length at any one period of time. Though it offers a “hyperlapse” mode, it does not prove of much utility as the compression effectively omits frames. While doing so, it makes it difficult to identify incident times.
  2. The dash cam does not upload footage from speeding.
  3. Videos cannot be streamed live.
  4. Reporting structure not as convenient as it could be. The customization options are limited.
  5. Hardware: connecting the camera system to our existing line equipment is a bit difficult for few customers since the Samsara is designed to work on 12VDC instead of 24VDC or 120VAC which are far more common in industrial control systems.
  6. Software: there is a noticeable amount of lag at times when making adjustments for fine-tuning requirements.

 

Customer Samsara Dash Cam Reviews

The customer reviews for Samsara dash cams reflect quite positively especially for its AI (artificial-intelligence) powered features, however there are some negative reviews of customers stating the need to call and enquire about certain statistics or images that are not visible when required. The Driver app sometimes force quits and refuses to log information.

 

Overall Samsara Dash Cam Review

Samsara dash cams are dependable and reliable for larger fleets. It’s AI-backed features help in efficient management of the fleet and its resources. However, the features come with a higher price point. It may not be an ideal option for smaller fleets due to its pricing and add-on expenses.

Overall Rating

On the 26th of February, BestTruckDashCam received a one-star review from a user named Cheryl Lynch Winchester. She stated her experience with truck dash cams by Samsara and mentioned that they continue to charge her even after she discontinued their services. The review is quoted below,

“To not take advantage of people, even after we returned the cameras, sold the trucks and hardship due to covid, they are still charging me full price every month. We contacted them and explained. They still want money and I have had no service from them for 6 months. I actually never used the camera, they are not user friendly and I’m pretty tech savvy. All in all, don’t bother throwing your money away to this company. They just don’t budge.”

After contacting her and replying that BestTruckDashCam only provides reviews, having no role in customer service, she withdrew her one-star review; her comment continues to remain on the page (Facebook).

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