Samsara Launches New Safety Features to Train and Support Drivers Remotely

November 30, 2020

When the COVID-19 pandemic took hold in March, our top priority at Samsara was to support our customers with tools to navigate this unprecedented time. Now roughly nine months into the pandemic, fleets are adapting to a new normal. While safety managers are accustomed to having drivers out on the road, they historically relied on in-person training and coaching. Now, many fleets are adapting to a fully remote work environment—finding new ways to communicate with employees, as well as train recently-hired drivers without in-person interaction.

Today, we’re excited to announce three new optional Samsara AI Dash Cam features to help fleets navigate the unique challenges associated with remotely coaching and training drivers:

  • Mask Detection: Using advanced artificial intelligence, dual-facing Samsara AI Dash Cams can now automatically detect if a driver is not wearing a mask. This is especially developed for our customers in passenger transit, healthcare, and education, where drivers are in a vehicle with other passengers.

  • Live Streaming: Safety managers have the option to perform virtual ride-alongs and training by accessing live video of vehicles on the road.

  • Driver Video Share: Safety managers can share event videos directly with drivers, enabling remote and self-guided coaching.

These features are the latest way Samsara has iterated quickly to meet our customers’ needs. Read on to learn more about these new safety features—and see how Samsara customers are supporting and engaging drivers in an increasingly remote world.

Promote the health and safety of drivers with Mask Detection

Because commercial drivers are essential workers, the CDC has provided specific guidance for their safety—which includes wearing a mask in public settings, like when pumping fuel, going into a truck stop or gas station, picking up food, and completing a pickup or delivery. For most truck drivers, their COVID-19 exposure risk is low when they are alone in their cab. But for drivers who work in pairs or transport other people (like ambulance or bus drivers), a mask may be required all the time. 

Given these guidelines, many fleets now require drivers to wear masks while on the job. But without being in the field, it can be difficult for safety managers to promote consistent mask-wearing, ensure driver safety, and avoid possible fines. 

Our new, optional AI-based Mask Detection feature is purpose-built for today’s environment, with the ability to automatically detect if a driver is not wearing a mask. With optional in-cab alerts for drivers and auto-uploaded footage for safety managers, Mask Detection makes it possible to remotely coach drivers on this new behavior and promote a culture of health and safety.

Mask Detection joins our growing suite of AI-detected events and behaviors, which as of today also includes Tailgating Detection and Distracted Driving Detection.

Conduct virtual ride-alongs with Live Streaming

Many fleets are adjusting their driver training and coaching processes to limit COVID-19 exposure. Previously, many safety managers (or tenured drivers) would join new drivers for their first few shifts to provide feedback and support. These ride-alongs are a great way to provide real-time training for new drivers—but they are time-consuming, hard to do at scale, and difficult to do safely during COVID-19.

Our new, optional Live Streaming feature enables virtual ride-alongs, making it possible to safely onboard new drivers in an increasingly remote workplace. Now, safety managers can stream road-facing video, inward-facing video, or both from Samsara AI Dash Cams to their Samsara dashboard, in real time. With this launch we’ve also incorporated driver-centric features with a privacy by design approach. In-cab alerts notify drivers any time a live stream starts and ends to ensure drivers always know when Live Streaming is activated.

“As an emergency service, we do random audits of crews driving on emergency calls to ensure that both the lights and sirens are activated and that the crews are coming to a complete stop at all intersections—keeping the ambulance, crew, and public safe. Live Streaming allows us to give instantaneous feedback as if we are in the cab with the crew.”


— Robert Ackerman, Safety Director at SeniorCare EMS

Increase coaching engagement with Driver Video Share

With many teams working remotely for the first time, the pandemic has posed new challenges for employee communication. But now more than ever, ensuring drivers feel valued, protected, and actively engaged in safety while on the road is essential. In fact, a 2018 Gallup poll found that companies with more engaged employees have 48% fewer safety incidents.

Now, Driver Video Share makes it easier than ever to coach drivers remotely without the need for in-person interaction. With the optional Driver Video Share feature, safety managers can share event videos directly with drivers, who will receive a notification with a link to the event details and video. This enables evidence-based, self-guided coaching that can happen on a mobile device and at a driver’s own pace, since they can access the videos whenever it’s convenient. Even after the COVID-19 pandemic is over, this feature will allow drivers to receive 1:1 coaching and feedback without needing to go back into the office.

Try out these new features today

These new, optional safety features are available now for Samsara customers. Register for our upcoming webinar on December 16 to learn more about Samsara's safety features from a product expert, or try out these new features today:

  • If you have Samsara AI Dash Cams, Mask Detection, Live Streaming, and Driver Video Share are available in your dashboard now. Our dual-facing model (CM32) is required for Mask Detection.

  • If you are using our older camera models, Driver Video Share is available in your dashboard now. To access Live Streaming or Mask Detection, ask your Samsara contact for a free trial of our AI Dash Cams.

If you’re not a Samsara customer yet, get a demo to see how our platform can help your fleet stay safe and efficient in an increasingly remote world.

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