How fleets are using technology to face unique challenges

How fleets are using technology to face unique challenges

Video coaching, dash cam evidence, or a fully removable system – users of Samsara technology share how they use it.

Several developments were shown off at Samsara’s 2024 Beyond conference in Chicago, IL, but how are fleets actually using the company’s offerings? Fleet Equipment sat down with three customers from different types of fleets, to learn how they’re employing Samsara’s products and technologies to overcoming unique challenges. The customer panel featured leaders from three companies (pictured left to right): Gurinder Dhillon of Otto Car, Danny Lilley of Werner Enterprises, and Tavo Vildósola of Mexlog.

Vildósola, operations director at Mexlog (also a champion off-road racer and Red Bull athlete) said the company delivers trucks from factories to dealerships throughout North America. In doing so, drivers may haul several tractors, but the lead truck is not one of Mexlog’s—it also gets delivered at the end of the run. That means that Samsara and Mexlog had to work to develop a dashcam and safety system that can be removed and set up again, each time the driver needs to haul a new set of trucks.

Vildósola adds that a major concern when operating in Mexico is driver and asset safety. Using Samsara, he said that the company has been able to cut down on theft instances by letting the driver quickly press a button to call for help, while tracking technologies and video recordings help to catch criminals and retrieve stolen trucks.

Lilley, chief technology officer at Werner, highlighted other cloud-based aspects that benefit his fleets, such as modernizing and digitizing information, driver alert systems and real-time video coaching. Lilley said these tools helped speed up their operations and improved the connection between drivers and fleet managers, providing faster collaboration to get around issues that may come up on the road.

According to Lilley, fleets should not be afraid to experiment with early technological developments, saying it helps improve the value of the technology and the value of your people. They gain news skills as they learn how the programs and tools work, while being able to work with the company on feedback that can benefit your specific needs.

Otto Car puts its focus on light-duty, with its fleet of thousands of EV cars being used by rideshare drivers in London. Dhillon, the company’s founder, cited the benefit of using the inward and outward facing dash cameras to collect and share information quickly, in case of a crash or incident.

Dhillon adds that the tracking capabilities can also help take note of a driver’s mental health. He explained that if a driver’s been making more mistakes than usual (harsh braking, reckless driving, etc.) looks chronically fatigued or distant, then a manager can ask the driver if something has happened in their personal life, or inquire about their health. Dhillon said these actions may be able to help prevent an accident from happening, and can playa role in retaining drivers.

Otto Car is working with Samsara for forward-looking technologies, as well. Dhillon added that in the near future, his company will begin testing autonomous cars in London and is working with Samsara to determine how it can export this vision data so other models can learn from it. Samsara added that any information coming from Otto Car’s fleet like tracking data, video recordings, or sensor readings is theirs. However, these insights also help train Samsara’s models which benefit all of its customers. 

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