A match made in telematics heaven

Navistar Samsara

  • Navistar makes a remote diagnostics device. Samsara provides fleet management software.
  • A new partnership allows the companies to offer both solutions on a single device.

Navistar International Corp. (NYSE: NAV) has announced a partnership with Internet of Things provider Samsara, as the country’s fourth-largest truck manufacturer seeks to expand telematics offerings without adding a burdensome number of in-cab vehicle devices.

The collaboration builds on Navistar’s existing open-architecture, remote diagnostics device. The original equipment manufacturer’s customers can now add Samsara’s fleet management software to that factory-installed solution without the need for new hardware.

Samsara claims 15,000 customers across a variety of industries and geographic markets. Its offerings include hardware, software and cloud aimed at bringing real-time visibility, analytics and AI to trucking operations.

The two companies’ mutual customers drove the partnership, Chintan Sopariwala, Navistar’s vice president of aftersales operations and connected vehicle, told FreightWaves.

“We are hearing more and more from our mutual customers that they would like to have a single provider in the truck so they don’t have to pay for two different devices nor do they have to put up with maintenance and [other] costs with two devices,” he said.

All in one

The integration is a first for Navistar as it pursues a new strategy of collaborating with telematics companies to extend the power of its in-house device, OnCommand Connection. Navistar’s solution is all about the engine and applications to reduce the total cost of ownership, Sopariwala explained, while Samsara’s software focuses on the driver and compliance. 

“The beauty of this partnership is that … if you are a fleet owner, you now know all about the vehicle through Navistar and all about drivers through Samsara,” Sopariwala said.

A first for Samsara as well, the Navistar partnership marks the company’s inaugural OEM integration with a medium- or heavy-duty fleet. 

In addition to consolidating software solutions onto Navistar’s device, the integration allows Samsara telematics customers to access OnCommand Connection’s remote diagnostics solution for their fleets.

“Out of the gate, we will start to ingest basic telematics information from the customer’s vehicle location and vehicle health,” said Christopher Mozzocchi, Samsara’s director of OEM integrations.

Both companies are also excited about expanding the partnership into new areas, he said, such as offering ELD services without having to install a piece of hardware in the cab.

That solution should roll out in the next quarter, according to Mozzocchi. Other potential areas of collaboration include safety and video solutions, he said.

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