City of Allentown

How the City of Allentown saved an estimated $1M+ in taxpayer dollars with AI Dash Cams

With Samsara, the city gained real-time visibility into their operations across 21 departments—empowering them to streamline incident investigation, save taxpayer dollars, and improve service reliability.

City of Allentown

Meet City of Allentown

Limited visibility into operations cost time—and taxpayer dollars.

As the third-largest city in Pennsylvania, the City of Allentown manages complex fleet operations across 20+ departments including street management, fire, parks and recreation, EMS, recycling, and more. Though the city had a basic telematics solution before Samsara, it was complex, difficult to use, and provided limited functionality—leading to low adoption across city departments.

Because city employees represent the government and drive city-owned vehicles, it is imperative that they model safe behavior, particularly since the city is self-insured. But before Samsara, the city had limited visibility into what was happening on the road. As a result, they would spend an estimated 10 hours per week investigating incidents and would often have to pay out claims due to lack of video evidence. 

These challenges were exacerbated each winter, as the city had no way to monitor the location or status of critical city equipment such as snow plows and material spreaders, making it challenging to confirm service coverage and time-consuming to communicate accurate information to citizens.

The City of Allentown needed a robust solution that provided real-time visibility and live, in-the-moment data.

A single platform for real-time visibility across 21 departments.

With Samsara Vehicle Gateways and AI Dash Cams deployed across every non-emergency department and two out of three emergency departments—21 departments in total—the City of Allentown now has real-time visibility into their operations.

Samsara's video-based safety solution has transformed how they operate, from investigating incidents to protecting the city from not-at-fault claims and even informing real-time decisions for emergency services. For example, the city's Fire Chief uses Samsara's Live Streaming feature to evaluate the severity of a fire in real time—as his crew arrives at the scene—so he can send additional resources if needed.

On the road, employees driving city vehicles receive alerts for risky driving behaviors such as harsh braking. If an incident does occur, administrators can quickly retrieve footage to investigate and, in many cases, exonerate the city from liability. In one example, an employee driving a regenerative air sweeper was involved in an incident in which they were not at fault. By reviewing footage captured by the sweeper’s AI Dash Cam, they were able to exonerate the innocent employee and save an estimated $370,000 in taxpayer dollars due to avoided legal fees, claim costs, and employee time. This is just one of many examples—in another instance, Samsara helped the city quickly recover a stolen vehicle, avoiding replacement costs and additional downtime.

Furthermore, Samsara has streamlined the city's snow operations. By leveraging Samara's Coverage Map, administrators now have a live view of every snow plow and material spreader on the road across three districts, which improved service coverage by an estimated 20% last winter. This has also improved operational efficiency, as they no longer have to rely on three different shifts of supervisors to communicate coverage at the end of their day; they can simply check Samsara for accurate, real-time coverage data. Beyond snow operations, the city is planning to use Samsara to optimize other services such as paving, too. Furthermore, they are using Samsara’s Trip History Report to help inform and justify new vehicle purchases based on actual usage data.

With Samsara, the City of Allentown now has a single, unified platform to increase safety and efficiency across disparate city departments. The city is continuing to discover new use cases and benefits each day, and they plan to implement Samsara across the rest of their vehicles and equipment within the next 6-8 months. 

Safer and more efficient operations across the city—and an estimated $1M+ in taxpayer dollars saved.

With Samsara, the City of Allentown has achieved massive improvements in safety and efficiency. By providing real-time visibility on the road and improving employee safety, Samsara helped them achieve a 25% reduction in incidents and a 95% reduction in citizen calls. Quick and efficient video retrieval has transformed how they investigate incidents, saving their team roughly 10 hours per week and an estimated $1M+ in taxpayer dollars due to avoided legal fees, claim costs, vehicle replacement and downtime costs, and employee time. 

The City of Allentown expects this ROI to continue to grow as they continue to discover new ways to use the Samsara Connected Operations Cloud to increase efficiency across their operations.

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