AI dash cam comparison: Motive, Samsara, Lytx

See the results from the landmark 3-week study from Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI).

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Motive achieves highest alert rates for

six unsafe behaviors.


of events successfully alerted to at 9.4 seconds.


of events successfully alerted to at 12 seconds.


of events successfully alerted to at 17 seconds.

Three cameras. Three weeks. Hours of testing.
See the differences.

Unsafe driving like close following, rolling stops, and texting cause millions of collisions annually. Virginia Tech tested 234 scenarios using AI-powered dash cams from three vendors in 6 categories (day, dusk, and night). Cameras were new, professionally installed, and initialized as instructed. Each camera underwent three placement rotations.

Phone call

The Virginia Tech driver simulated phone use by holding the phone to his ear for at least 30 seconds in 39 tests under various driving conditions, including day, night, and twilight.

  • Motive 95% success within 7.5 seconds
  • Samsara 38% success within 5.5 seconds
  • Lytx 28% success within 21 seconds
See test results Watch test footage


The Virginia Tech driver simulated texting by holding the phone in his right hand at an elbow bend of 45-degrees while looking down for an average of five seconds over a six-second period in 39 tests under various driving conditions, including day, night, and twilight.

  • Motive 92% success within 6.9 seconds
  • Samsara 47% success within 7.5 seconds
  • Lytx 18% success within 14.5 seconds
See test results Watch test footage

Phone in lap

The Virginia Tech driver simulated using a phone in lap by holding the phone with the back of his hand touching his lap while looking down an average of five seconds over a six second period in 39 tests under various driving conditions, including day, night, and twilight.

  • Motive 53% success within 7.0 seconds
  • Samsara 15% success within 8.7 seconds
  • Lytx 8% success within 16.2 seconds
See test results Watch test footage

Close following

The Virginia Tech driver simulated close following by maintaining a one-second following distance for 30 seconds with their vehicle and the lead vehicle accelerating to at least 45 mph in 39 tests under various driving conditions, including day, night, and twilight.

  • Motive 100% success within 15.5 seconds
  • Samsara 28% success within 26.1 seconds
  • Lytx 36% success within 13.1 seconds
See test results Watch test footage

No seat belt

The Virginia Tech driver simulated a seat belt violation by accelerating to 45 mph and driving without a seat belt for at least 30 seconds in 39 tests under various driving conditions, including day, night, and twilight.

  • Motive 100% success within 15.5 seconds
  • Samsara 0% success
  • Lytx 100% success within 20.1 seconds
See test results Watch test footage

Rolling stop

The Virginia Tech driver simulated a rolling stop by rolling through an intersection at ~15 mph in 39 tests under various driving conditions, including day, night, and twilight.

  • Motive 77% success within 3.8 seconds
  • Samsara 0% success
  • Lytx was not evaluated for Rolling Stop alerts; they were deactivated for all customers during the study.

Rigorous testing from a trusted leader in driving studies

Motive sponsored a study conducted by VTTI to gauge how effectively AI dash cams alerted drivers to unsafe driving behaviors. Across all times of day and camera placements, the Motive AI Dashcam successfully alerted drivers to six unsafe driving behaviors 86% of the time, compared to 21% for Samsara and 32% for Lytx. 

An advocate for the transportation industry

As a global authority on transportation systems and strategy, Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) is continually advancing transportation through innovation. As one of the largest university-level transportation institutes, VTTI has influenced public policy on driver, passenger, and pedestrian safety for more than 35 years.

Accordion Body

On-road conditions, real results

VTTI’s on-road testing evaluated the dash cams’ ability to effectively alert drivers to unsafe behavior through in-cab alerts and dashboard notifications. To ensure fairness, factors that might affect system performance were controlled, including:

  • Time of day: Day, twilight, night.
  • Placement: Cameras rotated for equal time in each position.
  • Weather condition: Conducted in generally clear conditions.
  • Driver: A trained VTTI commercial driver researcher.

Putting a stop to unsafe driving behaviors

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), five distracted seconds at a speed of 55 mph is the same as driving the entire length of a football field with your eyes shut. It’s imperative that safety managers provide an in-cab video system that effectively identifies and alerts drivers of unsafe behavior in real time to protect them.

VTTI put the solutions from Motive, Samsara, and Lytx to the test. Explore the results.

Gain visibility and reduce risk with the Motive Driver Safety solution.

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Unmatched AI alert rate

Instantly detect unsafe driving behavior with unrivaled accuracy and alert drivers in real time with the most advanced AI dash cam.

Automated coaching

Motive reviews every video for context and severity. Powerful coaching tools make it easy to coach drivers.

Scoring and reporting

Benchmark driver and company performance with the Motive Safety Score and measure the impact of your safety program.


Inspire safety.

Elevate performance.

White paper
Superior AI Processor

The right AI processor greatly impacts a dash cam’s performance, power efficiency, and behavioral detection.

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Curbing distracted driving with AI

Discover how real fleets enhance safety and reduce unsafe driving behaviors with dual-facing AI dash cams.

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The 2023 State of Safety report

This survey of 1,100 fleets reveals that organizations that choose not to invest in safety are losing across the board.

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Case study
AI Dashcam delivers powerful ROI

Groome Transportation made the switch to Motive and saw a 4x increase in safety department efficiency.

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Frequently asked questions

Fleets face a lot of challenges when it comes to safety. Understanding which dash cam performs best shouldn’t be one of them. We have always been confident in the superior performance of our AI Dashcam, particularly when it comes to detecting and alerting drivers and managers of unsafe driving behaviors. However, we understand the importance of third-party validation to reinforce our beliefs. That’s why we decided to sponsor a study conducted by the Virginia Tech Trucking Institute (VTTI). This study aimed to assess the performance of on-road driver monitoring systems from three vendors: Lytx, Samsara, and Motive. We wanted to give fleets an unbiased evaluation of how well each vendor’s dash cams identified unsafe driving behaviors, as well as their effectiveness of the time-to-alert for drivers and managers.

After an extensive search for a partner to conduct the study, we determined that VTTI was the optimal choice. Their research-driven approach to enhancing driver and road safety for the public aligns perfectly with our commitment to prioritize the safety of fleets and their drivers. VTTI is one of the leading research universities that has published several significant studies on commercial motor carriers and their behavior on the roads. Their research has impacted significant changes in public policies for driver, passenger, and pedestrian safety and is advancing the design of vehicles and infrastructure to increase safety and reduce environmental impacts. See more from the VTTI research team.

VTTI conducted a technical performance benchmark test of three different AI dash cams from Motive (DC-54), Lytx (DriveCam SF400) and Samsara (HW-CM32) over a three week period for in-cab alert success, in-cab + dashboard alert performance, and time to alert. The systems were tested in three placement locations and three times of day, with 5 replications per day, 5 per night, and 3 replications at twilight for a total of 39 tests per task. The series of tests were to gauge how well drivers were alerted when:

  • Talking on the phone
  • Lap texting
  • Texting at a 45-degree angle
  • Close following
  • Rolling through stop signs
  • Not wearing a seatbelt  

All systems were researched by VTTI to identify the thresholds for successful task alerts for each of the selected six tasks. All trials included the same commercial driver (a trained VTTI researcher), and both the system location in the vehicle and weather conditions were controlled factors. Lytx was not evaluated for rolling through stop signs since VTTI was informed that alert had been deactivated by the system for all customers during the duration of the study.

The study found that Motive was associated with statistically significant, higher likelihoods to successfully issue both an in-cab and dashboard alert for phone calls, lap texting, 45-degree texting, close following, and rolling stops.  For no seatbelt, Motive and Lytx performed equally well at 100%.  Motive also had a significantly shorter time to alert across all tasks compared to Samsara and Lytx.

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Motive delivers a fully integrated suite of products to connect and automate physical operations, from fleet management and unmatched AI-powered safety, to spend management. Remove complexity and make everyone on the team more efficient.

Motive serves more than 120,000 businesses across a wide range of industries, including trucking and logistics, construction, field services, oil and gas, delivery, food and beverage, passenger transit, and agriculture. No matter the size of your business, the Motive Integrated Operations Platform delivers the value of fleet management with data intelligence, extensibility, security, and scale.

Motive proactively protects your drivers and bottom line with AI Dashcams with HD footage for visibility into incident investigations and to exonerate drivers to prove innocence and defend against litigation. Our video clips default to 15 seconds, which our customers love as they can see what happens both before and after the event is captured.  Along with clear video footage, we provide personalized, timely feedback to drivers on critical unsafe behaviors. We also enable safety managers to maintain a record of coaching activity. Our in-house safety team reviews every event to allow safety managers to prioritize which drivers need coaching the most.

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With Motive you can:

  • Comply with industry rules and regulations.
  • Identify risks and automate driver coaching.
  • Improve visibility and automate operations.

Voted best in class across the board

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This research was funded by Motive. Although care has been taken to ensure complete and accurate study results, recipients of this document accept the possibility of unintended errors or omissions. The results expressed in this document are based on data collected from March 13th, 2023, through May 2nd, 2023, under specific testing conditions that may not apply to other circumstances.

The Lytx system was not evaluated for Rolling Stop alerts. VTTI was informed that the Rolling Stop alert was deactivated by the system for all customers for the duration of the study.