Motive Technologies sues rival Samsara over AI dashcam, fleet-management technology

By Thomson Reuters Feb 15, 2024 | 12:13 PM

By Anna Tong

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Artificial intelligence-powered fleet management company Motive Technologies sued rival Samsara Thursday, accusing Samsara of copying its technology and patents in creating competitive products such as an AI dashcam.

Last month, Samsara filed a similar lawsuit against Motive Technologies.

The two companies, both based in San Francisco, provide fleet-management products for the trucking, transportation and logistics industry.

“Samsara hasn’t been able to compete on the AI front. … Instead of building a better product, Samsara has resorted to unlawful and anticompetitive business practices,” Motive CEO Shoaib Makani said in an interview.

Makani said Motive asked an outside third party to benchmark both AI technologies side-by-side, and in the results Motive’s technology detected 86% of unsafe driving behavior while Samsara’s technology detected 21%.

The lawsuit accuses Samsara leadership and employees of creating over 30 fake customer accounts on its platform, and copying features and AI capabilities to steal technology and imitate its business.

Motive said that Samsara poached the executive who developed its AI Dashcam, and Samsara now plans to launch a similar product copying Motive’s hardware design and supplier relationships.

Motive’s lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. In 2022, Motive raised a funding round that valued the company at $2.85 billion.

In January, Samsara filed a lawsuit against Motive in federal court in Delaware, saying Motive employees accessed its platform more than 20,000 times between 2018 and 2022.

The complaint included a screenshot from a Samsara dashcam that allegedly shows Makani and another executive studying its technology. Samsara went public in 2021 with venture capital backing from Andreessen Horowitz.

(Reporting by Anna Tong in San Francisco; editing by Jonathan Oatis)