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Everything you need to know about telematics: Part 1

The term “telematics” originated from the amalgamation of the words “telecommunications” and “informatics”. It refers to the technology used to remotely monitor a wide range of data related to either an individual vehicle or an entire fleet.

Telematics has evolved well beyond the mere “dot on a map” vehicle and asset tracking it was before. It now assists with the better management of resources by incorporating customized vehicle and driver performance data with predictive vehicle maintenance and diagnostics.

In recent years, businesses across various industries have begun adopting telematics in varying complexities; and this has helped boost productivity, improve safety, enhance customer service and sharpen security. It has also assisted in bolstering the bottom line and allows businesses to gain a competitive advantage in an ever-evolving world.

Telematics solutions can be used for a variety of commercial and non-commercial purposes, and isn’t constrained by the scale of operations.

How does telematics work?

There are several stages involved:

  • Stage 1: Telematics solutions gathers vehicle- and driver-related data (such as GPS position, speed, engine temperature and so on) via in-vehicle tracking devices or sensors which operate over private cellular networks or geofencing infrastructures.
  • Stage 2: Cellphone towers receive and collect this data before transmitting it to secure servers remotely.
  • Stage 3: Computer servers store and decrypt the data received, converting it into actionable information which can be used to optimize ongoing operations.
  • Stage 4: Fleet owners access specific vehicular or driver data by logging on to a fleet management software portal.

Telematics solutions and software integrations

There are several methods whereby telematics data can be collected; most commonly through a small device mounted on the vehicle or asset itself. This device then stores transmits a range of information related to the vehicle’s performance, condition and usage.

There are a variety of telematics devices available, each offering unique functionalities and benefits to suit the needs and nature of the business. These devices are classified as either analog or serial. The most accurate and secure telematics are hardwired and tamper-proof. It offers a broader range of connectivity and integrations for additional peripheral devices.

How does telematics benefit businesses?

Telematics enables businesses to address previously overlooked and costly aspects of a business. In addition to providing business owners and fleet managers with an overview of their assets, telematics allows for the streamlining of communications, assists in job dispatching and routing as well as helps with the recording and remittance of both active and stationary vehicles for optimal utilization. In addition, telematics can also monitor and report on engine performance (such as power loss, engine shutdown, oil pressure and so on), vehicle speed and driver conduct.

4 Pillars of Telematics

Driver safety

Unsafe driving can pose a significant cost to your business with regards to employee injuries, lost productivity, asset damage, litigation and fines.

Operational efficiency

Telematics solutions provide businesses with in-depth fleet visibility, allowing for optimal utilization of their assets.

Regulation and compliance

Telematics greatly simplifies compliance whilst reducing administrative burdens through a range of data visualization tools and automated reports.

Vehicle and asset security

Telematics offers both real-time and historical tracking solutions designed for businesses to monitor, secure and manage vehicles, trailers or assets.

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