Are you familiar with the term telematics? Based on the French word télématique, it combines two branches of science – telecommunications and informatics. With it, one can monitor cars, trucks, equipment, and other organizational assets using GPS technology and OBD (Onboard Diagnostics) to determine asset movements on a digital map.
Telematics garnered popularity long before company vehicle tracking became mandatory for fleet businesses and car owners. People came to know this term in the USA in the 1970s, but today, it’s primarily referred to the conjunction of telecommunications and information technology. Gartner describes it as the use of wireless devices and “black box” technologies to transfer data in real-time to an organization.
Telematics systems in GPS Fleet Tracking
Telematics is like a highly intelligent computer in your vehicle capable of reporting almost every detail, from idling and fuel use to speeding, tire pressure, etc. With this information, you save money on maintenance costs as you can monitor your vehicles better than before and learn everything about your drivers’ on-road habits. These elements form the universe of telematics, also called fleet GPS tracking.
For asset tracking, data from the vehicle is recorded through a small device or a black box that you must plug into the OBD-II port or CAN-BUS port. A SIM card in the device facilitates communication over a wireless cellular network.
Here are the primary components of a telematics device:
- Input/Output interface
- Engine interface
- GPS receiver
- SIM card
Other than the hardware, the algorithm for logging GPS data is another mission-critical factor because it dictates data quality and accuracy.
How telematics works in a car tracking device
At its center, telematics includes a company vehicle tracking device connected to the OBD-II port that sends, receives, and stores telemetry data. This device collects GPS information and other vehicle-specific data and transmits the same through satellite communication or cellular networks to a centralized server. Then, the server interprets the data and displays it to end users via secure websites and apps optimized for computers, smartphones, and tablets.
The data captured by telematics usually includes speed, location, harsh acceleration or braking, idling time, vehicle faults, fuel consumption, driver behavior, and more. When analyzed to uncover specific patterns and events, this information gives in-depth insights across a company’s entire fleet.
For public fleets, such as schools and governments, fleet management means leveraging vehicle telematics data for analyzing fleet vehicles, service delivery, vehicle location, community safety, routing, vehicle diagnostics, dispatch units, and preventative maintenance to ensure service optimization and prompt responses.
History of telematics
As already mentioned, “telematics” is the union of “telecommunication” and “informatics.” Telecommunication means exchanging information over technology, whereas informatics means gathering and analyzing data and managing real-world systems using computers .
During the 1960s, the U.S. Department of Defense designed and developed GPS by merging these two departments of science to track army and asset movement and enhance military communication.
Telematics exists today due to three other unique interventions in modern technology – the internet, machine-to-machine communication, and GPS. Vehicle telematics also incorporates wireless safety communications, integrated hands-free phones, GPS navigation, and autonomous driving systems.
How to use an OBD2 GPS tracker for vehicles for fleet management
A fleet GPS tracker powered by telematics can be integrated seamlessly with existing systems and apps to enable various use cases for any fleet company, regardless of size.
You can track vehicles by combining GPS satellites, receivers, cloud computing, and cellular networks. The receiver in a GPS tracker downloads data from satellites and processes it to use with apps like GPS navigation systems. After that, it transmits the information over a cellular network to web servers used by office staff, where it is used to dispatch the nearest driver to a new task.
Improvements in maintenance:
Maintenance and asset lifecycle management can be improved with fleet telematics to track vehicle usage hours and schedule preventative maintenance simultaneously. It even helps fleet managers keep track of warranty recovery, engine hour tracking, and service record tracking. You can lower expenses and ensure your automobiles remain in safe operating condition by staying above engine diagnostics.
Fleet managers use telematics to monitor speed and location, harsh driving events, and seatbelt use. Telematics gives you a digital blueprint of all the aspects of a vehicle’s operation, helping managers pinpoint areas of improvement in accident prevention and driver safety.
Assessing insurance risks:
Even insurance firms can leverage telematics to gauge driver behavior and allow them to determine risk factors more accurately and adjust insurance premiums accordingly. Telematics can generate reports whenever a vehicle steps out of an area designated by geofence technology.
What are the advantages of GPS tracking for fleet
Telematics caters to six primary aspects of fleet management such as safety, productivity, compliance, fleet optimization, sustainability, and integration.
Increase safety with telematics. Use it to foster in-vehicle driver coaching, risk assessment, driver behavior reporting, accident notifications and reconstruction, and locating stolen assets.
Improve customer service via real-time GPS tracking, dispatching, trip reporting, and routing.
You have to comply with local and federal laws. For that purpose, telematics GPS tracking fleet brings you electronic logging, IFTA reporting, Hours of Service, and vehicle inspections.
Fleet optimization –
Telematics lets you streamline vehicle maintenance using predictive maintenance abilities and remote diagnostics. It also allows you to manage fuel consumption by tracking idling and other habits that lead to fuel wastage.
Reduce the overall environmental impact of your fleet. Decrease carbon emissions and consider replacing fuel-powered vehicles with their electricity-powered counterparts.
Combine telematics with other software systems, including CRM, dashcam tech, and apps.
Fleet management and telematics
Right now, telematics is compulsory for fleet management. After all, it helps fleet managers find the answers to questions, including;
- How can you cut down fuel consumption?
- Are one or more drivers speeding on the road?
- Will you save money if you switch to electronic vehicles?
- Is your fleet idling and wasting time and money?
Many companies use GPS fleet trackers, from small businesses to multinational corporations. Even non-profits and government agencies benefit from telematics. According to Allied Market Research, the automotive telematics market will reach $320 billion by 2026. It was just $50.4 billion in 2018.
The advent of telematics has been a massive turning point for fleet safety and efficiency. As time passed, it gained momentum and gave birth to several emerging trends you must watch out for!
Data is at the center of telematics, but understanding it and making decisions based on it is a challenge. Telematics brands like Vyncs can offer you the tools necessary to sift through raw data. Our data-driven platform gives fleet managers reports and tools to help digest the information and convert it into actionable insights.
The denouncing of 3G networks is another trend that will see a sharp rise as more and more telematics providers move to faster 4G, 4G+, or LTE networks. This shift will inevitably trigger device replacements in fleet businesses still using outdated 3G systems.
Telematics might enhance integration capabilities with other devices, software systems, or services as the popularity of connected vehicle management increases. To make fleet management more holistic, fleet managers need a telematics GPS fleet tracking solution that integrates seamlessly with other parts of their business.