Telematics describes the system of technologies that collects data about vehicle use and transmits that data to fleet management systems. From there, fleet managers can use the information to better monitor fleet performance and activity. Telematics solutions can help improve the entire fleet management strategy and each aspect of vehicle monitoring.
A telematics system requires three components: a vehicle tracking device, cellular connectivity, and a desktop or mobile app interface. Here’s how it works:
There are two main versions of telematics: your traditional telematics systems and then your video telematics systems. Video telematics is a new form of telematics that uses video cameras to capture vehicle information and location the same where a traditional telematics divide would. In both of these telematics systems, there are several different parts that can record information beyond simply the location of a vehicle. These are some of the most common features used today:
No matter the type of system or its features, the information from the vehicles is transmitted to a server typically via cellular connectivity and then to a desktop computer or mobile app where fleet managers can use it to monitor fleets and make better-informed decisions.
Telematics comes from the blending of two industries. One industry is telecommunications, which is the process of exchanging information using technology. The other is informatics, which uses computer systems to gather, analyze, and manage real-world information and databases.
These two industries merged in the 1960s when the Department of Defense developed GPS tracking for US assets and US military communication efficiency. The development of GPS was the first instance where computer informatics was combined with telecommunications, which laid the foundation for telematics. After the invention of the internet and machine-to-machine (M2M) communication, GPS telematics could be created. The term telematics was first used in 1978, and the systems evolved as GPS technology improved. The most recent upgrade in telematics accuracy happened in 2005 when the US military improved GPS by launching the first modernized GPS satellite.
Telematics solutions can help keep track of a fleet overall as well as the little details that keep a fleet running smoothly. These are some of the main benefits of a telematics system:
Telematics is the basis of nearly every fleet management system. Without devices in the vehicles transmitting data, it would be impossible to monitor a fleet with the same level of accuracy. Telematics gives fleet managers valuable information about driver behavior, safety, weather, road conditions, vehicle health, and more that help them monitor a fleet and provide the right training and maintenance.
Many industries are turning to telematics for fleet management. Here are just some of the industries using telematics fleet tracking:
Telematics will continue to grow and evolve as technology does. GPS will continue to improve and with it, telematics will improve as well. Future telematics systems may implement more modern GPS technology, especially through the use of mobile phones and video cameras. In addition, data is key to telematics, but it can be difficult to put data into action. Future telematics technology will make applying data to the real world easier. Lastly, with the introduction of the 5G network, fleet telematics is seeing a shift from outdated 2G, 3G connections to a faster 5G connectivity for its devices.
Telematics will continue to shift and implement new technologies. Fleetcam provides some of the most advanced fleet tracking telematics technology currently available. Fleetcam’s telematics fleet tracking system provides all the benefits of telematics along with those of high-quality fleet management. As GPS improves and telematics evolves, Fleetcam will be right there along with it, helping move technology forward. To see how Fleetcam telematics works for yourself, request a demo today.