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Telematics: What is it and how does it work?

December 13, 2022


Telematics: What is it and how does it work?

In the most general sense, a “telematics system” is the fusion of telecommunications (phone lines) and informatics (computers). Of late, the term has been used to describe solutions for commercial fleet operations

In this article, we’ll explain in depth what telematics is, how it works, how it can benefit fleets of all sizes, and finally, how to get started with the right telematics solution for you.

What Is Telematics?

Telematics is a means of monitoring high-value assets such as cars, trucks and equipment from a remote monitoring platform. It uses GPS, cellular and other networking technologies to transmit data about items in real-time, including factors such as location, speed, fuel levels and more.

Telematics is also known as vehicle telematics, fleet management or asset tracking. It is commonly used by businesses, government entities and non-profits to monitor the location, speed, maintenance and performance of a fleet of vehicles.

The idea is that by investing in telematics, owners can save money in the long run by optimizing their routes, keeping drivers safe and ensuring proper maintenance of their vehicles.

How Does Telematics Work?

While there are a number of technologies that make telematics possible, GPS and On Board Diagnostics (OBD) are the two most prominent. GPS stands for Global Positioning System, and is what allows devices to pinpoint the exact location of an asset.

OBD tracks the real-world status of a mechanical system, including things like engine performance, fuel consumption and other elements.

At its most basic level, telematics combines GPS and OBD technology to create a comprehensive view of an asset’s location, status and performance.

This data is then transmitted to a remote monitoring platform via satellite or cellular connection. Owners can access this data in real-time, or use it to generate reports and insights.

The Benefits of a Modern Telematics System

The right telematics system affords fleet managers countless benefits that help them save money, improve efficiency and optimize their operations. Here are just a few of the most prominent benefits:

Greater Fleet Visibility and Control

The main benefit of a modern telematics system is that it allows owners to gain visibility and control over their fleet. From the comfort of a remote monitoring platform, they can track the location, speed and performance of each asset.

This means they can know where their vehicles are at all times, adjust routes as needed and ensure that drivers are taking the most efficient path.

Enhanced Safety

Telematics systems come with built-in safety features to ensure that drivers are adhering to the rules of the road. For instance, some systems can alert a fleet manager when a vehicle is speeding or going off-route. This allows them to take immediate action and prevent potential accidents.

Improved Maintenance Scheduling

Many telematics systems also come with maintenance scheduling capabilities. This enables owners to keep track of when their vehicles need servicing, inspect vehicles at regular intervals and plan out maintenance tasks in advance.

Better Fuel Efficiency

In today’s volatile market, every penny saved on fuel costs is worth its weight in gold. Telematics systems make it possible to track and analyze fuel consumption data, allowing fleet managers to determine which vehicles are the most fuel efficient and either adjust routes or schedule preventative maintenance accordingly. 

Streamlined Record Keeping

A good telematics system can also help simplify the record keeping process. All of the data collected can be stored and used to generate reports that provide owners with valuable insights into their fleet’s operations, as well as a holistic overview of their performance over time.

Getting Started With Telematics

Setting up a telematics system is essential for anyone who wants to get the most out of their fleet. Depending on the size of your fleet and the type of services you require, there are a few things to consider before investing in a solution.

First, you’ll need to decide what type of monitoring hardware and software you want. There are a variety of options available, from basic GPS trackers to complex systems that provide more detailed reporting and insights.

Once you’ve chosen the right solution for your needs, it’s time for installing the required hardware on each vehicle, linking it to the monitoring software, and configuring it for your specific needs.

Once everything is set up, you’re ready to start collecting data and gaining insights into how your assets are performing. Depending on your system, you may be able to monitor performance in real-time, receive alerts for unusual activity, and access reports that help you make informed decisions about your fleet. Telematics is a powerful tool that can save money in the long run, so it’s worth doing your research.

Telematics systems are becoming more and more essential for businesses all around the world. Not only do they save money, but they also provide valuable insights into fleet performance, safety and maintenance. 

By making the investment, fleet owners can take advantage of all the benefits this modern innovation has to offer. Contact your ZenduiT consultant today to find the right solution for your fleet.