View source: David Gargaro

Telematics gives businesses that operate a fleet of vehicles unique insight to their vehicles and drivers.

  • Telematics systems provide fleet operators critical insight on their vehicles and drivers.
  • In combination with GPS tracking, telematics gives a complete look into where a vehicle is and how it is being operated.
  • The data gleaned from telematics allows fleet managers to develop more efficient routes and maintenance schedules and to train drivers to be safer.

Telematics involves sending information remotely over long distances. It combines two scientific disciplines: telecommunications (the remote means of communication) and informatics (the practice of information processing).

Telematics systems (also known as fleet telematics) collect data using GPS technology, sensors and onboard diagnostic codes. This data includes real-time engine diagnostics, vehicle location, driver behavior and vehicle activity. A telematics system usually has the following components:

  • Fleet communication software system
  • GPS tracking device
  • Engine interface
  • Input/output interface
  • SIM card
  • Accelerometer
  • Buzzer

Telematics vs. GPS tracking

GPS tracking is the core of the telematics system. A GPS receiver, which looks like a black box, is installed under each vehicle’s dashboard to collect real-time data about the vehicle’s location and status. The telematics system sends the GPS tracker’s data over a cellular network to the fleet system’s central server. The server processes the data, converts it to usable information, and makes it accessible to other computers on the network.