Telematics is considered a promising development for the automotive industry and this technology has completely changed what we know about our vehicles.
By using GPS tracking devices and onboard diagnostics systems to gather data, telematics systems can record almost every detail about a journey and the condition of any vehicle, from vehicle speed to idling time to tire pressure.
Gaining access to telematics information on-demand paved the way for advanced management systems that can improve our driving experience, increase fuel efficiency and reduce maintenance costs.
Despite all the developments in the field and the wide use of telematics technology in the transportation and logistics industries, telematics is still not well understood. Here are nine lesser-known facts about telematics:
1- Digital Timesheets
Large companies can have hundreds or even thousands of employees or company vehicles, which makes it very demanding to keep track of who’s been where and when. Managers need accurate records of their employees’ arrival and departure times for payrolls and overtime compensation to be calculated correctly.
But keeping detailed logs involves making a multitude of entries each day; naturally, it can get pretty messy, and mistakes are often made.
Telematics devices are the ultimate solution to this problem. They allow every entry and departure to be automatically and accurately recorded and safely stored on servers that can be accessed on-demand.
The data can be processed into daily, weekly or monthly reports that can be used by managers to calculate and appraise employee work hours.
Without the information telematics devices collect, it wouldn’t be feasible to keep such detailed logs of every individual employee and vehicle.
2- Alternative Geo-fence Zone Uses
Geo-fence zones are essentially virtual fences that can be drawn around specific locations on the map with the tracking software. You can configure the telematics software to alert you whenever a device enters or leaves one of these pre-set locations.
For businesses with a delivery team, service agents or sales workforce, it can be extremely challenging to keep track of the movements of every employee and fleet vehicle. Making sure each service agent or courier performs their duties flawlessly can seem like an impossible task.
With telematics devices and powerful tools such as geo-fence zones, field managers can be instantly alerted to unruly personnel, helping them keep their employees on their toes.
3- Crash Detection
In an emergency, time is critical. That’s why it’s extremely important to send help asap.
Telematics devices have extremely accurate, built-in accelerometers that can detect accidents with the help of a gyroscope sensor.
When an impact occurs, the accelerometer onboard the telematics device will determine the severity of the collision and send instant alerts to designated people – this could be your manager if it’s a company vehicle, or a family member or friend if it’s a personal car.
This simple yet vital feature could not only avert a disaster – prompt response to a detected crash could be a lifesaver.
4- Detecting Nearby Vehicles
Telematics devices can be connected to advanced sensors that enable the position of nearby vehicles to be detected, and their velocity and acceleration to be estimated.
What’s more, telematics systems can be combined with cutting-edge IoT technology that allows vehicles to be connected directly to one another through enhanced data collection and processing.
The ability to detect nearby vehicles opens the door for complex systems such as collision detection and information exchange with other vehicles.
Reputable tech giants like Uber and Google are already working on driverless car technologies that rely on telematics systems in conjunction with other complex systems such as Lidar.
Accelerometers are highly technical sensors used in aeroplanes and rockets, but in recent years, the technology has developed drastically, and they are now widely included in many everyday devices, this might be the first time you’ve heard of one, but you’re probably familiar with some of the things they do – all mobile phones and tablets have one of these nifty gadgets inside them.
It’s what makes them rotate when you turn the screen or switch modes when taking a photo.
Telematics devices use onboard accelerometers to sense acceleration and braking of a vehicle, as well as the severity of these actions. Any sudden change in acceleration is logged into a secure database.
These changes usually point to an overspeeding incident, but they can also signal a collision.
This increased awareness of bad driving habits and accidents is vital for fleet businesses. As well as being able to lower the downtime of commercial vehicles, the manager will be alerted to any serious incident, so that it can be responded to quickly. A timely response can save a life in an emergency.
6- Event Triggered Photos
Telematics devices have a wide range of practical uses for businesses. For example, these advanced systems can be integrated with cameras that trigger when a sensor is activated, or a certain event transpires.
There is a multitude of creative uses for this, but the most common is to prove work completion or presence at a job site. It’s a fool-proof way for business owners to improve customer satisfaction or check on their employees’ productivity during work hours.
7- Monitoring Driver Behaviour
Telematics data is a critical component in the assessment of driver performance – fleet managers can finally monitor risky driving habits such as harsh braking, speeding and idling.
Telematics technology gathers information about vehicles and the drivers behind the wheel, and the vast amount of data that’s collected is processed by the telematics system into useful information, which fleet managers can use to generate comprehensive reports about every individual driver and their driving habits.
Driver performance reports provide the necessary information to ensure optimum levels of efficiency and safety.
8- Improved GPS Tracking – GPS III Satellites in Orbit
Telematics data requires a lot of technologies to work in unison, but the most important cog in the wheel is GPS. The Global Positioning System – or GPS as we know it – is superior to any other location tracking system in the world.
The geolocation capabilities of GPS make it a critical component of telematics systems. The ability to locate a vehicle in real-time allows businesses to increase productivity, reduce overall operating expenses and improve customer service.
The GPS navigation system is the backbone of telematics technology. GPS is used by millions of people for real-time car tracking and It has a crucial role in transmitting the gathered data over vast distances in a matter of seconds.
Since its conception, the satellite system has been owned and operated by the US Air Force. The US military continuously replaces the old satellites in orbit to improve the system’s accuracy and anti-jamming capabilities.
They’re currently launching more powerful, secure and versatile next-generation satellites called GPS III, which will supersede all existing GPS constellations.
With the launch of the first GPS III satellite – named Vespucci after the famous Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci – in December 2018, it won’t be long before the first 10 of these state-of-the-art satellites are in orbit. GPS III satellites will significantly enhance the capabilities of telematics systems.
And, thanks to a brand-new L1C civil signal, this revolutionary satellite system will be interoperable with other international satellite systems.
9- Long Term Analysis
The immediate benefits of telematics are significant. Fleet companies all over the world use telematics systems to improve their fuel economy, operational efficiency and asset security. But in the long run, telematics data has a greater purpose – to understand both vehicles and humans better.
For this to work as a concept, data analytics and telematics companies require vast amounts of data on vehicles and drivers. Luckily, telematics systems can provide an endless supply.
These advanced systems and the data gathered can help tech companies create algorithms that can answer a lot of questions about vehicles and behavioural pattern of drivers.
Telematics data can help us push the boundaries of our knowledge by processing the massive amounts of data we gather every day and pave the way for even more sophisticated fleet management systems.
Telematics devices and the data they generate is beneficial to everyone from insurance companies to fleet businesses. Whether it is fuel economy or supervising driver behaviour, telematics data can be used to create new company policies to ensure compliance throughout a company.
For individual use, telematics systems are an excellent way to take a glance at your driving habits and how efficient you drive your vehicle. Without any doubt, telematics has the potential to change the world of vehicles and countless business industries that rely on vehicles.
Telematics technology has seemingly endless capabilities, and so far, we haven’t even scratched the surface of what we can accomplish by using these advanced systems.
In the future, our cars will drive themselves; communicate with each other to such an extent that they will be able to predict collisions; and inform authorities in the event of an emergency – all thanks to the innovations made in the fields of telematics and IoT.