A Guide to Integrated Telematics

Telematics originates from two words-informatics and telecommunications. In simple terms, you can share information using technology. Popularly used by the automotive and fleet management industry, the importance of telematics is undoubtedly growing. With the help of a robust telematics solution, you can track vehicles, assets, and other equipment.

The advent of connected vehicles will give the desired push to telematics systems as it is expected that 600 million cars worldwide will have embedded telematics by 2025.

Even so, telematics is not a new technology, and businesses have been leveraging the benefits for quite some time. Ride-sharing apps such as Ola and Uber use a telematics system to connect users with drivers through an app and share real-time location, estimate arrival time, and much more. Advancements in GPS technology have led to more accurate, real-time location and seamless sharing of operation-related data.

Enter Integrated Telematics.

Integrated telematics ensures more visibility into fleet operations and increases efficiency. Fleet businesses using traditional telematics had access to only location tracking and remote diagnostics. But integrated telematics provides data around multiple processes and operations, improving the real-time connection between vehicles and fleet management.

How is it different from traditional telematic systems?

Fleet owners can use these data-driven and actionable insights to get a comprehensive view of their operations and increase their bottom line. Traditional telematics gives you information on what things are happening, but integrated telematics provides you with the reasons for things happening.

For example, you’re clueless about why your fuel expense is increasing. Integrated telematics offers detailed analytics and reporting such as idle time, speeding, traffic congestion, etc. Now you know the reason behind your increasing fuel cost. You can use data and pinpoint your drivers for idle time and overspeeding and bring down the cost.

Further, a traditional telematics system consists of two devices- a vehicle manufacturer’s OE device and a telematics service provider (TSP) device. Fleet owners have to pay for both the devices as well as oversee the data coming from them. And here, both devices store data to different cloud-based systems. All of this can be pretty daunting for fleet managers as they have to manage other business operations, too.

The OE device shares data with the TSP device in an integrated telematics solution. Fleet businesses can ensure faster response times, a comprehensive view of all operations, and enhanced productivity.

Fostering Data-driven Decision-making

Fleet owners can have access to a lot of data insights such as engine health, low battery levels, repairs, maintenance, etc. They can even get insights into the driving behaviour of each driver per trip. Fleet managers can caution such reckless drivers and mitigate unsafe journeys.

They can get rid of manual maintenance schedules as integrated telematics systems notify fleet managers when the next maintenance is due. They can then accordingly prioritise and schedule timely repairs and maintenance. A thorough and all-inclusive report of each vehicle helps fleet managers to reduce the wear and tear of the vehicles, avoid unpredictable expensive repairs, ensure vehicle uptime, and keep drivers safe. All-in-all, it improves the safety of fleets and guarantees consistency.

Nowadays, cutting-edge telematics systems come with video capabilities. They use artificial intelligence and vehicle motion data and offer circumstantial insights to fleet owners.

For example, significant time goes into determining the root cause of an accident- whether your driver is at fault or the passenger car’s driver. Sometimes, you don’t have enough proof to safeguard your drivers from false blames. In such cases, fleet owners have to bear the losses caused by drivers and become susceptible targets for insurance fraud.

But video telematics detects collisions, instantly notifies fleet managers, and stores the video footage of the incident to the cloud within seconds. Video footage clears all unnecessary discussions and clearly presents the person responsible for the accident. This way, fleet businesses can protect their drivers and their reputation in the market. They can also fasten the process of claims processing, minimise the overall fleet costs related to accidents and reduce insurance premiums.

The Future

Fleet owners can save plenty of time and gain peace of mind by having a segmented view of all operations. With such visibility, they can capitalise on different opportunities to modify their operations in the long run, thereby having a solid footing in the industry.

Further, GPS tracking systems will advance in better integration with different operational systems. The advent of the Internet of Things (IoT), autonomous vehicles, and M2M technology will bolster more use cases and benefits in this space.

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