What are Telematics: Telematics meaning

Vehicle telematics

Telematics can be defined as the transmission of any technological data. In a car, telematics:

  • Can be installed into the OBD socket of a car or attached to the battery
  • Records data such as the GPS position, speed and maintence requirements
  • Sends that data to software, which can be used by a company
  • Is used so businesses can improve their fleet through a better operational overview and money saving initiatives

Vehicle telematics meaning: How it works

In the commercial field, telematics is generally synonymous with vehicle telematics.

Vehicle telematics uses GPS technology and enables telematics to mark a location and to communicate this information to a central software. It can also be used to track and manage vehicle costs, like maintenance.

Vehicle telematics gives 24/7 oversight of:

  • Vehicle location, speed and idling
  • Driver location and phone usage
  • Traffic updates
  • Vehicle costs (like maintenance or taxes)
  • Fleet tasks and deadlines
A button representing vehicle telematics

A fleet can use vehicle telematics data to do very powerful things. Vimcar, for example, has split its vehicle telematics solutions into 3 different categories:

  1. Fleet tracking (which their product Fleet Geo)
  2. Driver behaviour tracking (which their product DSA)
  3. Fleet adminstation technology (which their product Fleet Admin)

Vehicle telematics defined: the different solutions

Fleet tracking

Fleet tracking is the type of vehicle telematics that relies mostly on the GPS data of the vehicle. With this data you can:

Offer a better fleet overview

A vehicle being tracking with fleet tracking technology
  • By tracking your fleet’s whereabout with vehicle telematics you can check that all your drivers are where they are supposed to be and what vehicles are on the roach and which are at the office, ready for use.
  • You’d be able to access an automated record of appointments with time stamps to check how long a driver was at an appointment.
  • You can also quickly check which vehicle/driver is closest to a certain address, like a customer addres.

Improve customer service

  • Always send the closest driver to a customer job, so you can offer a more efficient service and reach more customers in one day. 
  • You can also give customers accurate and ongoing ETA’s, by knowing exactly how far a vehicle is from the client.
  • By accessing digitally recorded time stamps with vehicle telematics you can prove to a customer that your driver was at an appointment, even if the client was not there.

→ Check out what Vimcar’s vehicle telematics can do here

Minimise vehicle misuse

  • You can set up customisable notifications to warn you, for example, when a vehicle has left the business premises outside of working hours. 
  • By knowing that all your vehicles are where they should be, you can track any unpremitted use of your company’s vehicles and fuel – all by accessing with vehicle telematics.

Protect against theft 

  • The same GPS tracking and customisable notifications that can be set up using vehicle telematics, will allow you to make sure your vehicles never fall into the wrong hands

Driver behaviour tracking 

A driver being tracked with vehicle telematics

Stop inefficient driving

  • You can use vehicle telematics to track, and score, your drivers’ behaviour (like speeding, phone usage and idling). 
  • Using this information, you can then tackle inefficient driving within your fleet and minimise fuel costs

Slash insurance costs 

  • By cutting down on inefficient driving you can reduce wear and tear and accident rates. In turn, you will make fewer claims and lower insurance premiums.

Improve your company’s brand

  • By preventing your drivers from driving your company vehicles recklessly, you can improve your company’s image. 

→ Check out what Vimcar’s vehicle telematics can do here

Fleet administration technology

Customise fleet data management

An employee managing data from vehicle telematics
  • You can use vehicle telematics data in various sorts of ways. But how can you keep track of that data? 
  • Fleet administration software organises that data automatically and digitally so you do things like fleet cost management more easily. 

Manage costs

  • Through automatic data management, vehicle telematics can help you keep track of vehicle costs (like maintenance and repair costs). 
  • It can also warn you of any cost discrepancies, so you can tackle higher-than-usual expenses.

Automate workflows

  • Fleet administration technology uses vehicle telematics to also remind you of upcoming or overdue fleet tasks (like MOTs or driving licence checks)

What are Vehicle Telematics Hardware

There are usually two types of vehicle telematics hardware:

  1. The OBD Dongle

Vehicle telematics can be implemented by using an on-board diagnostics (OBD) dongle. This dongle can be inserted into an OBD interface (which is standard on most new cars). The dongle reads all the vehicle data discussed above.

This information is automatically forwarded to fleet management software, like the one Vimcar offers. The data can then be used and further processed in the software.

  1. The Vehicle Telematics Box

As an alternative, there are also telematics boxes that are installed onto the car’s battery. The box is suitable for all those vehicles that do not have an OBD interface. Often electric vehicles, for example, do not have them. The box functions in exactly the same way as the dongle and transfers all vehicle data to the fleet software.

Vimcar’s vehicle telematics

Vimcar uses vehicle telematics and has created that market’s most accurate and easiest-to-use software. Explore what Vimcar can do for you below.

FAQs on Vehicle Telematics

Is A Black Box A Good Idea?

An employee pressing on a vehicle telematics button

Yes. A black box is a device you can use with vehicle telematics. With telematics, you can save money by managing costs. For instance, if a driver needs to take a break after a specific driving time, the black box will know and take care of the situation. This way, the driver doesn’t need to worry about taking a break and can continue driving without any time limit. The use of a vehicle telematics system is typically associated with vehicle tracking. With this type of system, insurance companies can monitor their customers’ driving habits and reward them for driving responsibly. Vehicle telematics systems can be integrated with an AI-powered chatbot. This way, you could get instant feedback on your driving history and make adjustments to your behaviour where necessary.

Benefits of a Black Box:

  • Helps monitor driver behavior and driving habits
  • Can help save money on insurance
  • Gives drivers more control over their driving habits
  • Helps reduce the number of accidents per year

Find out more: Trackers for Cars & Trackers for Vans

Can You Save Insurance Money With Vehicle Telematics?

Key and money

Yes. Insurance companies are leveraging vehicle telematics to monitor driver behaviour, which can help them understand how much risk drivers pose for their company. Telematics includes Driver Behavior Monitoring, a program that monitors how the driver uses the vehicle. Insurance companies leverage this data to assess how risky an individual or vehicle is to insure.

There are three main reasons why you might want to save money on your car insurance:

  • Safety: Studies have shown drivers who use a vehicle telematics device are more likely to be safer on the road and incur less collision-related costs.
  • Speed: Drivers who use vehicle telematics devices are more aware of their speed limits, resulting in a lower chance for speeding tickets and fines.
  • Fuel Efficiency: Drivers using a telematics device can monitor their fuel efficiency, resulting in less gas usage and lower fuel bills.

Read more: Van Tracking

Do All Cars Have Vehicle Telematics?

A vehicle telematics hardware device

No. You have to get vehicle telematics for your car, and therefore you need to find easy-to-install telematics. A few different types of telematics can be installed in a car, for example, a GPS. A GPS can track location and generate reports for your travels. This is the most common type of vehicle telematics. Some cars have a system that will limit the vehicle’s top speed, which can be helpful when you have teenagers with learner’s licenses. And there are also fuel monitoring systems to help you track how much gas you have left in your tank. If you’ve been considering getting an aftermarket vehicle telematics system, it’s essential to find one that is easy to install and maintain.

How Do You Install A Telematics Device?

To install a vehicle telematics device, you need to know where your car’s OBD-II port is. This connector can be found under the dashboard or on the driver’s side. Once you have found your car’s OBD-II port, you will need to clear the port by brushing dirt and debris away from it with an air hose. Once it is clear, mount the mounting bracket over it and fasten it with the screws provided in the package. Next, cut off any connectors plugged into your car’s diagnostics port and plug in your new bypass connector. Finally, insert your PNP device into this connector.

Vehicle telematics for fleets

Future vehicle telematics meaning

Faster wireless networks facilitate more advanced onboard services, such as firmware updates for vehicles – a task that previously entailed a trip to the car dealership.

In particular, telematics is becoming increasingly relevant to businesses’ vehicle fleets. It allows vehicle data to be transmitted (and therefore read) by businesses who are looking to assess and improve financial efficiency, customer attentiveness and fleet administration.