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Posted by Graeme Corner

More and more businesses are talking about it what is telematics? Telematics can save you money, they claim. (And they’re right.) But what exactly is it? And how could it benefit your business? Here’s your no-waffle answer…

What is telematics?

There are two answers to this. First the simple one.

Telematics is an emerging technology that gathers data on vehicles – chiefly where they are and how they are being driven. This data is then sent over the internet to a central database, where fleet managers can get a real-time view of each vehicle’s fuel consumption, speed, location and an awful lot more.

Now the more complex answer.

Rather than a type of technology, telematics purists will tell you it is an interdisciplinary field of research. This encompasses – deep breath – telecommunications, vehicle technology, road transport, road safety, electrical engineering and computer science. (Don’t get talking to a telematics purist at a party.) The technology that this field has created – just to confuse things – is also called telematics. And it’s what people will be referring to when they say: has your business started using telematics yet? This technology uses telecommunication (GPS tracking) to locate, track and monitor vehicles – and provides a platform for those vehicles to send and receive data via the cloud. As explained above, vehicle data is sent to a central silo and – depending on the technology supplier – displayed in neat graphics to help fleet managers and dispatchers identify where to cut fuel costs and improve fleet management.

Sounds good. How does telematics work?

Each vehicle you want to track is fitted with a small piece of hardware that connects to the engine. (It takes about an hour to install.) This gathers all the vital statistics you could wish to track and sends them to a secure database that you can log-in to via your web browser. Telematics also allows you to send data to your vehicles – such as new despatch information, safety warnings or live traffic information.

Image explaining what is telematics

Who is telematics for?

In a nutshell: any business that has vehicles out on the road. Especially if they want to make it easier to track vehicle location, monitor fuel spend and simplify despatching.

What are the benefits of telematics?

Where do you start?

Telematics allows you to pinpoint exactly where it’s possible to trim your fuel spendimprove driver safety and boost the efficiency of your fleet. Savings of thousands of pounds per year are achievable – even with a modest-sized fleet of around 5 vehicles.

>> 3 of the biggest benefits of telematics technology

How much does telematics cost?

That depends on who is providing your technology. Some businesses offer fixed monthly fees with no up-front costs. Others prefer you to buy all the necessary hardware before you get started. Some companies charge installation fees. Others offer complementary set-up and unlimited maintenance call-outs.

Shop around. Find the package that suits you best.

>> 5 questions to ask before committing to telematics

Congratulations, your first lesson in telematics is complete

Hold on, you’re still here? Fine with us! We wrote a short, jargon-free eBook that spells out exactly how telematics helps SMEs save time, money and hassle. You should read it. (It’s good, we promise.)

Download eBook: Everything you need to know about telematics

graeme's picture
Graeme Corner

The majority of my time is spent ensuring that our team delivers simple and cost-effective solutions to our customers that face the challenges of running a fleet of vehicles.
Occasionally I manage to sneak away to enjoy time with family and friends or a quick game of golf ….