Fleet managers are continuing to adopt and embrace the advantages of vehicle telematics. As vehicle technological advancements continue, the quality, and detailed analysis of vehicle telematics data will be key in effectively managing a safe and efficient vehicle fleet.
Telematics refers to the blend of telecommunications and information processing, which monitors a remote item. Vehicle telematics is a device that collects and communicates data about the status of the vehicle. Successful telematics solutions are an effective combination of hardware and software working together to gather and evaluate data, giving insight to the vehicle’s operation and performance. Some examples of vehicle telematics data are GPS location & tracking, vehicle performance & health data, driver behaviour measures, etc. These data sets may be collected and analysed later or may be used for immediate alerts and action.
Telematics date back to the 1960’s with the US military using satellites and receivers to track their troops and equipment. Over time this technology was refined and released to the civilian world. Further advancements saw the inclusion of capabilities such as summoning a roadside assistance technician and further onto the current capabilities including analysis of driver behaviours, engine efficiencies and overall vehicle health.
A vehicle telematics device collects data relating to many performance aspects of the vehicle and communicates that data to a data centre. The data is then analysed resulting in immediate or future actions. For example, if the data relates to the speed of the vehicle, immediate action through an alert to the driver and/or other interested people through email, SMS, or other messaging method. Alternatively, data relating to fuel consumption of the vehicle may be used later for comparing several similar make/model vehicles for future fleet procurement decision purposes.
Vehicle telematics provides many benefits to fleet managers from driver safety compliance through to more detailed analysis such as vehicle health and performance. Comparisons of operating costs of a range of make/model vehicles which perform similar tasks can assist when assessing future fleet options. Being able to assure the stakeholders of an organisation that their team of drivers are operating a fleet of efficient, well maintained vehicles in a safe and compliant manner has many benefits to the business including financial and safety assurances.
Vehicle telematics is fast becoming commonplace in commercial fleets. We are moving toward an environment where it will become unimaginable to operate a fleet of vehicles without the assistance of a quality vehicle telematics solution. Insurance companies have long been supporters of vehicle telematics and they will continue to reward adopters of this technology.
The continued advancement of electric vehicles will further emphasize the benefits of vehicle telematics. Data from existing fleets will enable analysis to better understand where vehicle replacement with electric options is most suited and beneficial.
Autonomous, or at least semi-autonomous, vehicles are already beginning to make their presence felt in our markets and advanced telematics are critical in the safe management of these vehicles. There is no point in a red flashing light in the instrument panel of an autonomous truck. Autonomous vehicles will rely heavily on vehicle telematics to aid the way machine learning and artificial intelligence assist with their continuous development and technological improvements.
Vehicle telematics have been a reality for some time now and as we better understand how to harness the many benefits from the captured data the more “mainstream” this technology will become. Future vehicle advancements will dictate, and demand vehicle telematics keep pace to ensure the safe and efficient management of all vehicle fleets.
How can vehicle telematics improve the safe and efficient management of your vehicle fleet?
Is your existing vehicle telematics solution providing you with all the available advantages?
Download a copy of this articleWhat is Vehicle Telematics & Why is it Important in Managing your Fleet? (11 downloads)