Fleet Tracking with Telematics

The first thing that comes to mind when someone mentions “telematics” is GPS tracking. Frankly, the birth of telematics was based on GPS tracking and it still serves as a primary feature of the telematics industry. However, telematics today offers many more opportunities for fleet managers to reduce maintenance and operating costs, improve vehicle utilization and achieve significant improvements in fuel economy.

GPS Fleet Tracking is the use of a vehicle tracking device and software to monitor and manage a fleet of vehicles. Through GPS tracking, a fleet manager or business owner can collect data on location and vehicle health, as well as driving behavior and fleet productivity.

Benefits of GPS fleet tracking include:

  • Increasing productivity and efficiency
  • Reducing fuel and maintenance costs
  • Improving driver safety and minimize risk
  • Reinforcing company policy
  • Staying compliant with regulations
  • Improving customer satisfaction

Telematics in Fleet Management

Telematics has become a crucial technology for fleet management. Telematics supports these five core areas:

  1. Productivity and improved customer service by using real-time GPS tracking, trip reporting, and dispatching and routing tools.
  2. Safety with the availability of in-vehicle driver coaching, risk and driver behavior reporting, accident notifications and reconstruction, and the ability to locate a stolen vehicle.
  3. Optimization of vehicle maintenance with predictive maintenance abilities and remote diagnostics, and optimization of fuel management by tracking idling and other fuel-guzzling habits.
  4. Compliance with solutions for electronic logging and Hours of Service, IFTA reporting, and vehicle inspections.
  5. Integration of other software systems such as onboard camera technology or CRM software.

Insurance telematics is also gaining in popularity, in which the safety data is shared with a fleet’s insurance company with the goal of lowering premiums, if they can prove safe driving habits. Essentially, telematics can help insurance companies better pinpoint levels of risk. (While not all insurance agencies are offering this telematics-based insurance, it’s worth discussing with your provider if you’re not self-insured.)

Also gaining in popularity is the ability to increase vehicle security by integrating identification sensors into vehicles. This allows fleets to authenticate a driver’s identity before they can start the vehicle.

Open Platform Telematics

As technology has evolved, telematics has moved from a closed system to open platform. An open platform telematics system is capable of integrating with other types of hardware accessories, software, and mobile apps to provide added insight into business operations.

Benefits of Fleet Telematics Devices

GPS Fleet Tracking is an obvious benefit that most people in the industry are aware of. But, what most fleet managers don’t realize is that telematics offers so much more including fleet maintenance management and driver behavior modification.

Real-time maintenance management allows your company to improve fuel economy, reducing down-time and even extending the life of fleet vehicles.

Driver behavior modification is also a very significant benefit of telematics and really has the same result as if you were sitting in the truck with each of your drivers. Imagine that! Your drivers will honor posted speed limits, reduce vehicle idle time and avoid radical driving habits, such as; hard acceleration and braking.

The results are significant improvements to fuel economy, therefore reducing vehicle maintenance costs and reducing your fleet accident rates.

Any type of small business to large corporation, nonprofit organization and government agency operating vehicles or other assets can benefit from telematics.

The Future of Telematics and Fleet Tracking

The future of telematics is likely to achieve the unimaginable. Whether driving your personal vehicle or managing a fleet, constant communication with nearby vehicles is already achievable through telematics.

Exciting areas of innovation related to telematics include:

  • Big Data
  • Traffic Prediction
  • Performance Benchmarking
  • Urban analytics for smart cities

GPS tracking systems will continue to become better integrated with other operational systems and will continue to improve while M2M technology expands. The emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT), making technology possible for smart homes and smart communities, are great examples of the rapid evolution happening in this space.

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