What is Telematics?

What is Telematics

What is Telematics, and What Role Does it Play in Improving Fleet Management?

Telematics is a field that combines telecommunications and informatics, enabling the transmission of data over long distances. In recent decades, advancements in telematics have provided increasing value to vehicle and fleet-based businesses by enabling access to real-time location information, to improve operational productivity, reduce costs, and ensure the safety of staff and assets.

AfMA estimates that there are over 419,000 businesses in Australia that operate company fleets, of which 69% prefer to manage their fleet internally with the help of telematics solutions.

The importance of telematics solutions, whether provided by an external provider or an internal tool, is paramount in every type and size of vehicle fleet. This article will help to explain what telematics is, the application of telematics, and how your business can make the most of telematics solutions.


What is Telematics?

Telematics refers to technology that can monitor an assets activity, location, and other asset status and health data. This is achieved through using a smart device installed in the remote asset. This device collects local data, plus location information through the use of GPS or other location detection technology. The gathered data is transmitted to a centralised platform for presentation and analysis.

More commonly applied and utilised across fleet tracking or GPS tracking for vehicles, telematics is now widely used by fleet-based businesses in the management of vehicle and other mobile or stationary assets.


How do Telematics Systems Work?

Telematics systems work by use of a combination of components that help to gather, record, store, transmit, and analyse vehicle status and location data. The system uses individual units that are installed in each vehicle that record and report on data such as speed, location, and even behaviour such as harsh braking.

This data is sent via a means of radio communications, mostly commonly a 4G mobile data network, although from vehicles outside of carrier networks this could be over a satellite network such as Iridium. Once the data is received, it will be displayed within a portal that fleet managers can access via a web browser. With today’s mobile data networks, data sent from the vehicle arrives at the portal typically within seconds, meaning that the data can be viewed in real-time, giving businesses complete visibility and control over their assets remotely.


What Data can Telematics Provide?

Telematics can provide a wide array of data that helps businesses make informed decisions to improve the management of the fleet. Some examples of fleet data include:

  • Real-time GPS tracking for precise location monitoring.
  • Insights into speed, braking, acceleration, and cornering habits.
  • Ability to optimise routes to ensure better fuel efficiency.
  • Notifications for servicing and maintenance requirements.
  • Data for analysing and improving travel routes and schedules.
  • Metrics on driver behaviour and adherence to safety protocols.
  • Vehicle downtime and patterns for better resource allocation.


Benefits of Telematics for Businesses

Fleet Telematics is a core part of effective fleet management, especially in larger fleet sizes. The technology addresses many of the common issues that fleet managers face from how to reduce fuel costs, through to ensuring driver safety and road compliance. Here are some of the key benefits that telematics offers to businesses:

  • Increased Productivity — With the better visibility of real-time location and route data provided by telematics, fleet managers can assign more optimised routes to drivers for more efficient deliveries.
  • Improved Driver Safety — Telematics can identify dangerous driver behaviour, allowing businesses to effectively target driver retraining to reduce the risk of such actions that can potentially lead to accidents or vehicle damage.
  • Reduced Operational Costs — Telematics helps fleet managers identify waste areas such as unoptimised routes, underutilised vehicles, or unnecessary idling to improve fuel efficiency and reduce fuel costs as a result.
  • Better Fleet Maintenance — By maintaining a digital record of vehicle maintenance schedules, accumulated metrics can ensure that fleets remain in well-maintained conditions for optimal performance.


Common Industry Applications for Telematics

Any fleet-based business can benefit from utilising telematics technology. However, to maximise the return on invesment we’ll highlight some examples in various industries.

Transport and Logistics

Telematics in transport and logistics offers easy fleet management with location tracking and route optimisation for reduced fuel consumption and timely deliveries. Long delivery trips can also be monitored with more security to reduce the risk of driver fatigue and improve safety for drivers.

Trade Services

Trade services such as plumbing, electrical work, or builders can benefit from the enhanced efficiency and safety that telematics provides. Real-time tracking can help to ensure timely service calls leading to improved customer satisfaction.

Emergency Services

When it comes to emergency services, response efficiency and safety are critical for providing timely aid. Telematics can support quick, coordinated responses for police, fire, and ambulance services, along with post-event analysis reporting to understand how improvements could be implemented.


Find a Telematics Solution for your Business with Netstar

Telematics solutions have been shown to significantly improve operational efficiency for commercial fleets while reducing overall cost, making it a worthwhile investment for businesses.

If you are looking for a reliable telematics solution in Australia, Netstar is your go-to choice. As an industry-leading provider of telematics systems for business fleets of any size, we will work with you to find a tailored telematics solution to enhance your operations. Contact us today to arrange a free trial to experience the benefits of telematics firsthand!