Telematics is a combination of the words telecommunications (the exchange of information over distances) and informatics (the science of processing data).
In other words, telematics is a system that collects data to provide you with actionable information and guidance. The best telematics systems understand that its job is to save – not consume – the time of the fleet management team.
Telematics systems monitor the location of vehicles and the way they are being driven to deliver a raft of essential operational real-time information to fleet decision-makers that enables them to take action to improve business efficiency, ensure legislative compliance and cut costs. At the simplest level, data from the telematics device installed in a vehicle uses Global Positioning System (GPS) technology to determine its position and then transmits information over the General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) network for fleet decision-makers to access on the internet via their PC or other communication device.
The future of the Telematics would be affected by the increased availability of bandwidth and the penetration of the wireless network infrastructure.
Most of the Telematics services can be categorized into the following:
- Safety and Security
The safety and security services include the automatic crash notification, emergency and medical assistance. These were the first set of services to be provided as part of the telematics and also the primary motivation for the conceptualization of automotive telematics. Security services provided by the telematics service providers include Stolen Vehicle Tracking and Anti-Theft Alarm Notification and remote door services.
- Information and Navigation
The information and navigation services provide access from the vehicle to a variety of seamlessly integrated conveniences where the vehicle occupant can get access to location sensitive information and content. This category also includes the set of services provided to commercial vehicles and vehicle fleets. Geofencing, vehicle maintenance monitoring and fleet management and tracking are some of the services utilized for improving the productivity and efficiency of commercial vehicles.
The entertainment services are an upcoming area of telematics that are getting a major boost due to the increase in the bandwidth of emerging wireless technologies for exchanging data with the vehicles. On demand direct music/video downloading, internet radio, streaming content and synchronization with home entertainment library are some examples of the services in this category.
Diagnostics is another upcoming area of telematics services. These include remote diagnostics, performance data collection, and remote scanning service.
Organisations that operate vehicle fleets and whose employees are mobile are increasingly turning to telematics data delivered by in-vehicle recorders to track, schedule, route plan, communicate and respond in real time and access a wealth of previously hidden information.