5 great contributions of telematics to the future of fleet management

Jan 14, 2022 12:00:00 AM

Telematics, GPS, advanced analytics
A look at the evolution of the transportation industry, and how Location World has contributed to its development and expansion, through the use of telematics intelligence.

What is telematics?

Before talking about its contributions, it is important that we understand what the term “telematics” means.

The word telematics is the result of the combination of "telecommunications" and "informatics". Telematics could be defined as remote communication between machines (telecommunications), through computerized or information technology

If we apply it to the vehicle and transportation industry, when we talk about telematics, we are referring to the communication between vehicles and phones, tablets or computers, through GPS devices. But the goal of this exchange is not only to send and receive fleeting messages, but also to store information on different devices, so we can analyze, plan and predict the behavior of vehicles and even their drivers.

The most basic form of telematics, one that will be very easy for you to understand, is what we know as GPS devices (Global Positioning System). It's the kind of technology we use to locate mobile phones, cars, and even people, and that most of us use all the time, every day, in one way or another. This was the first great scientific advance in telematics and it works perfectly well to this day.

Telematics began to enter the world of the transport industry, when fleets started to use GPS devices to locate each of their vehicles, in what is known as "satellite tracking". From the use of GPS devices until today, technology has come a long way and now it has come to what is known as advanced analytics.

Advanced analytics integrates more complex technologies and processes. In this case, different types of telemetry tools, which go beyond simple GPS devices (including various accessories and sensors that are installed in vehicles and generally process and send information) gather data from a fleet and process it in advanced digital analysis models. These analyses allow obtaining very detailed, specific and reliable information about a fleet, such as how many stops it made per day; how long it takes to load and unload, why is its fuel consumption high, or how long a vehicle idles. With this information, preventive and even predictive analyses of a fleet’s behavior, and its drivers, can be carried out.

The entire range of possibilities that telematics offers today is what we call “telematics intelligence”. This term was born within the “classrooms” of Location World. Between workshops, talks and conversations, a new term was coined, composed of two words that have been pillars in the management of Location World since the beginning.

And how is telematics applied to fleet management? How much has vehicle usage and managment changed thanks to its development and expansion? These are the 5 most important contributions of telematics to fleet management:

How telematics shaped the future of fleet management in Latin America and the world

Telematics applied to fleet management

1.-Security. This is, without a doubt, the most important contribution of telematics to fleet management. Thanks to the use of telematics, today it’s much easier to prevent and avoid accidents on the road, breakdowns, damage to vehicles and even protect drivers against theft and other types of threats.

In Latin America, the figures for both truck accidents and theft continue to be alarming. The application of telematic intelligence contributes to reducing these problems and creating a positive road safety culture. How? Thanks to the intelligent use of GPS devices, as well as satellite tracking, driving and speed monitoring, as well as accessories such as panic buttons, smart fatigue distraction detection cameras inside truck cabins, among many other important technological advances brought to us thanks to the use of telematics. 

2.-Less environmental impact. The use of telematics in fleet management contributes to the development of more environmentally friendly industries, such as electric vehicles, the same ones that work precisely thanks to the use of telematics and the connected-car technology. An electric car is a car that pollutes less,  and it seems that the arrival of electric fleets is closer than we expected.

But it is not only about electric cars. It’s mostly about all the ways in which a "normal" vehicle can reduce its CO2 emissions and lower its impact on the environment. Thanks to telematics it is possible to, among other things, create efficient fuel saving plans. Telematics creates sustainable fleets. More good news? Sustainable fleets are also more profitable, so the use of telematics can create a positive impact on the global economy as well. 

3.-Creating more humane workplaces for drivers. Thanks to the use of telematics, today it is possible to know the exact location of a vehicle and its driver 24/7; monitor the quality of their driving (both outside and inside a truck’s cabin); prevent damage to a vehicle on the road and even avoid accidents. Fleet drivers are no longer workers left to their fate on the road, but instead they have a whole digital  behind them that protects and walks them through every part of their working day.

4.-More efficient fleets. In the past, the logistics processes of fleet management required the creation of different departments. Some of these were in charge of the long and tedious process of registering each one of the aspects of their vehicles: their status, their routes, schedules , maintenance, expenses, etc. And all of that was done, at best, through Excel spreadsheets and at worst, on paper and pencil (in fact, this is still the case for many Latin American fleets).

The arrival of telematics, the use of GPS devices, satellite tracking and all the advances that make up telematic intelligence, make it possible today for all these processes to be carried out automatically, thanks to a digital system, where all fleet data is analyzed and studied, and solutions are proposed for their different problems in a fast, agile and reliable way. For Latin America, this contributes to creating a positive culture of productivity and brings progress to the region. This same benefit extends to all fleets in the world, who have found in telematics an important contribution to the technological development of many countries. 

5.-More room for growth. Fuel efficiency; preventive maintenance, reduction of downtime and automation of logistics processes are some of the things that can be achieved to cut fleet costs, using telematics. In this way, the level of productivity and profitability of a fleet increases, having a positive impact on the global economy, something we all value, given the difficult time we’re going through globally.

As you can see, the use of telematics has forever transformed the way we approach fleet management, thanks to its contribution to safety, lower CO2 emissions, the humanization of the transport industry, efficiency of processes and the improvement of global economy. But this is only the beginning. It is predicted that by 2022 there will be around 37.9 million connected trucks in the world, compared to the 17.1 million that existed until 2015. Stay tuned for new advances in telematics intelligence and everything that Location World has planned for the future of fleet management.