Vehicle Telematics and Vehicle Tracking

You may be familiar with the term GPS or Global Positioning System – but Vehicle Telematics is something that you may have not heard about.

By definition, it is the use of computers and telecommunications to improve and enhance the functionality, security and productivity of vehicles and the drivers. Basically, Vehicle Telematics is the convergence of personal computers, mobile phones, GPS and the Internet.

One essential part of vehicle telematics is Vehicle Tracking. A typical vehicle tracking system usually consists of two parts; location hardware – known as vehicle unit or tracking device – and the vehicle tracking software. The tracking device is usually hardwired in the vehicle using three simple wire connection; ignition switch, battery and earth. The most common chip used for the tracking device is the SIRF II.

Apart from the chip, an external antenna is required for the GPS receiver technology to ensure optimum transmission. Though in the case of most modern GPS receivers, external antenna is no longer needed. To improve the accuracy of the location, the use of GPRS data connection of a mobile phone to transmit the data from the device is sometimes used.

GPS is widely used as a fleet management solution to pinpoint the location of the drivers. Since updates can be transmitted at a regular timed interval, the location of the drivers can be tracked easily at any given time. The transmission of the location can also be triggered by events like ignition on or off. The data will be made available by the service provider on a website. Users with proper security credentials can track fleet activity live or historically by logging on the website – and they can make use of features like digital mapping and various reporting tools.

To be effective, most vehicle tracking systems are configured to transmit location automatically. Basic real-time vehicle tracking allows the system to be configured to update at regular timed intervals, such as every 1 minute, 3 minutes, 5 minutes etc. The update can be set only when the ignition status is on. However, once the car stops and is parked and the ignition is turned off, the device will go into a standby mode or a hibernation. Data transmission will resume once the ignition is turned on and the system picks up an input from the motion sensor.

There is more to Vehicle Telematics than just tracking vehicles. Fleet managers can use the technology to not only locate a group of vehicles, but to also locate them in relation to customer sites — this is known as a Connected Navigation solution. Fleet managers and job dispatchers can make use of the technology to transmit and receive job messages to and from the drivers. The onboard device will then create the most effective journey route and send back the estimated arrival time to the job dispatch office. Effective and efficient – this technology helps reduce journey times, save fuels, and ultimately improve the satisfaction of the customers.

Vehicle Telematics is a great tool to make an organization run more effectively. The activity of the fleet can be analyzed, where the result be used to make decisions based on actual information – not just assumptions. Better tracking and planning can lead to an improvement in the journey times, fuel economy and drivers hours.

Finding the right tracking and Vehicle Telematics solution, such as the one the Techstore offers and can advice you on, is key – to make sure you gain the most benefits from your initial investment. As the technology becomes more advanced and it’s gaining more popularity, more and more Vehicle Tracking Systems are available to business users. Knowing the right system to get will save your time and money.

To help you understand more about Vehicle Telematics, here are some information and terms related to it.

Vehicle/ Trailer Tracking. Track movement and status of a vehicle or a fleet of vehicles using a tracking device with GPS locator and GPRS modem. To view the data, a tracking software is used – which will be made available as a PC or web-based mapping and reporting tool.

Fuel Saving Telematics. Fuel saving telematics is an on-board engine diagnostic tool that is built-in to cars and heavy goods vehicles of recent years. The information from this diagnostic tool is accessible through after market products that can capture the data directly. Information such as engine performance, fuel usage, diagnostic and other various elements concerning the car can be passed on to users – to be further analysed later on.

An example of information that can be analysed is the driving style and habit of the drivers. It can be determined if the drivers are over revving, not using enough cruise control, not being efficient in switching gears and more. By monitoring the behaviour and performance of the driver, the use of fuel can be saved by up to 10 percent.

GPS Satellite Navigation. A technology that uses a GPS and electronic mapping tool with the ability to pinpoint a location, plan a route and navigate a journey.

Thanks the Techstore Team

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