Telematics – a combination of informatics and telecommunications – has undergone a great deal of development and evolution over the past few decades.
Mainly used in the logistics and fleet management sector, telematics systems send collected data from a fleet vehicle to a central hub. Here, the information is stored and processed, allowing fleet managers to monitor and manage their fleets.
As with any other industry sector, telematics will continue to evolve. And, with the introduction of new technologies, it will continue to play a major role in how businesses operate.
In this blog article, we’ll discuss the evolution of telematics and give you handy tips on how you can use telematics to improve and streamline your company’s logistics and fleet management.
The Evolution of Telematics
First coined in 1978, telematics was initially used in vehicle logistics. At the time, it aimed to improve road safety and reduce the environmental impact of the global transport sector.
Early GPS tracking
Global Positioning Systems (GPS) technology was initially only intended for use in military and intelligence applications in the US. It was first used en-masse in 1993 when the US government allowed its citizens full access to the technology.
Using satellite systems, early GPS tracking systems were very basic and offered users a means to track the location of their vehicles. Back then, GPS technology was deemed “groundbreaking” by fleet managers who used it to obtain basic location data on their fleet vehicles.
Initially offering basic functionality, telematics systems started to evolve, incorporating more data sources and cutting-edge technology.
Additional data features – such as internal and external sensors and diagnostics – were integrated into GPS tracking systems. This allowed fleet managers to do more than just location tracking; they were now able to monitor the real-time health of vehicles. It also enabled businesses to pre-empt maintenance issues.
Driver behaviour analysis
Another game-changer for telematics was the introduction of driver behaviour monitoring capabilities. This opened a world of new possibilities for fleet managers, enabling them to track and monitor driver behaviour by looking at, for example, acceleration and speeding, and whether drivers were paying attention while driving.
Today, driver behaviour analysis still plays an important role in fleet management. Business owners can now take a proactive role in improving driver behaviour. This helps improve employee safety and reduces road accidents and increased insurance premiums.
Nearly five decades later, telematics systems still play an important role in business logistics and fleet management.
Telematics data and systems are used in many other industries, including the insurance, construction, and transportation sectors.
The Future of Telematics
With the introduction of new technologies and applications, the future of telematics continues to remain bright and full of possibilities.
Artificial intelligence integration
Artificial intelligence (AI) integration not only impacts the creative, healthcare and e-commerce industries but also the telematics field.
Businesses use AI algorithms for data collection and processing, which helps with decision-making processes. In the fleet management sector, AI is used to process telematics data. This has led to a more efficient use of predictive analytics and self-driving features in modern vehicles.
Today, business owners also – using AI integrated into their vehicle tracking systems – collect more accurate real-time data. This enables owners to, for example, monitor vehicle performance and tyre pressure.
Known for its security and transparency in the world of cryptocurrency, blockchain technology will undoubtedly play a big role in the further evolution of telematics.
Using blockchain technology, fleet managers can collect and process large amounts of data. This helps improve fleet operations, compliance, profitability and data integrity and security.
Furthermore, businesses use blockchain technology for parts authentication, payment solutions, marketing, supply chain applications and monitoring CO2 emissions.
Connected and autonomous vehicles
Tesla’s self-driving vehicles are a great example of how technology is integrated into the telematics industry. A smart blend of twenty-first-century technologies and telematics, vehicle manufacturers offer drivers vehicles more connectivity and interactivity.
Self-driving vehicles are set to become more popular, with hopes that, by eliminating human error, roads will be safer and vehicle efficiency improved.
Telematics play an important role in helping self-driving vehicles perceive their immediate surroundings and environment. These vehicles also use telematics applications to plan routes, make decisions and execute actions.
Using advanced vehicle tracking and fleet management software, telematics will, in the future, play an important role in monitoring and coordinating self-drive vehicles. This is set to further positively impact ride-sharing and vehicle logistics.
Because of the improved vehicle efficiency, the telematics industry will greatly contribute to environmental sustainability. Using vehicle tracking, business owners can optimise route planning, which will reduce fuel consumption and carbon emissions.
Telematics technology will also play an important role in helping monitor and manage electric vehicle (EV) fleets in the automotive industry.
Additionally, using driver behaviour applications, fleet owners can obtain valuable information to adjust and improve driver performance and behaviour. Improved driver behaviour – such as gentle braking and acceleration and better route planning – can reduce costs and the impact on the environment.
Enhanced data analytics
As telematics solutions continue to evolve, the technology behind them will greatly improve data analytics. This will allow fleet managers to obtain valuable information from the generated logistics data. Ultimately, it’ll help improve decision-making, operational efficiency and customer service.
Another positive is that businesses will – using enhanced data analytics – reduce their daily operations costs and remain competitive.
Telematics technology has and will continue to play an important role in the world of vehicle and fleet management.
This technology has been at the forefront of helping fleet management evolve, leading to improved efficiency, environmental sustainability and road safety.
With the introduction of AI, blockchain technology, self-driving vehicles and enhanced data analytics, telematics is set to evolve further. This is set to lead to enhanced data and fleet management, as well as improved decision-making.
Crystal Ball offers a range of affordable, user-friendly and cutting-edge vehicle telematics solutions.
Each of these solutions promises to help improve your fleet management and business operations. Whether you are looking to install a telematics solution in your business’s vehicle, truck, trailer, van or motorbike, we have the telematics solution you’re looking for.