Telematics is the union of two branches of science: telecommunications and informatics. The former involves technologies such as phone lines and cables, the latter, computer systems.
In general, the term telematics refers to various technologies that collect and transmit data in the management of commercial fleet vehicles and equipment. Telematics offers a high-level overview of the health, efficiency, and profitability of a fleet of vehicles.
How is Telematics Used to Improve Safety?
Telematics solutions are available for use on trailers, containers, and chassis and offer significant safety improvements.
In the past, safety efforts and data collection were mostly limited to physical inspections and were subject to human error. Telematics streamlines this process, making it far easier to find and fix potential issues.
For instance, maintenance issues can be identified, diagnosed, and corrected before the equipment is put into operation. In real terms, this could mean that a defective part on a vehicle, trailer, or chassis can be caught and addressed before it ever hits the road, which prevents an on-the-job failure that could put the driver and the general public at risk.
Other available features include anti-lock braking systems and tire inflation monitoring, which allow the entire vehicle to be monitored in real time for safety issues.
Is It Costly to Implement Telematics?
Cost is not the barrier many assume it to be. Various options exist at different price points, making telematics widely available to companies with different budgets.
Typically, the most difficult obstacle to overcome is just getting fleets, trucking, and other companies to make a definitive switch to using telematics. People tend to want to hold on to the “old way” of doing things and are resistant to change. This will likely change as the benefits of telematics become more apparent, providing the necessary incentive to get companies to adopt the new methods.
What is Next for Telematics?
It’s likely that operation costs will continue to rise in the future, as a result of unpredictability in the supply chain and raw materials. This means that efficiency is going to play an ever bigger role in ensuring a company’s profitability and competitiveness.
Telematics will be a key tool in this respect, since it offers significant enhancements in productivity and efficiency. The next step for the technology will be to include more data integrations that provide better connectivity and enhanced interfacing.