Vehicle Tracking and Telematics

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between telematics and vehicle tracking? Are they the same or similar?

Telematics comes from the French word ‘telematique’ which was first used in 1978 to combine telecommunications with computer science. Telematics brings together the worlds of telecommunications, road safety, wireless communication, vehicle technology and computers.

Tracking is one of the smart technologies that comes under the broad heading of telematics, as well as GPS navigation and many more. The technology to achieve telematics was first developed in the 1960s by the Defence Department of the U.S. By the 1980s, the technology was being used in civilian research to improve safety on the roads and factor in the environmental impact of driving.

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By the middle of the 1990s, the first vehicle tracking systems appeared for commercial use and by the turn of the millennium, web fleet management systems became readily available to businesses. By 2010, apps on smartphones were created to connect real-time data with people’s mobile phones and tablets, making this information even easier to obtain. For more information on Vehicle Tracking, visit

Telematic devices include several parts, such as:

A GPS receiver which receives data from the satellite

An engine interface which routes messages from the GPS

A Sim card which sends the data to the main server through the mobile network

Accelerometer that senses and records driving data and crash impact information

Whilst the whole system is not complicated, there are a lot of technologies involved and working together at the same time. The vehicle’s whereabouts are detected by the GPS satellite and sent to the vehicle’s tracking device. The engine interface translates the data and adds to it, such as info from the accelerometer. The sim card communicates with the mobile network and data is sent to the server. The server formats the data for the consumer and renders it available on the online application.

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Vehicle tracking has many benefits. For organisations that manage a mobile workforce, tracking the company’s vehicles can save time and money.

By examining the routes that vehicles take, companies can calculate how much time is spent travelling, streamline the routes and processes and thus save money.

There are multiple benefits for customers too. These include:

Significantly more accurate delivery times and cost estimates

Quicker emergency response time by correctly equipped vehicles

More accurate billing

Telematics has a bright future, with no foreseeable limit on what can be achieved with telematics technology over the next few decades. Looking at the last decade, advances and progress have been huge and with the rise of a more mobile workforce, even more businesses will begin to appreciate the many benefits of fleet management and vehicle tracking. The capabilities of telematics are increasing all the time, with features that seemed impossible in the past, just around the corner. If you’re not already, now is the perfect time to enjoy the benefits of telematics for your vehicles.

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