If you’re familiar with modern technology, you may already be familiar with GPS and its usefulness for vehicles and mobile devices. Meanwhile, a less well-known term that’s starting to pick up traction in fleet companies is “telematics.” While telematics relates to GPS technology, the two terms can be challenging to differentiate if you’re unfamiliar with their processes and unique characteristics. Let’s take a look at GPS vs. telematics to find out how they compare and what their roles are in fleet industries.
As you may already know, GPS is the use of satellite technology to track location and other pieces of data relevant to a vehicle or device. It can come in handy for drivers if they need help finding a destination while making a delivery or responding to a service request.
On the other hand, telematics is a type of solution that uses GPS and telecommunications technology to gather and report on a comprehensive set of data. Telematics systems often come with tracking devices that collect data on location, speed, acceleration, braking, idling and more. Then, it sends that data back to the user. Using telematics will allow you to monitor the status of a company vehicle from anywhere. Whether you’re in charge of two vehicles or 50, a reliable telematics solution can provide live, accurate information within seconds.
Telematics software will also provide readings on the vehicle itself, helping you speed up diagnostics and manage maintenance strategies more effectively, and keeping track of fuel usage and odometer readings that could warn you when repairs are needed.
At a telematics system’s core is a tracking device with a built-in GPS receiver that compiles data about a vehicle’s location and status in real time. Telematics software takes the GPS data and transmits it through a cellular network to the main servers. At that point, the servers process and convert the data to usable information visible to fleet managers.
This data provides accurate accounts of your vehicle’s location at any given point in time. It can identify driver behaviors that lead to operating inefficiencies and increased costs, like sudden stops, speeding and quick acceleration. Secondary data like fuel consumption, engine diagnostics and odometer readings can improve your fleet’s operation even more.
Fleet managers can access this data from smartphones, computers or other internet-enabled devices. They can also export this information into a document or spreadsheet to create company presentations. You can then evaluate this data to track patterns, establish trends and develop a plan of action.
Unlike a GPS that provides information on a single driver in one vehicle, a telematics system gathers and stores data on all your fleet’s vehicles. This feature allows managers to see the big picture of an entire operation rather than just one driver. Still, it’s essential to understand that GPS and telematics work together and do not compete with each other.
If you implement a telematics system that’s Smart Tracking enabled, you can receive specific notifications whenever your drivers meet certain parameters. These features prevent you from becoming overwhelmed with information that might be irrelevant to your fleet. Systems like these allow you to customize settings to show results that matter most to you, like when your vehicle reaches a standstill or if there’s a problem in the engine.
A telematics system combined with GPS enables you to manage your vehicle fleet with an eye on increasing profitability. Together, GPS and telematics can:
While you can install GPS technology for any vehicle or fleet, it’s only by using various data collected from telematics solutions that you can make the most of what GPS has to offer. Paired with the communication benefits of telematics, GPS tracking will help you increase fleet performance and productivity. Along with enabling you to eliminate time-wasting behaviors, it will alert you when drivers are driving recklessly so that you can do what’s necessary to keep them in line.
Telematics takes all the benefits of GPS along with a variety of other convenient features and delivers them in a single solution. It’s an automated system that will allow you to do more in less time while decreasing the risk of accidents and liability claims. Having GPS and telematics on your side is an essential part of staying competitive in trucking and delivery businesses today.
While various companies claim to provide the most effective telematics solutions in the industry, it’s vital to choose a provider you can trust. Discuss your company goals and how you’d like to achieve them with your provider. Before making a purchasing commitment, you should find out the specific features, benefits and costs of your provider’s systems and how they apply to your business.
Beware of any hidden or additional fees for features that have no benefit to your operation.
Track Your Truck has over two decades of experience providing some of the industry’s most cost-effective, highest-quality tracking solutions. Our support staff puts the customer’s needs first before anything else. When you contact our team with a question, you’ll speak with a live representative qualified to assist you and provide the information you need.
At Track Your Truck, our GPS tracking and high-efficiency telematics solutions are tested and ready to go upon delivery. Start tracking your fleet today by investing in our navigation and tracking software, or contact us for a quote to learn more.