What Is Telematics?

In the fleet and logistics industry, telematics is considered synonymous with fleet telematics or vehicle GPS tracking systems.

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Telematics is cutting-edge technology that merges telecommunications and informatics to revolutionize the way you collect and transmit data from vehicles and remote objects. Say goodbye to guesswork and hello to real-time insights that will transform your operations.

By seamlessly integrating GPS tracking, wireless communication, and advanced computer systems, telematics empowers you to unlock vital fleet information – from precise location and speed to fuel consumption and vehicle diagnostics. With this wealth of telematics data at your fingertips, you can optimize your operations, boost safety, and supercharge efficiency across industries like transportation, logistics, and insurance.

Imagine making informed decisions, monitoring assets, and streamlining processes effortlessly, all while delivering superior performance and slashing costs. Embrace the future of business intelligence with telematics and unlock a whole new world of possibilities.

A telematics system consists of devices installed inside the fleet of vehicles. These devices use a cellular network to send information to servers that are hosted by the provider or a third-party cloud server. The data can then be accessed from a device such as a smartphone, tablet, or laptop with an internet connection. This is all made possible by the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS).

These developments have caused a boom in telematics for fleet management. Fleet managers use telematics to keep their drivers compliant with the ELD mandate and to help run their fleet operations more efficiently.

Can My Fleet Use Telematics?

Telematics has proven to be invaluable across various sectors. Telematics, which combines telecommunications and informatics, enables real-time monitoring and data collection from vehicles or assets.

In the automotive sector, telematics uses vehicle tracking, fleet management, and driver behavior monitoring, leading to optimized routes, reduced fuel consumption, and enhanced safety. In the insurance industry, vehicle telematics helps in determining personalized premiums based on individual driving patterns.

Moreover, telematics plays a vital role in the transportation and logistics industries, enhancing route optimization, fuel efficiency, and overall operational efficiency. With its wide-ranging benefits, telematics continues to revolutionize industries by providing actionable data and improving decision-making processes.

Here is an overview of some industries that rely on GPS fleet tracking and telematics:

Everything you need to know

Telematics data can empower fleet managers and administrators by giving them the ability to solve their unique business challenges and make strategic and informed decisions. 
  • How Does Telematics Work?

    A fleet management telematics system includes devices installed in fleet vehicles to transmit, receive, and store telemetry data. These devices connect to a vehicle's onboard diagnostics system or CAN-BUS port using a SIM card and transmit data wirelessly through an onboard modem.

    The device gathers GPS fleet tracking data and various vehicle-specific information, which is then sent to a centralized server. This transmission occurs through General Packet Radio Service (GPRS), 4G (soon to be 5G) mobile data, cellular networks, or satellite communication. The server receives and presents this information on a secure website accessible via tablets or smartphones. The telecommunications company handles the information flow between the vehicle and the telematics provider.

    The device can capture a range of information including location, speeding, harsh acceleration or braking, idling time, fuel consumption, engine health, and more. Reviewing and analyzing this information provides comprehensive insights across your entire fleet.

  • What Telematics Does

    Fleet management enables businesses to utilize data effectively for their unique challenges. One common challenge faced by fleet managers is constantly monitoring the location of vehicles and equipment. Many companies have successfully utilized telematics solutions to prevent theft and save substantial amounts of money.

    Initially, the technology primarily focused on real-time vehicle tracking through wireless connections. However, it has since evolved to provide additional benefits like enhancing safety, efficiency, and cost savings for fleets.

    For instance, telematics technology can be employed to develop a fleet safety initiative aimed at creating a safer and more responsible fleet. It can help address significant issues such as reducing speeding incidents, harsh acceleration and deceleration, and overall accidents across the fleet.

    Vehicle telematics also offer a substantial return on investment (ROI) in various areas, including:

    • Enhancing customer service
    • Decreasing fuel expenses
    • Reducing operating costs
    • Boosting efficiencies
  • What Are Telematics Systems?

    When a telematics device is installed in fleet vehicles, it enables the tracking and reporting of various details such as speed, braking, idling, tire pressure, and fuel usage. This information helps monitor vehicle health and driving habits across the fleet.

    By utilizing this data, maintenance costs can be reduced, fuel efficiency can be improved, and driver training programs can be created. To track assets, the device is connected to the fleet vehicles' CAN-BUS port or OBD II, and it includes a SIM card and modem for wireless communication via a wireless network. Access to fleet management software is available through smartphones, laptops, or tablets.

  • Origin Of Telematics

    Telematics, the fusion of communication and data processing, originated in the 1960s to enhance battlefield communication for military purposes.

    The contemporary telematics we rely on today emerged from three crucial advancements: Internet, GPS, and machine-to-machine communication. With the advent of the Internet and the expansion of telecommunication networks, the utilization of telematics for fleet management experienced significant growth, enabling real-time data transmission.

  • What Are The Components Of A Telematics System?

    A telematics system consists of various components that work together to enable efficient and reliable communication and data exchange between vehicles and a centralized system.

    The key components of a telematics system include a GPS (Global Positioning System) receiver to track the vehicle's location, an onboard diagnostics unit (OBD-II) to collect data from the vehicle's sensors and systems, a cellular or satellite communication module to transmit and receive data, and a central server or cloud platform to process and store the collected information. These components allow for real-time monitoring of vehicle performance, location tracking, remote diagnostics, and the delivery of valuable insights for fleet management, vehicle safety, and optimization of operations.

  • How Are Telematics Devices Installed?

    These devices can be easily set up by users themselves or by a professional technician. Regardless of the method chosen, the setup process is straightforward and fast.

    The power needs of these devices can differ, as some are battery-powered while others rely on the vehicle's internal electrical system.


A basic GPS tracking telematics solution is affordable but provides limited useful information. However, investing in a comprehensive telematics system with dash cams, electronic logging devices (ELDs), route planning, and advanced driver management can yield a higher return on investment. One example of such a system is MiX by Powerfleet, which offers customizable features for your fleet's specific needs.

Enhancing visibility of your fleet enables you to understand asset utilization and optimize operations. With customizable dashboards, you can easily track progress towards your chosen key performance indicators (KPIs), manage your budget, and access real-time analytics from your telematics system. Implementing a fleet management system can uncover hidden costs and improve efficiency and productivity.

Learn more about the benefits of telematics

What Are The Benefits Of Telematics?

With advanced telematics systems and the amount of data they can collect and store you can simplify operations, improve driver management, and see a significant ROI. Here are eight benefits for fleets of all types and sizes.
  • Increased fleet efficiency and productivity

    A fleet management telematics system comprises devices installed in vehicles to transmit, receive, and store telemetric data. These devices establish a connection to a vehicle’s onboard diagnostics system or CAN-BUS port using a SIM card. Utilizing an onboard computer, the system wirelessly sends data through a network.

    The device collects GPS fleet tracking data and various vehicle-specific details, transmitting it to a centralized server via GPRS, 4G (soon to be 5G) mobile data, wireless networks, or satellite communication. This information is then stored on the server. To access the data, users can securely view it through a website accessed via tablets or smartphones. The flow of information between the vehicle and the telematics provider is managed by a telecommunications company.

    The captured data includes location, speeding, harsh acceleration or braking, idling time, fuel consumption, engine health, and more. Analyzing this information provides comprehensive insights for the entire fleet.

  • Fuel Usage

    Improve Fuel Usage And Operational Expenses

    Enhance fuel efficiency and cost savings through intelligent route planning. Automate tracking of idling time and vehicle utilization, while also ranking drivers for coaching based on identifying those who require assistance in reducing idling and aggressive driving behaviors. Achieve significant expense reduction by implementing these measures.

  • Vehicle tracking

    Vehicle tracking

    Our vehicle tracking system utilizes a blend of GPS satellites, receivers, GPRS networks, and cloud computing for precise location monitoring. After installation, the GPS receiver retrieves data from GPS satellites, which is then processed and securely transmitted via GPRS to dedicated servers. This information can be accessed to facilitate route adjustments and assign the closest available driver to new assignments.
  • Trailer and Asset Tracking

    Trailer and Asset Tracking

    Telematics extends beyond vehicles, encompassing trailers, valuable equipment, and non-motorized assets. By attaching GPS trackers, one can prevent loss and expedite recovery in case of theft. Moreover, mobile alerts can be configured to notify unauthorized movements of trailers or non-motorized assets.
  • Maintenance Improvements

    Maintenance Improvements

    Telematics enhances fleet vehicle maintenance from start to finish. By utilizing telematics, you can track usage hours and leverage this data to proactively schedule maintenance, preventing excessive wear and tear and avoiding unexpected breakdowns. Engine diagnostics provided by telematics devices enable you to implement a preventive and predictive maintenance regimen, ensuring the vehicles operate safely. Monitoring battery voltage, intake valve, coolant temperature, oxygen sensor, powertrain, and other factors become possible through telematics.
  • Safety Tracking

    Safety Tracking

    Telematics technology enables tracking of vehicle location, speed, aggressive driving behaviors, and seatbelt usage. It provides a comprehensive digital record of fleet operations, offering valuable insights for accident prevention and enhancing driver safety.
  • Streamlined Communication

    Streamlined Communication

    Telematics enhances driver-fleet manager communication, leading to precise arrival time estimates and increased customer satisfaction. In competitive sectors, customer service sets businesses apart, as dissatisfied customers may seek alternatives. Gain a competitive edge with efficient communication and live vehicle tracking.
  • Better Payroll Management

    Better Payroll Management

    Utilize a telematics solution to minimize overtime and prevent timesheet fraud. Through real-time monitoring of your fleet’s electronic time logs and efficient resource allocation, you can significantly reduce overtime expenses. Optimize drivers’ routes to eliminate unproductive driving time, and accurately track the duration and distance of each vehicle’s journey for streamlined payroll calculations.

What Is The Future Of Telematics?

Telematics is an increasingly vital part of fleet management, offering benefits in efficiency, productivity, and safety. With advancements in GPS technology and the growing use of mobile devices, telematics is expected to experience further growth. The rapid evolution of the Internet of Things (IoT) has enabled smart homes and communities, exemplifying the progress in this field. As telematics gains momentum, it will continue to evolve, and several emerging trends are worth monitoring.

These trends encompass:

Big Data
Big Data
Machine Learning
Artificial Intelligence
Video Telematics
Video Telematics
5G Network
5G Network

To meet the demands of fleet owners, GPS vehicle systems will enhance integration with other operational systems, such as workforce management software, business management software, and ERP software. Telematics will increasingly become an integral part of fleet management operations.

Telematics Success Stories

  • British American Tobacco

    British American Tobacco (BAT) is a leading, multi-category consumer goods business that manufactures and supplies cigarettes, tobacco and other nicotine-related products. BAT has been a longstanding customer and partner of MiX by Powerfleet and has been utilizing their fleet management solutions since 2016. By utilizing a variety of MiX by Powerfleet’ tailored fleet management tools BAT has reduced speeding incidents per 100 kilometers driven and harsh braking events by 40% while harsh acceleration events were reduced by 18%. Additionally, BAT has lowered the cost of their insurance premium by 8%

  • ITA Transportes

    Based in Brazil, ITA Transportes has a large fleet of 1800 vehicles, so they required a telematics solution to gain better visibility of their vehicles and help improve overall performance. After implementing MiX’s solutions, ITA Transportes saw a myriad of great results. Their fuel consumption dropped by 18%, operating costs were reduced by 40% and clutch interventions were lowered by a massive 90%.

  • Stabilised Pavements of Australia

    Stabilised Pavements of Australia (SPA) is the largest stabilization contractor within the Australasia region. SPA were looking for a telematics suite to assist them in putting the appropriate measures in place to both improve driver behaviors and effectively monitor compliance-related requirements. Within a 12-month period, SPA achieved more than a 40% reduction in speeding incidents, a 35% reduction in harsh braking events (a sign of safer driver behavior) and even a $100k per annum saving in insurance costs.


Fleet management telematics will continue to play a big role for fleets who want to gain a competitive edge. MiX by Powerfleet solutions provide GPS tracking for vehicles and assets, ELD compliance, safety, and security. If you're looking for fleet management telematics software, contact us and we'll be happy to help you find a telematics solution that is right for your fleet.

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