What’s the difference between telematics and vehicle tracking?

Telematics and vehicle tracking are often used interchangeably. But for a business, the system you employ can make all the difference. At Better M2M we supply M2M SIM cards for both vehicle tracking and telematics systems, but how do you know what is going to bring the most benefit to your business?, asks Nick Lockley, CEO of BetterM2M.

What is telematics?

Telematics is the overall umbrella term used for the technology and telecommunications systems available for the vehicle and transport industries. It covers the management of a full remit of technological tools, including:

· Global positioning systems (GPS)

· Engine diagnostics

· Driver behaviour gathered through sensors

· Vehicle activity

It can be used for individual vehicles, or more commonly as part of fleet management. On the other hand, vehicle tracking typically refers to the GPS element of telematics, deployed for fleet management.

How does telematics work?

The technology used within a telematics system gathers data from a wide range of sources. Sensors can detect everything from the opening of doors, aggressive acceleration, and poor control when navigating corners, to odometer readings and fuel use. The data is then stored within the onboard telematics device before being transmitted to the fleet manager’s data hub for analysis.

Depending on the data transfer system you use, the information can be transmitted in real time. Reputable M2M SIM providers deliver a private APN (Access Point Name) accessed through a VPN (Virtual Private Network), which allows the rapid and secure transfer of data from almost anywhere.

What are the main benefits of using a telematics system over a vehicle tracking system?

In short, telematics can provide fleet managers with more information and more control. In many cases, vehicle tracking is all that a business needs. But with telematics, you have the information to manage individual drivers, helping to improve customer service and reduce overheads.

If you know exactly where every vehicle is, you can give your customers precise delivery and collection windows. With driver behaviour data, you can take steps to correct undesirable traits, from speeding to unnecessary fuel spend this is at the heart of what’s making true data-driven insurance a reality. With telematics, driver safety and cargo security are also enhanced. And with a wealth of data at your fingertips, you have incontrovertible proof of compliance across the board.

Where can telematics systems be deployed?

Telematics systems are compact and customisable. So, they can be used on almost any vehicle. From cars, to buses, HGVs, and even construction vehicles, if required.

The main difference between vehicle tracking systems and telematics is versatility. Vehicle tracking can be incredibly useful. It’s smart tech that does exactly as the name implies. Telematics simply does more. Helping to aid productivity, correct behaviour, make real cost-savings, manage maintenance, and ensure compliance. Both systems have their audience. And they can both benefit from the use of high quality M2M SIM.

Get in touch to find out more about the best M2M SIM for your vehicle tracking or telematics system, and to claim your free demo SIM.

The author is Nick Lockley, CEO & global IoT solutions architect at BetterM2M.

About the author

Nick Lockley deliver bespoke M2M/IoT managed services for mobile and satellite wireless networks globally plus fixed-line solutions & traditional business telecommunications services.

Comment on this article below or via Twitter: @IoTNow_OR @jcIoTnow

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