Technology has changed many industries, but some have seen little evolution at all. The trucking industry is among the worst. It doesn’t stop with trucking though. Every business that uses a fleet needs an upgrade. That is where navigation from telematics comes in.
Many fleets are already switching over to telematics systems. The new ELD compliance mandate set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires updates. This law means all fleet vehicles must use electronic logging devices (ELDs). ELDs log driver Hours of Service (HoS) to prevent overages that lead to fatigue. Fatigue-related accidents are a major cause of crashes in the country.
To record these hours, telematics systems use GPS to track vehicles in real-time. This can provide navigation capabilities for drivers. But it also offers a wealth of helpful tools for fleet managers. If you’re looking for a GPS system for your fleet, consider telematics navigation. Still not sure what that is? Below, we’ll discuss navigation through telematics and how it can improve the efficiency of your fleet.
What is Navigation from Telematics?
Navigation from Telematics combines remote communications with information processing. In other words, a telematics system communicates information over long distances. For fleets, it’s a way to manage vehicles, trailers, and other assets remotely. These systems also provide a range of information on the vehicle, in an overview that’s easy to read.
Telematics fleet software often includes:
- Vehicle and asset tracking
- Maintenance scheduling
- Route mapping
- Traffic and accident avoidance
- GPS navigation for drivers
- Speed and movement information
- Driver training
- Recording hours of service (ELD compliance)
- Mobile data
- Vehicle safety communications
- Vehicle engine data
- Emergency warning systems
A good telematics system provides more than location and safety information. It captures harsh braking, sharp cornering, speeding, and over-acceleration. It also captures the finer details such as idling and engine temperature. The system gives you insight into every detail of the vehicle and the driver’s behavior. From this, you can determine if a driver needs safety training and easily design training around their needs.
The information you receive on a vehicle will also reduce your administrative costs. You no longer have to make regular calls to check on drivers or fill out work logs. And, if a driver has issues with maintenance, weather, or an accident, you’ll be able to quickly dispatch help. Finding them won’t be a challenge either, since the system will pinpoint their exact location.
Telematics is possible due to the GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System). Navigation from telematics is essentially the use of GPS alongside fleet management software. More accurately, GPS is just one function of a software that makes your fleet more efficient. We break this down further below.
GPS Fleet Tracking Comparison
If you’re trying to decide which GPS system is right for your fleet, comparing different GPS options, advantages and disadvantages may help you decide.
GPS was first conceived when NASA scientists were able to successfully track Sputnik using shifts in its radio signal. This is now known as the “Doppler Effect”. Following this, the U.S. Navy experimented with tracking submarines holding nuclear missiles. By the early 1970s, the Department of Defense used satellites to create a network for global positioning and GPS was born. It would take a while before reaching commercial use, however since it has, it’s only improved. GPS locations have become more accurate, and GPS tools have expanded. GPS systems may now include:
- Route planning
- Speeding and idling reports
- Arrival/departure alerts
- Analytics reports
Most GPS devices simply track a vehicle's location and guide drivers along routes. Telematics uses that same concept to share location and other information. GPS rests at the heart of telematics systems. It is what makes every other function of the telematics software possible.
Telematics is a term coined in the late 1970s, with the intent of improving road safety. In the early 2000s, telematics was being used in web-based fleet management systems.These early systems were slow, transmitting data only once or twice per hour. Like any technology with great potential, telematics continually improved. Advancements were quickly taken into cloud-based and machine-to-machine technologies. This enabled much faster and more precise tracking. Today, telematics has taken further steps. It now goes beyond driver safety, to include functions that make fleets more efficient.
Beyond common GPS, telematics also includes:
- Automatic collision notification
- Emergency assistance
- Roadside assistance
- Vehicle diagnostics
- Driver behavior reports
- Route planning & traffic avoidance
- Hours of Service reporting
- Camera systems
These are some of the most basic functions you should expect from a telematics system. However, there are telematics providers that can deliver even more benefits. With so many benefits, is it time to implement navigation from telematics into your fleet?
Why Get A Fleet Telematics Solution with GPS?
GPS alone provides a bit of help for drivers, and can even help managers if equipped with reporting features. But navigation from telematics does everything that a basic GPS device does, and then some. Telematics data tells fleet managers what's happening with their fleet and shows where they can improve.
A good telematics system is an investment in your fleet, and it has a great ROI (return on investment). Take a look at some of the benefits below.
Cost reduction comes in many forms with a telematics system. Lower administrative costs are a great benefit to start. It takes a lot of time to manage driver logs by hand, make regular calls to all drivers, and schedule maintenance. Telematics automates those responsibilities. This not only lowers your costs, but reduces the amount of time spent managing paperwork.
Many of these systems are also developed in conjunction with insurance companies. You may be able to receive insurance discounts for improved driver safety. Prevention of hour overages and better monitoring also reduces costs resulting from accidents.
The routing and traffic avoidance features help you save more fuel, and arrive on time. Vehicle diagnostics reporting catches issues in your fleet vehicles early. This means reduced costs for repairs and avoided delays on the road.
Improved efficiency saves you money, makes it easier to grow your business, and frees up time.
You may trust your drivers, but monitoring their behavior on the road is also about safety. A good telematics system shows all sorts of problems, inside the cab and out. It reports speeding, unauthorized stops, detours, exceeded driving hours, mechanical trouble, and more.
Alerts notify you of mechanical failures so you can send another driver to help. You’ll also know about accidents as they happen. This lets you warn the destination of delays, check on your driver, and send help quickly.
Every business benefits from improved visibility. Telematics makes it possible to do so where we’ve never been able to before.
Navigation through telematics is not just a GPS tracking system. It’s a complete solution for your business. And some telematics systems provide more benefits than others.
Azuga is a leading provider of telematics vehicle tracking for fleets. We also provide dashcams and eLogs, to make your fleet safer and more efficient in every way possible. We’re good for business and drivers. Get your navigation from telematics, with Azuga fleet tracking solutions.
Not sure yet? Get a demo of fleet tracking software from Azuga.