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Telematics Term – Helpful Guide

The world is becoming more connected every day, and new ways to use location-based information are being developed constantly. Telematics is a critical for fleet owners who want to achieve greater operational efficiencies, improve driver safety and satisfaction, and optimize customer service. …But, what is Telematics? Telematics is literally a combination of the words Telecommunications […]
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Kirby Ashley

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The world is becoming more connected every day, and new ways to use location-based information are being developed constantly. Telematics is a critical for fleet owners who want to achieve greater operational efficiencies, improve driver safety and satisfaction, and optimize customer service.

…But, what is Telematics?

Telematics is literally a combination of the words Telecommunications and Informatics. It is the technology of sending, receiving and storing information relating to remote objects, such as vehicles, via telecommunication devices. Today there is practically no limit to the different applications for telematics.

There are a lot of phrases and jargon that exists when it comes to Telematics. We thought it might be a good idea to put together a list of Telematics Terms. We understand that the list below is not a complete list or glossary of terms but we hope that you find this useful. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us if you have any further questions or comments and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible!

3G – Third generation mobile systems. Provides high-speed data transmission and supports multimedia applications including full-motion video, video-conferencing and Internet access.

8-N-1 – The most common modem format. “8N1” describes the way that your computer and the remote are connected. bits, if used)

10BASE-T – An Ethernet connection that uses UTP (unshielded twisted-pair) wiring.

Accelerometer – An instrument for measuring the acceleration of a vehicle.

Actionable or Business Insight – Knowledge or information needed to allow you to deliver and effect change.

Aggressive Driving – Driving style not conducive with road safety or good fuel economy or not in line with your company’s safe driving policy

Android – An open-source operating system used for smartphones and tablets.

Anti-Tamper – security measures to protect against unauthorised interference.

API (Application Program Interface) – A set of routines, protocols and tools used for building software applications.

Automatic Crash Notification – vehicle onboard system designed to notify a designated call or dispatch centre in the event of a significant collision, reporting the vehicle location, speed and severity of the crash, deployment of airbag(s) and other diagnostic information from onboard sensors.

Automatic Vehicle Location – the automated system and related technology of tracking vehicle locations. AVL systems utilise GPS technology coupled with wireless communication systems to provide a vast array of data to the home station and/or fleet operator.

Big Data – The usage of diverse, large-scale data or datasets to derive actionable insight.

BI (Business Intelligence) – Analysis of raw operational data to provide meaningful insight that supports improved decision-making, cost reduction, etc.

Bluetooth – A standard for the short-range wireless interconnection of electronic devices such as mobile phones and computers.

Compliance –In telematics we can observe the degree a company or individual complies with the government regulations.

Contextual Data – Refers to external data from beyond immediate telematics data to consider a driver in a wider context. Example: weather, mapping, statistics, etc. in addition to telematics data.

CRM (Customer Retention Management) – A system for managing a Company’s interactions with it’s customers.

CSA (Compliance, Safety, Accountability) – is an FMCSA initiative that was introduced to improve the overall safety of commercial motor vehicles. It was designed to provide a better view into how well large commercial motor vehicle carriers and drivers are complying with safety rules, and to intervene earlier with those who are not.

Customer or Fleet Portal – A dedicated portal for customers to review telematics data.

Dashboard – A customizable user interface that organises and presents information, performance and other data relating to the user.

Data Analysis – Techniques used to process large and disparate data to give actionable insight into your fleet, trucks, drivers, etc.

Data Integration – The ability to combine datasets from a variety of sources to hep improve Data Analysis.

Data Privacy – Compliance with the legal obligations that protect that information under the Data Protection Act 1998.

Data Protection – Legal control over the use of and access to data,

Data Modelling Techniques – Large amount of data analysis to provide Actionable Insight for drivers and fleet managers.

Driver Education – Balanced and positive messages to ensure a positive effect on the drivers to improve road safety.

Driver ID – Tracking tool that identifies which driver is operating a vehicle using a key and in-vehicle reader, an integrated navigation device or an RFID tag.

DBI (Driver Behaviour Indicator) – In-vehicle device that alerts drivers to any infringements when on the road by displaying a series of traffic-light coloured warning lights.

Driver Vehicle Inspection Reporting (DVIR) – Complete end-to-end inspection workflow. Full tracking of defects, inspections, and tracking of repair performed fixed the defect identified, offering great visibility to the health of the fleet

ECO Driving – Driving in such a way as to minimise fuel consumption and the emission of carbon dioxide.

ELD (Electronic Logging Devices) – allow the drivers to easily enter and submit daily hours of service right from the in-cab displays. This helps maintain a clear record of all hours for all drivers, improving compliance and safety. Paper driver logs are being replaced with electronic driver logs.

Excess Idling – unnecessary engine use where drivers leave a vehicle running when not in operation, wasting fuel and creating excessive engine wear.

Find my Nearest – Tracking feature that enables the identification of the closest and most appropriate vehicle, driver, location or point of interest.

Fleet – A number of vehicles operating together or under the same ownership.

Fleet Operators – An entity that owns or operates 2 or more vehicles per calendar year.

Fleet Compliance – When it comes to technology and staying compliant with regulations set forth by the FMCSA, it is essential to choose a partner to grow with.

FMS (Fleet Management System) – Vehicle telematics for a Company’s vehicle fleet.

FMCSA – Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

Fraud Detection – Any approach automatically built to uncover fraud across users.

Fuel Card Integration – enables fuel card data to be upload to other fleet and back-office systems to monitor fuel usage, identify areas or underperformance and provide added insight into mobile asset management.

g-force – A measurement of acceleration and deceleration which a vehicle is subjected to during its movement. Tracking the g-force of vehicles is part of any movement analysis.

Gamification – The process to create maximum user involvement and behaviour by introducing the gaming elements in user interfaces.

Geo-aware – Also known as location awareness, this refers to devices that can determine location using navigational instruments.

Geofence – A virtual boundary that can trigger alert messages if a vehicle travels outside of a geofence region. This is used to ensure Fleet vehicles are used responsibly.

GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) – Mobile data service on 2G and 3G mobile systems.

GPS (Global Positioning System) – A satellite navigation system that provides location and time information.

GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) – An open, digital technology that is used for transmitting mobile voice and data services.

Heading – Direction of vehicle movement (North, East, South, West).

HOS (Hours of Service) – HOS regulations aim to improve safety by keeping fatigued drivers off the road. Users can manage driver log reports and vehicle inspection data all in one, user-friendly platform. Fleets that meet the compliance requirements have a lower chance of accidents, injuries, and fatalities related to operating commercial motor vehicles. HOS is one of three compliance efforts that also include IFTA and CSA.

IFTA (International Fuel Tax Agreement) Management – International Fuel Tax Agreement for businesses that operate heavy commercial vehicles between states. They are required to track all fuel expenses and distances travelled. Connected Vehicles not only saves management time by removing the manual process of tracking miles by state, but it also improves accuracy.

Installation – The process or action of installing a device or program, such as Geotab Go7 device.

Integrated Camera – Camera technology that is combined with a vehicle tracking system to capture video footage of an actual or alleged driving incident.

iOS – Operating system used for mobile devices manufactured by Apple Inc.

IP Address (Internet Protocol Address) – A unique string of numbers separated by full stops that identifies each computer using the Internet Protocol to communicate over a network.

Journey Replay – Tracking functionality that provides playback of a historic journey onscreen with route and vehicle data.

KPI (Key Performance Indicator) – A performance measure that helps an organisation to define and measure progress towards its goals and objectives.

Key Differentiators – The key and unique values setting apart a company or product from its competitors. Connected Vehicles is a unique service provider because we combine all makes remote engine diagnostics with advanced telematics capabilities to offer a higher level of business insight to our customers.

M2M (Machine to Machine) – Technologies that allow both wireless and wired systems to communication with other devices of the same type.

Machine Learning – Artificial intelligence techniques to teach computers to determine solutions to complex scenarios.

Magnetometer – Built into many Black Boxes and most phones to give a compass bearing (direction).

Mobile Application – A software application that works on the devices’ operating system. Also known as ‘apps’, they are downloaded onto the device to perform a specific set of functions.

Mobility – The ability to move or be moved freely and easily.

MPG (Miles per Gallon) – The distance travelled by a vehicle powered by 1 gallon of fuel.

Navigation – GPS is commonly used to navigate drivers efficiently to their destination.

OBD (On-Board Diagnostic) – A vehicle’s self-diagnostic and reporting capability, which gives the vehicle owners, access to the status of the various vehicle sub-systems. Connected Vehicles works with all makes and models.

Odometer – An instrument for measuring the distance travelled by a vehicle.

On-Board Device – A device that is attached to the in-vehicle computer to become part of the mobile computing solution.

OTA Upgrade – Over the air upgrade to remotely update with latest software solution.

Permission / Access Rights – Controls the features and data that can be accessed by a specific user.

PII (Personal Identifiable Information) – Knowledge that can be used to identify, contact, locate or identify an individual.

Planned vs. Actual – Analysis of planned objectives and targets against the actual results achieved.

Points of Interest – A specific point location that an individual may find useful or interesting.

Predictive Analytics – Gives the ability of using prior data to statistically predict future outcomes.

Predictive Maintenance – Techniques designed to help determine the condition of equipment and to predict when maintenance should be performed. This methodology tries to predict the failure before it actually happens by directly monitoring the machine during normal operating condition.

Preventive Maintenance – Also called planned maintenance or planned preventive maintenance. Time, meter or event can drive it. Maintenance tasks that are undertaken during PM’s are pre-determined based on a number of factors including experience, age, manufacturers recommendations etc.

RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) – a generic term that refers to technologies that use radio waves to automatically identify assets and objects, allowing the storing and retrieval of information using RFID tags.

Real Time – The actual time in which a process or event occurs.

Regression – A measure of the relation between the mean value of one variable and corresponding values of other variables, such as time and cost.

Road Map – A map especially designed for drivers, which shows the roads of any particular area.

Road Sensor Data – Data derived from infrastructure sensors such as vehicle counts, induction loops measure numbers and speeds of traffic.

Road Traffic Data – Any data conferring an improved understanding of the movement of vehicles on the road.

ROI (Return on Investment) – The most common profitability ratio.

Route Management – Monitoring of static and timed routes to maximise operational performance.

Route Optimisation – enables the identification and plotting of the most effective and fuel efficient route

RPM (Revolutions per Minute) – A measure of the frequency of a rotation.

SIM Card – A smart card inside a mobile phone that carries an identification number unique to the owner and stores personal data.

Smartphone – A mobile phone that has the ability to perform the same functions as a computer.

Smooth Driving – It is closely correlated to decreased crash risk as opposed to Aggressive Driving, which is correlated to worst crash risks.

SMS (Short Message Service) – A text messaging service that allows fixed line or mobile phone devices to exchange short text messages. Sending text messages whilst driving is extremely dangerous and we discourage the use of SMS while driving.

Software Update / Upgrade – An update or upgrade to your existing software program.

Street Level Mapping – Enables the vehicle tracking system to zoom into a street level view to provide precise locations of assets and mobile employees.

Tachograph – A device fitted to a vehicle that automatically records its speed and distance.

Telematics System – A Black Box, OBD, White Box, Smartphone device or embedded vehicle electronics used to capture Telemetry data from a moving vehicle.

Telematics – A GPS receiver, which records information about how, when and where you drive.

Telemetry – A highly automated communications process. Measurements are made and other data is collected at remote or inaccessible points and then transmitted to receiving equipment to be monitored.

Tracking Device – An electronic device which allows you to monitor the location of a subject, such as a person, object or vehicle.

Trailer tracking — Long-haul fleets often attach GPS trackers to articulated trailers to make sure they don’t go missing, and these same devices can route pick-up drivers directly to the stationary trailer.

TSP (Telematics Service Provider) – A business or organisation that provides telematics-based products and services to its customers.

Tracking Device – the hardware unit installed into a vehicle that captures and communicates vehicle location, movement and status data.

Two-Way Communications – Messaging functionality between a tracking software application and an in-vehicle device.

User – The individual who uses or operates something.

User Experience Design – The process of enhancing customer satisfaction and loyalty by improving the usability, ease of use, etc.

Unauthorised / Illegal Movement – Identification of unauthorised towing and movement of the vehicle.

Vehicle tracking — Vehicles can be tracked using a combination of GPS satellites, GPS receivers, GPRS (cell phone) networks and cloud computing.

Web Application – Software that runs in a web browser.

Web Portal – Web browser based customer or fleet portal.

Disclaimer: We understand that list is not considered complete or 100% accurate, but we hope that it helps demystify a bit of the telematics field.

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