Telematics is a composite term of the two scientific fields – telecommunications and information technology.

Nowadays, technical facilities are interconnected via telecommunication systems to determine, store and/or process data as well as the processing of data. Predominantly, telematics is used within the traffic sector nowadays and can be subdivided into these areas:

  1. Target audience: Supplier of transportation, demanders and the connection of both sectors while incorporating means of transport.
  2. Capacity growth of the existing traffic infrastructure: to improve productivity within transport or a rationalisation of the administrative procedures.

Meanwhile, nearly every company runs a vehicle park, comprising cars and vehicles used by the employees to remain mobile and for the delivery of goods. Here, too, the application of telematic solutions plays a major role for managing the fleet, thereby optimising the route plan of each vehicle which later results in a reduction of fuel consumption. Another key factor connected lies in the generation of detailed plans for the fleet management, considering constraints of schedules, capacities, technical and driving times.

Managing the Company Fleet with Telematic Solutions

Starting mid-June 2019, every newly admitted vehicle with a weight of more than 3.5 tons or a car with a capacity of eight persons and the driver, must bindingly be endowed with an intelligent tachograph – a so-called Smart Tacho – as described in the EU-provision No. 165/2014. Such intelligent tachographs should be used to prevent manipulations and strengthen the efficiency of the control procedures to enable a pre-selection.  

The data are selected continuously but need to be downloaded on a regular basis in order to fulfil the legal requirements. The driver card of a vehicle must be downloaded and stored every 28 days, the other vehicle-specific data such as the technical data must be stored after 365 days. The remote tacho download can help to download the data as .ddd-files automatically and save them in either a cloud or on a server. Both the company and the driver profit, as the data download can be performed easy and whenever needed, with hardly any risk for mistakes.

Technically speaking, the smart tachograph uses the features of the wireless communication and combines it with the Global Positioning Satellite System (GNSS) and further, more strict security measures for the tachograph. To facilitate the readout of the data from the smart tachograph – e.g. to prevent mistakes when capturing the data and being able to provide a clear verification at any time – the remote download is probably the best solution at hand.

Advantages of Telematics for Companies

Quite apart from its size profits a company from the use of telematics system when using it for the management of the company fleet. The most important benefits are

  • Fulfilment of Legal Requirements: The authorities have tightened the statutory regulations concerning vehicle guidance. Thus, each fleet manager needs access to the data of both the driver and vehicle to control the adherence of the driving and rest times of the driver.
  • Gain in Efficiency: A fleet manager has many duties to attend. Digital networking, however, considerably improves the direct communication between driver and office, all driving, and rest times are captured, stored and documented automatically.
  • Saving of Costs: Telematic solutions help to control vehicles and the driving style of the driver. Deviations from the standard values – which are recorded – may be supervised. Such values may also help to decrease the costs. 
  • More Security for Driver and Vehicle: Via sensors, the telematics technology helps to gather important data which may later reveal defects or possible damages. Accidents might thus be averted, or the telematics system helps to expedite the unrolling of the damages.

 For the fleet manager, there is yet another advantage as he receives more planning security, helping to optimally determine the driving route of the vehicles. Both the maintenance and service times for each vehicle can be tracked exactly, so that the vehicles can be used to capacity and only rarely fail.