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Engine Diagnostics or GPS Only Tracking: Which is Better?

engine-diagnostics

Diagnostic or nondiagnostic GPS tracking. Which one is better? You may have heard about the benefits of each. This post sets the record straight on why you need true engine diagnostics.

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Choosing Correct Telematics Harnesses

universal-harness

Most (if not all) vehicles today, provide a wealth of data via the diagnostic port. This can aid in effective fleet management, especially if you have the means to read this data live.

Maximize the richness of telematics data by effortlessly tapping into the vehicle’s data bus, and simultaneously optimizing installation time, by choosing the right harness for your GO device.

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What Is Telematics?

what-is-telematics

TELEMATICS is a method of monitoring an asset (car, truck, heavy equipment, or even ship) by using GPS and onboard diagnostics to record movements on a computerized map. Learn the answer to “What is telematics?” and read how it’s used in this blog post.

 

What Is Telematics? Technical Overview

Imagine a highly intelligent computer in your vehicle that is able to report on nearly every detail — from speed and idling, to fuel use, low tire pressure, and more. This information can mean saving on maintenance costs by better monitoring vehicles or improving fuel efficiency by learning more about driving habits. All of this describes the universe of telematics, also known as GPS fleet tracking.

To track assets, information from the vehicle is recorded via a small, telematics device — also called a black box —  that plugs into the OBD II or CAN-BUS port. A SIM card and modem in the device enables communication on the cellular network.

There are several key components of a telematics device:

  • GPS receiver
  • Engine interface
  • Input/output interface (expander port)
  • SIM card
  • Accelerometer
  • Buzzer

In addition to the hardware, the algorithm used for GPS logging is another critical factor because it impacts the quality and accuracy of the data. Read more about curve logging here.

See AlsoTelematics Glossary: 60+ Terms to Know

How Telematics Works

Data collected by the telematics device, like the GPS position and speed of the vehicle, and the g-force measured by the built-in accelerometer, are sent in a packaged format to a data center. The data then gets decoded.

A vast amount of data can be collected via the telematics device and other connected hardware or sensors, such as position, speed, trip distance/time, idling, harsh braking and driving, seat belt, fuel consumption, vehicle faults, battery voltage, and other engine data.

In the case of Geotab, this information is stored in the cloud and brought into a fleet management software system, accessible from a desktop computer or a mobile device like a smartphone or tablet. Using the software, users are able to view and export reports and gain business intelligence such as the top 10 drivers with the highest number of speeding incidents or vehicles that are due for scheduled maintenance.

live-gps-tracking-telematics-data-flow
Telematics data is sent from the vehicle to a fleet management software portal.

Open Platform Telematics

As technology has evolved, telematics has moved from a closed system to open platform. An open platform telematics system is capable of integrating with other types of hardware accessories, software, and mobile apps to provide added insight into business operations.

The variety of applications for telematics includes integrations with dispatching and mobile forms, to driver cameras, salt and sand spreader trackers, weather alerts, and electronic logging (ELDs) for recording Hours of Service in trucking. See the infographic below for an overview of how businesses use telematics.

telematics-applications-infographic
Click to view image larger.

The growing number of use applications has led to the increased adoption of commercial telematics as reported by Market Research Reports Search Engine, which values the global commercial telematics market at over $14 billion (2016).

The Origins of Telematics

The term “telematics” comes from a blend of telecommunication and informatics sciences. These two sciences formally merged back in the 1960s, when the U.S. Department of Defense developed GPS systems to track U.S. asset movements and improve communication on the battlefield. Telematics consists of three interdependent breakthroughs of modern technology from this research and development: Internet, GPS, and machine-to-machine communication (M2M).

Combining telecommunications and information processing, telematics was later used to refer to automation in vehicles. Wireless safety communications, GPS navigation, integrated hands-free cell phones, and automatic driving assistance systems are all components covered by vehicle telematics.

The Benefits of Telematics

Any type of small business to large corporation, nonprofit organization and government agency operating vehicles or other assets can benefit from telematics.

Industries using telematics and fleet tracking technology (sample list):

  • Courier and delivery companies
  • Field sales and other services such as HVAC, plumbing, etc.
  • Towing companies
  • Trucking and transportation logistics
  • Construction businesses
  • Food and beverage companies
  • Transit fleets, such as motor coach, public transit, taxi, and paratransit
  • Oil, gas, and mining industries
  • Utilities
  • Police and emergency organizations,
  • Other public agencies
  • Landscaping businesses
  • Waste management fleets

Learn more about these specific applications for telematics on our fleet management solutions page.

Telematics in Fleet Management

Telematics has become a crucial technology for fleet management. Telematics supports these five core areas:

  1. Productivity and improved customer service by using real-time GPS tracking, trip reporting, and dispatching and routing tools (read a productivity success story here)
  2. Safety with the availability of in-vehicle driver coaching, risk and driver behavior reporting, accident notifications and reconstruction, and the ability to locate a stolen vehicle (read a safety success story here)
  3. Optimization of vehicle maintenance with predictive maintenance abilities and remote diagnostics, and optimization of fuel management by tracking idling and other fuel-guzzling habits (read an optimization success story here)
  4. Compliance with solutions for electronic logging and Hours of Service, IFTA reporting, and vehicle inspections (read a compliance success story here)
  5. Integration of other software systems such as onboard camera technology or CRM software (read an optimization success story here)

Insurance telematics is also gaining in popularity, in which the safety data is shared with a fleet’s insurance company with the goal of lowering premiums, if they can prove safe driving habits. Essentially, telematics can help insurance companies better pinpoint levels of risk. (While not all insurance agencies are offering this telematics-based insurance, it’s worth discussing with your provider if you’re not self-insured.)

Also gaining in popularity is the ability to increase vehicle security by integrating identification sensors into vehicles. This allows fleets to authenticate a driver’s identity before they can start the vehicle.

The Future of Telematics and Fleet Tracking

The future of telematics is likely to achieve the unimaginable. Whether driving your personal vehicle or managing a fleet, constant communication with nearby vehicles is already achievable through telematics.

Exciting areas of innovation related to telematics include:

GPS tracking systems will continue to become better integrated with other operational systems and will continue to improve while M2M technology expands. The emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT), making technology possible for smart homes and smart communities, are great examples of the rapid evolution happening in this space.

Author: Craig Michael, RMA Production Assistant – Geotab Inc

Download our industry-specific brochures:

Construction Vertical BrochureCourier and Delivery Vertical Brochure | Field Sales & Services Vertical Brochure | Food and Beverage Vertical Brochure | Government Vertical Brochure | Mobility Transport Vertical Brochure | Oil Gas & Mining Vertical Brochure | Police and First Responder Vertical Brochure | Towing Vertical Brochure | Transportation and logistic Vertical Brochure | Utilities Vertical Brochure

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How to Automate Reports on MyGeotab

MyGeotab Automated Reporting

Automating reports are an easy way to stay aware of crucial fleet data, while taking away the need to monitor your database on a constant basis. By automating reports you can have data automatically provided to you daily, weekly or monthly and can control how much or how little detail you receive.

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Server Migration

Code

In order to increase our security levels, the Geotab servers have been moved to Canada (MYGEOTAB.COM). Geotab takes a rigorous approach to data security by following the principle of continuous improvement. To protect our customers and partners, Geotab is constantly reviewing, improving and validating our security mechanisms and processes so our systems remain resilient to intrusion and disaster. Geotab collaborates with leading stakeholders to advance security across the industry. As we grow, more industries, fleets and customers will benefit from Geotab’s uncompromising stance on data security. 

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MyGeotab Grouping

Parked Trucks

MyGeotab is a web-based fleet management software that is available to all Geotab customers, see all your vehicle and driver information in one place and use it to make quicker, better-informed decisions for your business. Certain MyGeotab users have specific roles to perform within their company. Grouping is a way of distinguishing between users, within different departments, in a specific company.

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Driver Behaviour Impacts Total Cost of Ownership

Truck Driving Safely

Driver and fleet safety are incredibly important here at Geotab and dangerous behaviours of road users, such as excessive speeding, remain important contributory factors in fatal crashes. Driver behaviour and its management can have a great impact on the activity of your fleet, but most of all, the total cost of ownership (TCO).

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Road Safety During the Festive Season

Road Safety

With the busy holiday season upon us, we all need to become mindful of the elevated driving risks during December. The holidays are when roadway risks are at their highest, and attentiveness to driving can be compromised. Factors such as people driving under the influence and a growing number of distractions from the holiday bustle can all impact how much attention we put on our driving habits.

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Geotab GO Talk Device

IOX – Input / output expanders plugs directly into the GO device and are used to extend the GO device to such an extent in which Geotab helps find solutions for you to grow your fleet as the fleet grows.

GO TALK is a driver awareness tool that transforms the way driver coaching happens behind the wheel by providing real-time verbal feedback to the driver, increasing safety and minimizing risk.

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The Geotab Culture

Geotab Team

Geotab is filled with diversity. The company has plenty of different cultures within, from local to international employees.

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4 Ways MyGeotab Improves Driving

mygeotab-software

MyGeotab together with technology makes driving much easier. Here’s four ways to simplify your time on the road.

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MyGeotab SARS Logbook Report

Vehicle Logbook

From 2011, any person who receives a travel allowance is required to present a logbook to the South African Revenue Service (SARS) before any travel tax claim can be processed.

Imagine doing your logbook manually. This can take up a substantial amount of time to backtrack and record trips accurately. The date, opening and closing odometer readings, destination, reason for the visit and whether it was business or private travel, had to be recorded in trip logbooks.

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What Is Geofencing?

geofencing

GEOFENCING is the act of creating and defining virtual geographic areas that trigger a specific action when a GPS fleet tracking device is within, enters, or exits the geographic zone.

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Excel Tips for Fleet Reporting: Top Formulas and Functions

quick-excel-tips-for-fleet-management

The power of spreadsheets cannot be overstated. Even with the growing number of new business tools and apps available, Microsoft Excel sheets remain an indispensable tool for day-to-day operations. The use of Excel is widespread in the workplace and will continue to be, at least for the near future. This post provides some quick Excel tips and basic formulas and functions to help you save time. 

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Is Your GPS Tracker Device Safe?

gps-tracker

Concern over the cybersecurity of connected cars has been dominating the news. As everything around us becomes more connected, it’s only natural to ask questions about security. This extends to the connected devices and gear in our cars and trucks. How do you know your gps tracker is safe?

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Enabling SMS Notifications

Enabling SMS Notifications

From time to time we receive enquiries on how to setup SMS alerts in the system. Due to factors such as controlling the costing, and rogue rules generating excessive exceptions, it was never introduced as a feature. With today’s advancing technology and the availability of such services on the internet we now have a way of offering SMS alerts as a Value Added Service.

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Geotab Assist: Automating the Geotab Installation Processes

Geotab Assist Geotab Assist enables Geotab Technicians to capture installation and job card information quickly and easily.

Geotab Assist gives the Geotab Technicians the ability to capture installation and job card information quickly and easily. It can scan South African license disks, SIM card and product barcodes.

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MyGeotab Accident Reconstruction

Accident reconstruction with telematics is the process of using telematics data to understand the events that occurred before, during, and after a collision.

Telematics data is highly valuable because it provides an accurate, scientific record of events. It allows you to go beyond word-of-mouth testimony. The granularity of the data can tell you many things about the accident. Telematics makes it possible to gain a broader perspective by looking at the historical patterns for a specific driver or vehicle.

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Geotab Ranks No. 212 on the 2017 PROFIT 500

Canadian Business unveils 29th annual list of Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies

Canadian Business and PROFIT ranked Geotab No. 212 on the 29th annual PROFIT 500, the definitive ranking of Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies. Published in the October issue of Maclean’s magazine and at CanadianBusiness.com, the PROFIT 500 ranks Canadian businesses by their five-year revenue growth.

Geotab made the 2017 PROFIT 500 list with five-year revenue growth of 302%.

“It is never easy to earn a spot on the PROFIT 500, but this year’s applicant pool was the most competitive yet,” says Deborah Aarts, PROFIT 500 program manager. “This year’s winners demonstrate the resilience, innovation and sheer management smarts it takes to build a thriving business today. Canada—and the world—needs more entrepreneurial success stories like these.”

“Geotab is honoured to be on the PROFIT 500 ranking,” says Neil Cawse, CEO, Geotab. “This achievement reflects the strength of our technology, our commitment to innovation and the continued dedication of our team.”

Geotab’s smart transportation solutions help businesses of all sizes, including many Fortune 500 companies, improve driver and vehicle productivity, safety, fuel consumption, and regulatory compliance. Today, Geotab leads the industry in processing nearly 2 billion data points daily. Geotab’s solutions are currently used in more than 750,000 vehicles worldwide with approximately 20,000 new users added each month.

About the PROFIT 500

For 29 years, the PROFIT 500 has been Canada’s most respectable and influential ranking of entrepreneurial achievement. Developed by PROFIT and now published in Maclean’s magazine and at CanadianBusiness.com, the PROFIT 500 ranks Canadian companies on five-year revenue growth. For more information on the ranking visit PROFIT500.com or CanadianBusiness.com.

About Canadian Business

Founded in 1928, Canadian Business is the longest-serving and most-trusted business publication in the country. It is the country’s premier media brand for executives and senior business leaders. It fuels the success of Canada’s business elite with a focus on the things that matter most: leadership, innovation, business strategy and management tactics. Learn more at CanadianBusiness.com.

 

 

 

 

 

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Implementing a Fleet Management System to Minimize Operating Costs

How to Design a Custom Dashboard Report

As a business, whether you have one single vehicle or thousands of vehicles on your books, it can sometimes be a financial black hole. You pay a high price to obtain these vehicles only to watch them depreciate over the months. It is hard to appreciate depreciation, as it is a big contributor to a company’s bottom line. In the meantime you are also drawing funds away from the business in the likes of fuel, maintenance and accidental claims. Having a proper fleet management system to control and minimise costs, can make business expenses more manageable.