Telematics is now much more than just GPS tracking


For business owners who don’t dig much into digitization and automation, GPS tracking and telematics might seem synonymous. Yet telematics is more than vehicle tracking, and the era of a moving point on the map is long gone.

The global automotive telematics market continues to grow successively. Meanwhile, the challenges are there: the rate of truck hijackings increased by 31.4% in the first three months of 2022 in South Africa. Add that to recent fuel price changes, and it becomes clear that the need for technologies is great enough.

Why aren’t telematics and GPS tracking exactly the same? What does this difference mean for companies looking to improve their fleet operations in this economic climate?

More than just installing a GPS tracker

Telematics solutions can transform your fleet from a range of distinct vehicles into an organized system working towards common goals. How does it compare to GPS vehicle monitoring?

  • GPS tracking determines the location of a vehicle using satellite navigation. Its functionality is limited to location and speed tracking only.

Example: You can see where your company’s trucks are located on the map.

  • Telematics incorporates GPS tracking, but that’s a broader term. This technology involves collecting, storing and presenting various data from vehicles using telecommunication devices. This data can be analyzed and worked on, which becomes a key point for a company – to rely on real figures representing the work of the company.

Example: Each month, you generate a report showing the fuel consumption of the entire fleet and compare it to the fuel distribution data. If you see any discrepancies, you turn to the data from each truck and identify which one the fuel was stolen from, and take action.

Part of the Internet of Things (IoT), telematics collects data on all aspects of the fleet, for owners to analyze and use for informed decisions and better management.

Now, what are the advantages of telematics over point tracking on the map in practice?

Improved fleet operations

GPS vehicle monitoring provides a vehicle’s location and movement on the map, while telematics tracks over fifty parameters for every vehicle in your fleet.

With both historical and real-time values, owners react immediately if necessary or use the accumulated data and statistics to make operational decisions.

For example, telematics solutions offer great opportunities for timely fleet maintenance. Effective vehicle maintenance helps prevent traffic violations, minimizes vehicle downtime and increases driver awareness.

The list of improvements to similar fleet operations through telematics is limited only by a business owner’s understanding of the pain points that need to be fixed. Controlling eco-driving, drivers’ adherence to schedules, efficient route construction, ensuring the cold chain and transporting dangerous goods in the right conditions, government and corporate compliance do not are just a few.

Enhanced security

By using GPS vehicle monitoring, you can see if your asset is in the right place. But is that enough to ensure it won’t fall into the wrong hands? It’s easy to remove and destroy a GPS tracker or simply block the signal, and a stolen vehicle will never appear on your radar again.

Telematics systems prevent theft at different levels: for fuel, goods and vehicles; in the different technological frameworks; both for vehicle tracking and recovery.

  • In South Africa, businesses are suffering from vehicle theft and hijacking. Truck theft prevention through telematics offers an ecosystem with driver IDs, horns, tracking of route deviations and unauthorized stops, with all data from these points recorded in one place.

Typically, a platform can be configured to send notifications if certain parameters change in a detrimental way – for example, when a vehicle leaves a certain area without permission, or if a smart lock protecting goods is attempted to be opened by someone unauthorized. the person.

  • Drivers are often attacked too. If this happens, a telematics solution allows fleet owners to know and react immediately – sending notifications with driver location and other information immediately when a panic button is pressed.
  • If the crime has already happened, telematics providers offer vehicle tracking and recovery systems. You can detect jamming, block the engine remotely and immediately receive the information needed for recovery or to stop the breach halfway.
  • Safe driving control reduces the number of traffic accidents. If they happen and they are not caused by your driver, you get reliable evidence for the police and insurance – with exact data on driving parameters, videos and photos.

Advanced cost management and increased revenue

No need to explain to business owners that expenses, revenues and profits depend on much more complex factors than competitors’ prices, the market situation and the quality of service you provide to your customers. Here, telematics will serve well to uncover weak points and provide the data needed to tackle those points, even if they are hidden under processes, human factors and lack of evidence.

GPS tracking alone won’t do much here. However, if we extend our view to the wider world of telematics, you can reduce costs in several unapparent ways:

  • Eliminate idling that literally drains your fuel and efficiency
  • Pay fewer fines by reducing speeding
  • Control goods transport conditions and avoid customer fines
  • Reduce paperwork and paperwork, automate processes, and give employees more time to focus on more complex or growth tasks
  • Eliminate errors and associated losses

Detailed reports and analytics help owners find and fix pain points in dozens of internal verticals and avoid unnecessary spending now and in the future.

Telematics as a gateway to more data

The power of a telematics solution depends on GPS tracking equipment, connectivity, service provider skills and other factors. One of these key aspects is the software.

This is why the skills of the service providers are mentioned: their job is to choose the right solution for your business needs, from a track and trace system to a multifunctional system.

This is where Wialon is one of the market leaders. This ultimate platform for GPS tracking and IoT can be used regardless of the size and type of assets a business needs to control.

“At Wialon, we are adapting to the current context. Our product has long since become something more than just GPS tracking. We associate our product development strategy with the idea that each field of activity has its own specificities. In some regions, just out-of-the-box Wialon would suffice, and somewhere there may be a place for integration with third-party apps or solutions. The impressive number of 3.2 million connected vehicles proves that we offer versatility,” says Aliaksandr KuushynauHead of Wialon in Gurtam.

Does telematics bring real benefits to companies?

Before investing in a fleet management platform and integrating it into their business environment, a business owner will naturally wonder if it would be efficient and not only cover the implementation costs but also bring profit. additional. Industry players give some clues.

  • The telematics-based fleet management market in South Africa is in a period of growth. Installed FM systems will reach 3.6 million units there by 2026.
  • Telematics and IoT solutions help leading organizations in all industries keep their fleet under control and compensate for local market characteristics.
  • As security issues are relevant to the South African market, business telematics systems can serve as a lifeline for businesses of all sizes in the region.

For market participants in virtually any industry whose assets need to be controlled, it is not only recommended, but crucial to measure vehicle performance, track driver behavior, gain actionable insights to improve the safety of driving, reduce insurance costs for your customers, and much more. All of this can be implemented through telematics and its steady progression in the remaining months of 2022.


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