What Is Telematics?

Telematics is a general term that refers to any device which merges telecommunications and infomatics. Telematics includes anything from GPS systems to navigation systems. It is responsible for many features in vehicles from OnStar to hands free mobile calling.

Telematics enables wireless data communication and opens up a huge range of possibilities. It can enable you to have wireless television and internet on your vehicle. Telematics is essentially a range of different features, options and devices that are brought together by a single principle – data and communication.

Through telematics you enjoy many benefits in your vehicle on a daily basis such as roadside assistance and remote unlocking of your vehicle. Lets say you forgot the car keys in the vehicle, well with telematics and a quick phone call you could get your car unlocked.

It is enabling people all over the world to enjoy a wide range of beneficial new features. One of the exciting possibilities of telematics is real time traffic navigation. It enables drivers to see a visual map of traffic in the city and to find the fastest route to their destination, accounting for the traffic in the city. Old navigation systems had the flaw of only looking for the shortest route, whereas the next ones add in the slow down caused by too much traffic on a particular road.

Telematics enables you to get information about the location, movement, and state of your vehicle It also enables your vehicle to communicate wirelessly, which opens up a wide range of services. You can discover useful information about your vehicle, even if your not beside it such as:

  • When your vehicle was last started
  • When it was shut down
  • Where it is at any point in time
  • When your vehicle is sitting idling
  • What speed its being driven at

Car Insurance

Telematics insurance is enabling drivers to experience substantial savings on their car insurance by getting premiums solely based on how well they drive. How it works is your car is outfitted with a telematic device that tracks your driving behaviour.

It looks for many different signs of bad behaviour like:

  • Sharp turns
  • Tailgating
  • Sudden stops
  • Speeding

You are assigned a score between 1.0 to 5.0 and your insurance premium is based on the score. The better your score is, the lower your premium will be. This is enabling drivers to pay exactly how much they should pay based on their driving ability not on others abilities.

This new form of car insurance is also encouraging people to become better drivers. Some forms of telematics even give you feedback on your driving and tell you how you can improve in real time. Still other technology gives you a breakdown via a secure website about how you can be a better driver and lower your insurance premium.

Driving Behaviour

Telematics is enabling it’s users to take advantage of a wide range of useful features. It means that drivers are able to interact with, and take advantage of their vehicles through voice activated controls. This increases safety and reduces accidents by keeping your hands and eyes on the wheel while taking advantage of your favourite vehicle features. It means you can easily shuffle your music while paying attention to the road.

The possibilities are almost limitless, for example you can ask your car for the fastest way to a destination, and have the directions read back to you. You can listen to emails and check your schedule all from the convenience of your car. You can even get up to the minute stock prices and find out the local news while your stuck in traffic.

There is also a great safety feature that comes with the power of telematics. Through telematics technology you are made safer by having it notify the local authorities if you are in an accident. No need to worry about calling or getting service because they will already be on their way as soon as you have had the accident. Your vehicles GPS automatically pinpoints exactly where the police and ambulance need to go to provide assistance.

Another situation, imagine that you have locked your keys in your car. Well through telematics you can make a simple phone call and have your vechicle remotely unlocked, no more calling a locksmith and paying big fees! One day you may even be able to perform distance learning from your vechicle while you drive to work every morning.

One of the big fields that telematics is changing everything is with so called “high risk” young drivers who often face unfair discrimination because of their peers reckless driving. Fortunately now they can use telematics to lower their insurance premiums and demonstrate their driving skill.

Many people anticipate that as telematics becomes more popular, we will see a reduction in dangerous driving behaviour. We will see many drivers changing their behaviours as they get better feedback and become more accountable for how they drive on a daily basis. Rather than just whether or not they get into an accident. This will reward people for engaging in good driver behaviour that prevents accidents instead of just avoiding them.

GPS Navigation

Telematics ultimately means that we are going into a greater level of advancement in this coming age of new technology. It is enabling people all over the world to take advantage of a wide range of benefits from GPS navigation to remote control of their vehicles.

The applications and possibilities of what telematics can do is only limited by your imagination. Telematics is built upon physical hardware like GPS, and GMS systems that are a part of your car. Through these communication and data systems, software providers are creating a wide range of innovative and exciting applications for your car and your life.

There are many exciting new ideas that are going to change peoples lives through the application of telematics hardware. One of the ways is through a better understanding of how vehicles move throughout the roadway systems. Through this better, live data, we may one day be able to better manage cities and traffic control.

It also enables the everyday person to become more environmentally aware of their carbon footprint. Through telematics you can clearly see how much driving you are doing on a daily basis and what kind of impact you are creating on the environment Furthermore you can reduce your impact by using telematics to show you the fastest, most efficient route to where you want to go. It enables drivers to avoid traffic jams more often, and to spend less time idling.

Through telematics you are able to live a more digitally connected life, that adds greater ease and convenience to your lifestyle. Your vehicle can contact your service dealer when it experiences a problem and dispatch for repair, along with a complete dossier of the car’s problems.

Or let’s say that you are stranded on the road and your carexperiences a breakdown. You are not a mechanically inclined person and need help repairing your car. You get a call from your car’s manufacturer and a technician informs you of the problem your experiencing.. Not only that but the technician then walks you through, step-by-step how to repair your car. That is what is made possible through telematics.


How The Telematic System Works

How telematics works

The telematic system starts with your vehicle which communicates with a third party off site somewhere via a satellite signal. Then at this third party location the data your vehicle sends is collected, stored, and analyzed by whatever software your manufacturer is using.

This data can even be used to adjust your vehicle based on your driving behaviour. For example if you have a habit of hitting the breaks hard, then your car can electronically adjust itself to be better suited for hard breaking. It can also look at how you handle curves and dynamically adjust itself to better handle the way you move around the road.

Perhaps even more amazing is that telematics can let you use a camera inside your vehicle and take a recording of your driver. In the event of a theft or accident, this can be powerful evidence to shift the case in your favor.


On Demand Entertainment

Telematics is enabling friends and families to enjoy live entertainment while in the comfort of their car. Imagine that you can watch your favourite sports program while heading out camping for the weekend. Or not needing to miss important business news while you are driving to a meeting. All of this is possible with telematics.

If you enjoy watching entertainment it can help to pass the time on a long journey, rush hour traffic, or to keep the kids busy while they get reckless in the back-seat.


The Two Major Components of Telematics

Road Conditions

Telematics is based upon two key components, tracking and tracing. Tracking is all about collecting data on your car. From the braking to the temperature outside, its getting data about your car to a third party database where it can be analyzed.

Tracing is putting together the links in this data and gaining new insights from it. For example there may be “black spots” on the road where an unusual amount of people have accidents. In these areas your sat-nav can automatically warn you to drive extra carefully, even though the signs may not indicate the need to do so.

This real time dynamic data is a valuable asset for any driver. Imagine that cars ahead of you have found slippery conditions on the road. Your sat-nav can alert you to the impending road conditions, advise you to alter your driving, all before you even see the danger zone ahead.

It is this impressive ability to trace data between vehicles and to analyze them for greater insight that is among telematics most impressive features.


What Is The Technology That Makes Up Telematics?

Telematics is actually comprised of quite a few different pieces:

  • Web
  • Content
  • Software & Applications
  • Services
  • Communication
  • Hardware

Each piece of the telematics puzzle presents the opportunity for innovations, new ideas, and exciting breakthroughs that make driving a more pleasurable experience.

As you have seen the possibilities offered by telematics are truly exciting. No one quite knows what will be available in the future, but we do know what is in progress right now, and what is already available. Through telematics you can gain greater convenience and safety in your car.

Imagine a world where instead of taking your iPod with you, you just sync your vehicle with your on-line music database. Well that’s exactly what is possible now, no more worrying about forgetting a song, or not bringing your favourite mp3 player. Instead you can just sync to your wireless cloud and play as much of your personal favourites as you like.

Better still, if there is a new hit you hear on the radio, you can instruct your car to download it for you through voice activated commands. Perhaps you have a favourite app you enjoy for your tablet computer, well you can also take advantage of it in your car. You wont even need to touch the screen, controlling it with your voice instead.

While waiting in rush hour traffic you can compose emails without ever lifting a finger, or order a pizza on-line and have it waiting for you at your house as you arrive. You can chill out and watch movies or call your friends on Skype.

Telematics is ultimately several different pieces of hardware that merges telecommunications and informatics for your vehicle Through this marriage of hardware there is a plethora of exciting benefits available to drivers now and in the future.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Telematics is a general term that refers to any device which merges telecommunications and infomatics. In fact, telematics is the science of long-distance transmission of computerized information – a relatively new concept, first used in 1979. The whole field was given a boost with the creation of the mobile, or cell phone, system which in order to work depends upon an ability to track and respond to radio signals from millions of portable devices. With it we now have navigation, location and broadcast systems offering new information based services.
Your car is fitted with a telematic device that tracks your driving behaviour, you are assigned a score between 1.0 to 5.0 and your insurance premium is based on the score.
Please check our dedicated Telematics car insurance page for a full list of the current insurers and what they can offer you.

You could be saving £££’s on your Car Insurance!

Check our list of approved Telematics Car Insurers to see what you could save.

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