Telematics History And Future Predictions

A History Of Telematics and Where It Is Heading in the Future with New Technology

Throughout the years we have witnessed a marriage of informatics and telecommunications to create telematics. We have witnessed telematics accomplish everything from improving health care quality to reducing the environmental impact of vehicles. It has revolutionized many aspects of our world, such as changing the way hospital patients are diagnosed, and lowering ordinary peoples insurance premiums.

Telematics is all about being able to get information on vehicles. Everything from fuel performance to driving speed can be tracked with telematics. The beginning of telematics could be said to have started with a tachnograph over 60 years a go. To understand Telematics you have to understand GPS,

Without GPS there would not be the telematics we know today. GPS is a system that was designed for navigation and positioning. It was developed by the US defence department which knew of the importance of exact data on the positions of its assets. It was developed to fulfil the pressing need to have increased communication and exact data on the battlefield. It used the satellite network in cohesion with ground communication.

Dozens of GPS satellites now orbit the earth and enable GPS receivers to find their exact location on the planet. GPS changed from a military application to a civilian one and the US government provided free basic GPS signals to anyone in the world. It pushed for the adoption of GPS around the world and made agreements with Japan and the EU.

GPS that exists today is still under the control of the US military. It has become an indispensable tool for services all around the world. GPS basically works through a network of satellites that cross reference your signals location on the ground to the satellites location in space. By trialaterating these positions and accounting for the difference in time for the signals to be sent back and forth, you can get an exact position of your location. You use at least three satellites to determine your GPS location.

Trilateration works by calculating the relative location of different satellites by using known reference points to calculate the position of an unknown reference point.

So what exactly is the big difference between telematics and GPS? Well what telematics does is it picks up where GPS left off. It uses GPS technology to offer many different services to car owners such as navigation services. GPS just provides data about your location where as telematics analyzes and uses information along with communicating with parties outside of your vehicle. This enables a huge range of services to be offered through telematics.

The essence pieces of the telematics puzzle all converged in the 1990’s with GPS, GSM and the internet merging as one. This enabled automobiles to enter a new era of connectivity.

A lot of the development in Telematics began back in the 1984 European Parliamentary resolution to promote road safety.

Studies throughout the 1980’s kept tabs on informatics and the development of telecommunications to find new applications for road safety. Through these studies a program known as DRIVE was started to conduct research.

This community based research program focused on finding ways of using telematics for road safety, greater levels of efficiency, and reducing environmental impact.

The DRIVE program was concluded in 1992 while in 1990 another program began for telematics in general. In 1993 a European treaty was signed for telematics at the EU. The treaty enabled more research and development along with increasing telematic firms competitiveness on a global scale.

In 1993 the EU decided to increase its global competitiveness through stronger logistics networks and transportation. The digital revolution that was beginning and leaders believed that through telematics they could ride at the wave to economic success. Information and technology was seen as a key factor to being more competitive.

Telematics research was heavily promoted in the government as a way to improve traffic management and harmonizing traffic through the European Union. Pilot projects were set up to ensure the technical capability of the telematics technology to be used for this new vision.

Their vision included a more efficient Europe with safer transportation and better integration in a diverse transportation system.

Here is an overview of some key technological innovations that have occurred in telematics during the last decade:

1998 – The first hands free car gateways were introduced

2000 – The first GSM & GPS systems were brought to market

2002 – Bluetooth hand free voice gateways with advanced voice integration features

2003 – Integrated GSM phone with Bluetooth

2007 – Multimedia handset integration is introduced

2009 – Fully integrated mobile navigation using a car GSM system

2010 – 3G multimedia car entertainment system

2011 – Telematics and Infotainment systems introduced based on Linux

Where Telematics Is Headed In The Future

Several new innovations in telematics are causing exciting new advertising applications for in car entertainment that will ultimately lead to lower costs for the consumer. Navigation will become increasingly lower cost, with greater communication occurring between vehicles on the road, and a trend towards eco friendly.

Navigation systems are becoming increasingly popular as more drivers are realizing the benefits it offers, and new features are being added every year. The services available through telematic devices will separate more and more into two different categories:


This is going to increase the number of options available to consumers, especially as android based telematic systems become more widely distributed.

Increased Personalization

You will be able to personalize and customize your telematic systems at an increasingly popular level. Soon you will see telematic systems merging together, with your ability to have a telematic black box and a android based entertainment system together in one unit.

Car providers are also offering more possibilities for application development. The previous model was based on manufacturers developing applications and then providing them to the user. Now car manufacturers are listening to the consumer more and focusing on following software industry leaders like Apple and Google.

Greater Interactivity

New touch based systems are more sensitive than ever and offer greater opportunities for user input. From voice control to new options like heat sensitive screens, and camera tracking of user motions. You may one day be able to control half your car by waving your finger in the air, as new technology makes it easier than ever for greater control.


You will observe more community and greater connectivity between in car users, as the speeds and services of Telematics becomes proliferated. This means that you may be able to connect with other drivers on the road, social network, and even develop virtual car pooling to help save on gas.

Greater Openness

You will see the telematic systems moving from closed manufacturer software to open software with universal standards. Instead of manufacturers trying to each develop their own proprietary systems, Telematics will become increasingly standardized and cross compatible between vehicle models and manufacturers.

This will lead to more applications and services being available to Telematic customers as a whole, in addition to greater flexibility when you change car models.

Easier To Use

Ease of use ranks as the most important feature for car users, so developers are trying to make the systems increasingly user friendly for drivers. This includes better voice recognition and control technology, more features, applications designed for drivers, and a simpler interface that is more intuitive.

In a word, we can see telematics becoming more like Apple products.

More Telematic Feedback

Your telematic system will be increasingly capable of providing you with information and feedback while you are on the road. There are many new exciting developments underway such as:

> Post secondary learning from your vehicle

> EBooks being read aloud while you are driving

> Having your favorite newspapers read

> Feedback on your driving

> Feedback on road conditions

> Warnings and updates about traffic

Emphasis on Infotainment

One of the big growth areas right now and for the foreseeable future of telematics is the information entertainment models. These models are capable of providing drivers with a wide range of digital entertainment services. In the future we will see many exciting new possibilities such as:

> Pay Per View Movies

> Television subscriptions

> In car games for passengers

> Vehicle based games

> Cloud syncing with your music files

> Digitally access your computer in your office or home

For many people the road can be a boring place if you are stuck in rush hour traffic or on a long journey. Perhaps you are just waiting for someone and need to kill time. Automakers see a huge potential to keep their users from getting bored by offering new entertainment options while they are in the vehicle.

More Local Information

With the power of the internet and GPS your vehicle will be able to dynamically provide new information on wherever you go. You will be able to program your vehicle to notify you when you are near your favorite fast food joint, or if there is a location of interest close to your vehicle.

Everything from where the library is to the hippest restaurant in town can be brought up instantly as your driving. Imagine you are in a new city on business and feel hungry, so your car searches the internet for ratings, and recommends several different restaurants within 10 minutes of your location.

Here is another scenario, you are with your kids and want to find some where to stop to let them relax. You instruct your car to pull up and your application automatically finds the best places to take your kids within a 10 minute drive from your current location.

Safer Vehicles

Telematics is also leading to better road intelligence that is enabling both governments and drivers to make the road safer. There are several exciting new innovations such as:

> Analysis of statistical “black spots” that are dangerous for drivers and early warnings to slow down before you arrive

> Better data for local governments to make safer roads and adjust traffic systems to fit user demand

It is also encouraging users to drive safer by providing real time feedback on your driving. This is estimated to make the roads safer as a whole as drivers are corrected in real time for reckless driving.

Your vehicle will also be able to better adjust to road conditions when its data tells it that rain is coming up ahead. Your brakes, wheel sensitivity and more can all be adjusted to suit rainy conditions just before you arrive in the rainy location. This makes you safer while driving.

More Sophisticated Insurance

Telematics is estimated to become increasingly important to insurance providers as more users are expected to switch over to black box insurance. The types of insurance premiums offered through telematics will become increasingly sophisticated and differentiated.

For example we will see a change in telematics insurance options, you will no longer have to pick a single telematics insurance policy from your favorite provider. Instead you will have a wide range of new options such as basing your policy upon the number of miles you drive. You will be able to add on additional features such as extra country or mountainous miles which are more dangerous than city miles.

You will be able to pick specific policies catered to those who are in rush hour traffic everyday, and specialized policies that are for outdoor lovers. New telematics policies may take into account the year, condition, and make of your vehicle while assessing your driving and the road conditions you go on.

It is possible that future telematics insurance policies may offer you discounts for driving on country roads with a vehicle that is better suited for them. Or purchasing an extra safe vehicle could lead to lower costs even with a black box policy.

New options and choices will be important considerations for the conscious consumer as the insurance policies become more popular.

Ultimately telematics came out of the birth of GPS and is now enabling drivers everywhere to drive safer, more conveniently, and more intelligently. You are able to have greater entertainment, and be more productive on the road with the new innovations in telematics technology. Take a look at the telematics systems available from your favorite manufacturer today.

    Robert Prime

    Robert Prime launched in early 2013 and has over 10 years experience in the financial sector. He specialises in business startups and online marketing with a passion for new technology.

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