Telematics Installation Tips

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People use telematics devices for any number of reasons, but they all have the same purpose: to record information about driving habits and other data. A telematics device can be used to help a business improve driver safety, accountability and efficiency, or it can be used by individuals to receive insurance benefits. However, before you can reap the benefits of these devices, you need to be able to install them in a vehicle.

Fitting a telematics box into a truck or car may be easier than you think. The devices are often so small that they can fit in the palm of your hand, and telematics box installation is usually easy to do and simple to understand. Vehicles made after the mid-1990s have a port that’s compatible with fitting a telematics box. In most vehicles, it’s located near the steering column under the dashboard.

How to Install a Telematics Device

In many cases, it’s completely possible to do a telematics installation without assistance. These simple steps for how to install a telematics box can be used for many similar devices.

  1. Find the vehicle’s OBD-II port. You will have to remove the dash panels in order to do so. Make sure the vehicle’s ignition is off, and test the voltage with a digital multimeter.
  2. Clear the OBD-II port. This is usually done by removing the bolts that hold the port in place.
  3. Place the mounting bracket over the replacement port and push it into place.
  4. Plug in the bypass connector, screw in the replacement port and pull the bypass cable through the dashboard.
  5. Connect the PNP device to the bypass and secure both. You’ll want to make sure the device and bypass cables aren’t bouncing around. Secure everything with zip ties if needed.
  6. Follow the registration and activation instructions specific to your device. Do not start the vehicle until this process is complete and the device has been activated.
  7. Reassemble the dashboard panels.

In some cases, installation may be even simpler than this. For instance, a bypass connector isn’t always necessary; in these cases, you can simply plug the device into the OBD-II port and continue the registration process. Not all devices are the same, so you may have to modify these steps accordingly. The manufacturer should provide instructions for your specific device. In many vehicles, the process will remain relatively the same and the device will be installed in the location described. If you drive an atypical vehicle, you may have to contact your device manufacturer or vehicle manufacturer for further details and assistance.

How Can Telematics Installation Companies Help?

Some people may not have the confidence or time to install a telematics device on their own. Thankfully, many companies specialize in installing your telematics device for you. This is a convenient and recommended option for those who have a fleet of vehicles that need telematics installed. The expert help of a telematics installation company will get the job done quickly and reliably. Typically, installation companies can install the following devices:

  • RFID systems
  • GPS systems
  • Rugged laptops, printers and scanners
  • Automatic vehicle location systems
  • LPR (license plate recognition) devices
  • Collision avoidance systems
  • Two-way radios
  • Rear-view camera systems
  • Mobile video recording systems

Why Install a Telematics Device?

Many insurance companies reward safe driving, which can be proven using data collected by a telematics device. A safe driver is someone who doesn’t have unsafe habits like hard stops, late-night traveling and high-speed driving. Drivers with low mileage can also qualify for discounts in some cases. All of this data can be collected and used as evidence for a discount with the power of telematics.

Driving with a telematics device can lead to safer driving habits simply by making the driver more aware of their own actions and more focused behind the wheel. Safer driving habits also result in better fuel economy and less wear and tear on the vehicle.

Businesses rely on telematics technology to manage their fleets and collect information on the driving habits of their employees. This results in safer drivers and freight and higher customer satisfaction. The ability to connect a fleet and organize drivers and data has undeniable benefits for fleet managers and drivers everywhere.

If you’re well aware of the benefits of using telematics technology, the next step is to choose the best system for your needs. Installation doesn’t need to be a concern when there are so many companies that will provide professional installation, and for those who choose to install telematics boxes on their own, the steps are straightforward and there are plenty of videos on the subject that can provide further insight and instructions.

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Peter K. Lam

With a love for all things digital, Peter has been working within digital marketing and technology for over ten years. Having done SEO, SEM, content marketing and project management, Peter now brings his experience together on a global scale by creating organic digital campaigns for Teletrac Navman. He earned his bachelor's degree in English from California State University, Fullerton and spent most of his career involved in a variety of digital marketing roles before joining the Teletrac Navman team.