A guide on Telematics and how to use it to your advantage

We all use technology to make life easier. Why shouldn’t we use technology to assist us in running our vehicles? Telematics devices collect valuable information for your business.

23/03/201910 minutes read

Telematics can be used to help you:

  • Reduce your running costs
  • Bring down your insurance premiums
  • Improve the safety of your drivers
  • Protect your business from fraudulent claims
  • See how the vans in your fleet are being used


What is telematics?


In a nutshell, telematics is the transfer of information over telecommunications. In the automotive industry, telematics refers to a device that collects and processes data about the usage of a vehicle. Telematics data is usually sent over a mobile network for you to view via a portal on devices that you likely already have access to, such as smartphones, tablets or computers.


What types of data are collected?

The main type of data comes in the form of GPS tracking to gather information like location, speed, and driving behaviour. Onboard cameras can also be installed to record high-quality video footage. Data or video footage is usually sent over a 3G/4G mobile network from the device that is recording the information to a portal in the cloud.


Tell me more about onboard cameras…

Cameras can be combined with a telematics device to record driving incidents like harsh braking, accelerating and hard cornering.  This footage is then automatically sent over a mobile network and can be viewed from many supported devices like a smartphone, computer or tablet. Since the video footage is stored in the cloud, it does not take up space on the telematics device.  


How do I access the information that telematics is collecting?

 You can access the data that’s being collected through a secure cloud-based platform (often referred to as the telematics portal). If a camera has been installed as part of your telematics solution, video footage can also be viewed on this portal. Being hosted on the cloud means it can be accessed from a number of supported devices, like your smartphone, computer or tablet. Because the platform is hosted in the cloud, it does not burden your systems, does not require any downloads, and does not require any maintenance by yourself.


How can I make use of the data?

 The data collected is made easily available through a full reporting suite. Instant alerts and notifications can be configured to be sent straight to your email inbox or via text messages as well.

How can telematics benefit your business?

 You can set up a telematics system to report on what is relevant to your business. Through customising the type of data that is collected and what is reported on, you can form valuable business insights that would otherwise be lost or difficult to process. For larger businesses, this data can be further broken down by cost centres or organisational departments.

Enhanced Customer Service

By using telematics’ real-time tracking and Google Street View level maps, you can easily keep customers updated on your location and provide them with a more efficient service. For example, you can use telematics to demonstrate to customers that your drivers have been on site, tell them where your drivers are located, and see where your other drivers are when support is needed. 

Improved compliance

Telematics can be used to increase driver safety.  By monitoring driver behaviour, you can curb unsafe driving habits before they lead to more serious incidents. Better driving behaviour will help reduce accidents and wear and tear on your vehicles. This means less expensive insurance claims, lower rates of vehicle downtime, and more safety for your drivers.

Easier to manage your routes

Telematics gives you the ability to set up zones and geo-fences. Zones and geofences can be used to identify problem roads and bad traffic areas. Over time, you can use this data to optimise your routes and avoid the roads that slow down your business. Telematics can also be set up to alert you if your vehicle goes off route so that you can swiftly detect unauthorised use. 

Reduced Costs

Here are a few ways telematics can bring down your costs:

  • Insurance Premiums – Sometimes covering the costs of a telematics system alone, you can use the data being gathered for lower premiums upon renewal of your insurance. When telematics is combined with an onboard camera, the video evidence being gathered can also protect you against cash for crash, staged incidents and whiplash injury claims.
  • Lower Fuel Consumption – Through managing driver speed, tracking excessive idling, and being able to optimise your routes.
  • Labour - By validating overtime and helping to protect your business against fraudulent claims.
  • Operations – Optimising how vehicles are used and monitoring unauthorised private use of your vehicles.


How do onboard cameras that integrate with telematics work?

Most cameras are set up to record ‘events’ in short 10-12 second video clips. Events include harsh braking, accelerating, hard-cornering or collisions. From the events, you can help build a picture of whether there is reckless driving behaviour. Having short video clips also means that you do not have to sift through hours of video footage. 


What are the benefits of having cameras in your vehicle(s)?

Cameras can be configured to give you visibility over the types of events that you care about. High-quality video footage can be used as evidence to protect you from false allegations and insurance claims. Onboard cameras can allow you to take control of the claims management process by alerting you of possible incidents. Having video proof can also reduce the number of at-fault incidents.


Does telematics have any benefits for the driver?

Drivers can use tracking data or video footage to:

  • Justify any over-time claims or explain why they were late to a job
  • Protect themselves from false claims resulting from collisions
  • Safeguard themselves from complaints regarding their driving


How can Northgate help?

Northgate Telematics has the following packages available: 

  • Control – real-time vehicle tracking and key reports including speeding, idling and trips
  • Control + - real-time vehicle tracking, full reporting suite and driver behaviour
  • Control+ with a camera – includes the same features as Control + and events based video footage

 Download our brochure for more information or call 03300 193 832 to speak with one of our fleet consultants.

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