When it comes to telematics and how it can help your business's bottom line, improve efficiency and keep drivers and vehicles safe, we’ve got all the answers lined up for you right here. We’ve even got the answers to the telematics questions you may not have asked, especially when it comes to your personal car.
But, let’s start with the basics and tell you exactly what the technology involves. Telematics combines electronic, electromechanical, and electromagnetic units with devices controlled by computers, as well as radio receivers. These form part of an IoT system that provides information on repeatable functions, which can be analysed for faults, deviations or inefficiencies.
Once the faults, deviations or inefficiencies have been unpacked, businesses can investigate and implement solutions that will see them gain both in terms of money and time, as well as be able to exceed customer expectations.
In terms of fleet operations, telematics is a method of monitoring cars, trucks, equipment and other assets, providing a digital map of what’s going on inside a vehicle. When coupled with AI cameras, workforce communication apps and on-road running cost software, fleet owners and logistics managers can ensure they are getting the very best out of their vehicles and workforce.
Always-on telematics platforms give managers the competitive edge
A webfleet solution that’s always on and ready to deliver is a game-changer in the fleet and trucking industry, especially as we move towards a hybrid way of working. Fleet managers no longer need to be on the warehouse floor in order to ensure their trucks are ready to roll. Vehicle telematics, even when accessed from home allows for marked improvements in matches and dispatches - even the forklift trucks can be fitted with tracking devices to ensure they are efficiently utilised.
Outside of the normal business entities, organisations such as schools or charities can make use of this technology. School busses that use regular routes can be tracked and inefficiencies sorted out or even placed within geofenced areas to ensure they stay on route. Workhorse vehicles can be monitored for correct driving behaviours, fuel expenses and routes taken. The data provided by these features can also be used for expediting insurance claims or proving innocence.
A digital overview puts you in charge
In the world of logistics and deliveries, ensuring that your vehicles are uber-efficient is paramount. You need to know which routes are best at which time of day for which vehicle and which driver. Trying to get a decent cost overview of your fleet is tricky when you’re doing everything manually. The more efficient way to do business is to invest in a cost analysis programme that is built on information delivered by your fleet management system. MiFleet was developed by Cartrack as a means of streamlining its own administration and costs.
The case for using MiFleet
In South Africa alone, Cartrack’s fleet is 700 strong and scattered across the republic’s1,22 million square kilometres. They needed a sustainable means of gaining visibility and obtaining data to pinpoint our inefficiencies. Spreadsheets didn't give the company the insight they needed, drained administrative resources and was routed in individualism. This resulted in gaps and inconsistencies.
MiFleet was able to reduce admin, provide automated reports and streamline workflows across different departments. The system allowed for managers to regularly do a deep dive into costs taking cost per km and cost per trip reports into account to compare drivers and vehicles and identify losses.
Telematics data can be easily integrated with MiFleet to display a service history of each vehicle, merging maintenance costs with vehicle usage reports allowing fleet managers and operators to identify and understand problems. This translates into predictive maintenance cycles and alerts managers as to when a vehicle requires maintenance. In turn, this has led to reduced downtime and extended vehicle lifecycles.
Cartrack makes use of its own world-class telematics and tracking systems to deliver this cost and efficiency data straight to its fleet managers.
Using this solution, Cartrack has
- Saved 22% fuel per job
- Increased productivity by 20%
- Reduced mileage by 5%
MiFleet has revolutionised how Cartrack interacts with, trains and upskills their own workforce, both behind the wheel and in the office.
Telematics answers logistics’ call for simplification
In the logistics industry, knowing where your vehicles are and how close they are to their collection or delivery sites is important. Gone are the days where a fleet manager estimated how long a delivery would take and hope for the best. This is because telematics has ensured that no driver is alone on the road.
Real-time data is now available at the touch of a button. This includes information such as vehicle location, speed, fuel levels and what’s happening in the cabin, as well as in the trailer in terms of doors opening, trailer bed tilting and changes in temperature during cold storage transportation.
Telematics also gives the logistics manager a bird’s eye view of their warehouses’ receiving and delivering operations, and provides tools to eliminate blind spots within a transport business.
And, as we move towards autonomous vehicles doing the deliveries, telematics will play an even greater a role in logistics. The science behind the tech will allow for managers to accurately locate these vehicles ensuring they are on track, assign new tasks to them and check on the delivery status.
With Cartrack Software-as-a-Service telematics solution, fleet managers can automate processes and reports, requesting data in easy-to-digest chunks and implementing optimisation on the fly.
Real-time task assignment and management
When time is money, there is nothing worse than a vehicle or driver that’s waiting for their next task. Communicator is a powerful mobile app developed by Cartrack’s in-house dev team to put logistics dispatchers in control and empower their drivers.
Communicator allows dispatchers to assign tasks to drivers, who in turn can accept or decline them and provide reasons for the latter. Dispatchers can also receive automated updates on the location of the deliveries and advise customers of any delays, ensuring customer satisfaction. Jobs can be sent in advance or in real time, with dispatchers even being able to live chat with their on-road workforce. It’s an app that saves time, fuel and the world by reducing paper trails and putting everything online.
Telematics keeps track of heavy-duty plant equipment
In terms of plant equipment, telematics can assist in ensuring that this valuable equipment is recoverable in the event of theft, utilised correctly and maintained properly. Replacement of stolen plant equipment is costly and an administrative hassle for any company. Taking this into account, regard, tracking these expensive, large and heavy assets can prove invaluable in helping to increase profitability, reduce costs and improve security.
With machines like this, keeping them going is more profitable than having them idle. Telematics can identify when a vehicle is idling, triggering an alert for the site manager to intervene and possibly re-train staff on the proper use of the equipment.
These vehicles are also cumbersome to move, so knowing exactly how far they have to travel to reach the next destination, means planners and operators can find the best routes for them, and get them there on time for the next job.
The benefits for the everyday road user
Telematics isn’t only for businesses. Private individuals can also benefit from the features and products offered by Cartrack’s fleet management and telematics systems.
The first and most obvious is vehicle location. However, did you know that you can also track your trip history, request emergency assistance, activate a digital car-guard, download a SARS-ready logbook, buy or sell your car, purchase tyres, get insurance policy quotes and more? And, all from the palm of your hand?
As a Cartrack client, you have access to these features and benefits via our mobile app, where we put you in control of your truck, bakkie, SUV, car or motorbike. The same driver behaviour features that our commercial clients enjoy, such as high speed, harsh braking or excessive idling reports are also available to you. These can be used to pinpoint concerning habits in your driving skills that you can change, and consequently save on fuel and maintenance costs.
How we maintain a+90% stolen vehicle recovery rate
The cornerstone of the Cartrack value chain is that all our resources, from building the telematics devices to our recovery agents, are in-house – we don’t use third-party providers for our services. With this in mind, you can trust that we will always deliver top-notch service, and hold our people accountable for their promises. All our agents, from those in our call centres to those on the ground or in the air, undergo rigorous training so that our superior telematics services are matched by the skills in our people.
Of course, safety is uppermost in the minds of most of our consumers – this is why we developed communications systems that tell us:
- When your vehicle is moved or started without your authorisation
- When your vehicle has been in an accident
These solutions allow us to quickly get on track to assist you. The sooner we can dispatch our recovery agents to your car’s location, the sooner we can get it back. The same logic applied can be applied in an accident, where the difference between life and death is measured in minutes.
Saving you money on your insurance premiums
Many insurance companies have turned to telematics to provide them with a clearer picture of their clients’ on-road behaviour. This helps the insurer to offer a more competitive premium as their client’s actual propensity for accident or theft can be better calculated via the information gained from telematics devices.
The underwriting principles
The science behind underwriting principles usually translates into premiums based on where the vehicle is parked during the day or night, whether it is used for business purposes or not, the chances of it being stolen or broken into, the owner’s own accident history and the cost of replacing a part of or the entire vehicle. However, much of this information is based on propensity, not actual value.
Telematics on the other hand can provide data such as speed, braking, and areas in which the car is driven. This is real-time information means insurance products can be designed to encourage safer driving, which means fewer road accidents. In addition, telematics and the GPS technology used by insurance companies to encourage better driving can also be used to reduce personal carbon footprints. Car owners can request reports that show their fuel usage and idling stats, using this info, they can change the routes or times of travelling to reduce both and positively impact the environment.
One of the other uses of telematics in the insurance industry is that of accident reconstruction. This allows for assessors to understand how an accident occurred, who was at fault and what action should be taken. In the end, this could save both the insurance company and client loads of time and pocketsful of money.
Already the Tesla Group is building a self-propelled vehicle that can monitor its own eco-system and book itself in for a service – which could of course be a bit of a surprise on your bank account, but is an example of where the future of telematics is headed.
Slowly but surely, the human part of a logistics chain will simply prepare documentation or unlock funds while telematics takes care of the vehicle’s operations. With the rise of IoT, vehicles will become more connected to their environments. They will receive information from sensors all around them and communicate with traffic, weather, and other data systems to change routes, if necessary, send collection or delivery alerts and in the end, ensure the job is done.
In turn, telematics may grow to encompass more software-related solutions, such as anti-hacking measures, distances between recharge points for EVs, power monitoring and more.
When looking at a telematics provider, ensure the one you choose is prepared for the future.
Why choose Cartrack?
Cartrack is one of the world’s leaders in telematics and mobile solutions have been in the business since 2004. We are constantly innovating and growing our product range and offering to ensure we can provide scalable solutions for all clients. Already we are the trusted partners of over 70 000 businesses and provide services to over 1,500,000 happy subscribers around the globe.
Contact us today to find out how we can give you the ultimate peace of mind when it comes to the safety, cost and efficiency of your fleet and personal vehicles. You can also call our sales team on 011 250 3000 for tailor-made packages designed to meet your needs.