What is Telematics?

Defining Telematics

Today, when people say telematics, they are usually referring to vehicle telematics. To put simply, telematics is the use of telecommunications and informatics applied in computational systems and wireless technologies. As a field of technology telematics encompasses much more. Computer Science, wireless communications, instrumentation, sensors, electrical engineering, road transportation, road safety, telecommunications, and vehicular technologies all play a part in the understanding of the true nature and purpose of telematics.

What Does Telematics Do?

Principally telematics gives a vehicle dependent organizations the eyes and ears necessary to track and monitor all potential liabilities of said organizations. This include but is not limited to high valued assets such as vehicles, trailers, containers, and drivers. Telematics solutions also tend to monitor movements, status, and behavior of one or many drivers, and assets.

Ligo Web

How Does it Work?

The monitoring of assets is usually done by utilizing a GPS receiver and an electronic device usually fit with a GSM GPRS modem or SMS sender which are connected to the vehicles diagnostics port. Once connected these devices can communicate with a PC-based or web-based software which translates and displays the data to users. The users who use this information would generally be dispatching, emergency, customer service, or coordinating units of an organization.

How can Telematics save money?

Personal accountability 

Features such as Driver ID and harsh driving alerts can serve as incentives for drivers to hold more self-accountability for how vehicles are driven. not only is safer driving beneficial to everyone, but vehicles that are driven more responsibly often tend to have increased life spans and lower maintenance costs.

Resource Accountability 

A good telematics solution will track resources used such as fuel, and will also help in monitoring vehicle health. Many organizations struggle with fuel utilization and how to monitor or control it. This could be the result of faulty fuel logging systems. Many studies have shown that manual logging systems using paper and pen to track fueling or even time logs can often result in unintended mistakes. Computerized automation can greatly reduce this risk.

Vehicle health monitoring is another advantage of telematics that builds towards better resource accountability. Oil life, idling, engine hours, tire pressure and other critical vehicle metrics can be monitored autonomously and provide appropriate vehicle maintenance schedules that can ultimately reduce costs.


It’s not hard to see how Telematics promotes better fleet security by identifying vehicles, employees, and activities. the oversight that telematics provides is a great way of ensuring control for fleet managers. Never will a manager not know who drove what vehicles, when, and to where. Telematics gives the “who, what, when, where, why” of all activities. Not all the advantages, however, benefit only managers. Fleet staff and drivers can benefit from the oversight, especially for operations that work with high-value assets.

Components of Telematics

The combination of Satellite GPS technology, radio wave wireless communications, and vehicle CPU and engine diagnostics combine to receive and transmit information that can be used to compute all forms of vehicle information. This includes vehicle location, speed, controller input (for specialized vehicles that have user-controlled mechanisms such as plows, or street sweepers), maintenance issues, and route planning.

Satellite Navigation

GPS technology primarily relies on satellites which send and receive data from electronic devices on earth. Much of today’s computer technologies have GPS capabilities, our smartphones are a good example and the way the technology works is no different than that of the telematics devices available in the industry today.

Mobile Data

Mobile data is commonly sent and received using radio waves. Mobile network providers moved swiftly in the early 2000s to offer cheap, and wide range capability coverage to telematics customers by cellular communication.

LiGO® comes with a LiGO® Mobile application, which is a reduced function HTML5 mobile application that can be accessed from any connected smartphone, tablet or laptop. Operations Managers find this application particularly useful when they are in the field to see their operations in real time and better manage their mobile resources.

Engine Diagnostics

Much of the data transmitted by telematics solutions can’t rely solely on Satellite technologies. Connecting devices to a vehicles CPU provides intricate vehicle data that can be converted to provide very important metrics to fleet managers.