The new-age fleet telematics technology has become an essential part of a fleet management system. Comprehensive fleet telematics solution not only help fleet managers to improve their operational efficiency, but also enhance the security of their vehicles in transit.
The benefits of fleet management systems are enormous, but it only pays off when you choose the right telematics solution. With hundreds of service providers and their varied fleet management offerings, it has become more challenging than ever to opt for a well-suited telematics solution. Therefore, it is very important to evaluate the system offerings in a techno-commercial manner before you select any of the services for your fleet. You must map your business requirements and assess your surveillance goals with respect to industry type, nature of business, size of fleet, types of vehicles and other business demographics.
In a previous blog, we have discussed about in-vehicle components of fleet management systems. In this blog, we will discuss about the different types of available telematics devices for fleet management.
Plug-and-play OBD II Fleet Telematics Devices:
On Board Diagnostics (OBD) –II is a port in a vehicle, which allows the user to monitor and retrieve critical vehicular data like vehicle speed, RPM, fuel system status, emissions, engine performance, mileage, etc. In fleet tracking, OBD port allows the user to plug-in portable fleet telematics devices, which are designed specifically to connect with this port. These fleet telematics devices are cost efficient, lightweight, compact and very easy to install in a vehicle. They are comprised of low power processors and chipsets, GPS / GNSS / GLONASS receivers, GSM/CDMA modules with internal flash memory. Working on Wifi or 3G /4G networks, OBD-II telematics devices transmit in-vehicle data to the base station to be processed and utilized in Fleet management software. The processed telematics data via fleet management software are presented in the form of vehicle location, time, speed, idle time, route, etc. and helps in monitoring vehicles diagnostics data, which can be used for preventive maintenance of the vehicle.
Sometimes, users need to replace telematics devices from one vehicle to another. In this case, plug and play fleet telematics devices give complete flexibility to reinstall or interchange with devices of other compatible vehicles.
Smartphone based Fleet Telematics Solutions:
Use of smartphones and custom mobile applications for fleet telematics solutions are very popular. Smartphones are the most acceptable medium of adapting a telematics solution, as they provide a convenient, easily accessible, and cost effective medium of fleet tracking. The latest smartphones are equipped with highly precise global-positioning system (GPS) receiver and the custom fleet telematics applications offer a variety of services for capturing, storing & processing real-time vehicular data.
The mobile apps receive vehicular data via Bluetooth enabled in-vehicle sensors and provide customized vehicle tracking options as per user convenience. Though smartphone telematics are affordable and effective telematics medium, they are vulnerable to deliberate frauds by the driver/users, as smartphones can be mishandled to misguide the telematics system.
Hard-wired Fleet Telematics Devices:
Hard-wired telematics devices, unlike OBD II and smartphone based fleet telematics devices are very secure as they are hard fitted into a vehicle. These robust fleet-tracking devices are connected with electrical connections of the vehicle and powered through the vehicle’s battery. The main component of a hard-wired telematics system is Telematics Control Unit (TCU). A TCU consist of a GPS unit, mobile communication unit (GSM /CDMA, LTE etc.) and microcontrollers, which communicates with the Engine Control Unit of the vehicle and sends critical telematics data over wireless infrastructure.
All the above-mentioned fleet telematics devices collect, process, and evaluate in-vehicle data through different processes but serves the same purpose of complete fleet management. It is the nature of the business, which defines an appropriate telematics solution amongst all. There are many business related factors to be considered while opting for a fleet telematics system like products and services, type and nature of clients, geographical conditions, avg. distance to cover, type of vehicles etc.
eInfochips as an Automotive IoT Solutions provider helps automotive companies in designing and developing advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), in-vehicle infotainment, rear seat entertainment, fleet telematics, surveillance & monitoring systems, among others. Download Automotive Engineering Services & Solutions – Brochure.