Getting started with telematics

When deciding to commit to telematics, there are some key features to be considered. Most importantly, make sure the vendor provides a dashboard with the ability to easily access the data. Advanced features offered by some telematics device vendors include:

  • Manager dashboards and driver scorecards – No matter how advanced the technology, a safety program using telematics is only as good as your ability to see and use the data. As information flows from a vehicle to a manager through a telematics device, many programs allow fleet managers to see a "scorecard" of their fleet. These scorecards can show performance against company benchmarks for driver performance regionally or at the fleet, sub-fleet or driver level. They can be useful in setting performance goals for a fleet or coaching individual drivers.
  • In-cab coaching programs – Since drivers are typically remote workers who are not seen by management there are few opportunities to provide real time coaching or safety feedback. Newer generation devices not only track driver behavior, but can also provide in-cab coaching by sending alerts or warnings to drivers when they're about to exceed company parameters (such as maximum acceptable speeds).
  • Camera-based systems – Some of the most sophisticated telematics systems are camera systems. These systems use a group of cameras set in the vehicle, facing the forward roadway, and often facing the driver. The system will maintain a continual recording of video from the cameras, but only transmit that video during an unsafe driving event, typically something triggered by an accelerometer. A video clip, typically 10 to 20 seconds, is then sent from the device to a manager who can use the video to provide coaching to the driver.

There are a number of telematics devices available. For hints on how to get started, visit our vendor service provider page.

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