What is telematics and why do you need it?
Telematics as a whole is a rather vague and general term that is not always used correctly, and is often explained and used at one’s own discretion by various sources. In RuNet and the western segment of the Internet, in various media, telematics is equated with telecommunications or its part, described as a symbiosis of telecommunications and computer science, or translated from Greek as "remote (tele) action (math)".

Telematics in the historical sense is a translation of télématique, a word coined by French authors Simon Nora and Alain Minc in their 1978 paper L'informatization de la Societe, which predicts the impact of technology on society. The authors describe telematics as the transmission of information through telecommunications.

The English-language Wikipedia claims that the original broad meaning of telematics is still used in academic fields, but in commerce this usually means vehicle telematics. However, in practice this is not entirely true. It can be said that the term "telematics" is used to describe the integrated use of telecommunication and information technologies for transmitting, storing and receiving information fr om telecommunication devices to remote objects over the network.

Many sources say that telematics is applicable only to the automotive industry, not dividing the scope of its application. In response to the question of what telematics is it is described as monitoring system for driving a car. Indeed, the term “telematics” has gained its modern connotation, mainly in connection with GPS monitoring of commercial fleets and Usage-Based Insurance, that is, insurance based on the collection of data on how, wh ere and when the machine is used. However, telematics is not limited to applications in the automotive industry. According to the Russian-language Wikipedia, and this is obvious, the following sections of telematics exist:

  • Transport telematics

  • Building automation

  • Telematics services

  • Health telematics (telemedicine)

  • Educational telematics (distance learning)

  • Safety telematics

This also includes solutions for monitoring water and air pollution. Moreover, the use of telematics is even wider and limited only by human ingenuity and needs. Today, for example, some Russian mobile operators already offer tariffs developed for telematics technologies, which are intended for use in equipment of the M2M class (Machine To Machine). Such equipment allows the exchange information between various devices without human intervention. It is used for secure collection and transmission of data from protected objects, warehouse accounting systems, elevators, meters, sensors, POS-terminals, ATMs, navigation systems and other remote devices. Information is transmitted to a data control and processing center, while the transport is mobile Internet (EDGE / GPRS technology), voice data channel (CSD technology) or SMS.

Thus, due to the constantly expanding application of telematics technologies, when using the term “telematics” with respect to the transport industry, it is necessary to specify its affiliation with it and indicate, for example, automobile or transport telematics.

What is car telematics?

This is the so-called "black box" technology - the collection and transmission over a wireless network in real time of data from a device located in a vehicle. Data is placed on a server that has collected their company for processing and storage. This can be various information, for example, driving style, time of use, routes, location, and functional state of the vehicle.

Access to data can also be carried out from mobile devices. Information is transmitted in the reverse order, from the smartphone to the server, and from there to the device in the car, which allows you to use it not only to collect data, but also to control certain functions of the car. The telematics device may contain GPS, GLONASS modules, as well as a SIM card for data transfer.

This information exchange scheme allows you to offer a lot of services to both car owners and car manufacturers, as well as transport and insurance companies. For example, General Motors Corp. first promoted automotive telematics with the OnStar system. Similar developments exist in Russia. In the "Smart Driving Laboratory" a device called the "Element" with a fairly wide functionality has been developed and manufactured.

The “Element” is connected to the vehicle’s diagnostic connector and is able to conduct vehicle diagnostics remotely, collect real-time driving and accident data and remotely upd ate it. In addition, the connection allows you to remotely control the car from a smartphone, as well as optimize insurance costs, thanks to the purchase of a CASCO policy, in which insurance payments will be calculated individually, based on mileage and other factors, for example, driving accuracy. Using the same equipment, telematics can be used by businesses for commercial purposes, such as fleet monitoring, scoring for smart insurance, etc.

At the same time, some automotive telematics devices are functionally nothing more than GPS beacons. They calculate the speed of the machine as an increase of a distance traveled per unit of time, based on a change in coordinates.

They calculate the acceleration as a change in speed per time unit. At the same time, the condition of the terrain and speedometer indicators is not taken into account. Such devices significantly lose to those that receive information from the on-board electrical equipment of the car - it is more accurate and complete.

Additional features of automotive telematics

Suppose you left the keys in a car, with telematics you can open the doors through a mobile application. In addition to GPS, Wi-Fi and mobile networks, whether 3G, 4G or the upcoming 5G, can be used to facilitate communication between the car and the application on your smartphone.

Faster wireless networks provide more advanced built-in services, such as car’s software updates — a task that previously required visits to a car dealership, multi-user Wi-Fi access points, and video streaming for passengers. Telematics is also used in a new transport sectors, such as car sharing. For example, the Zipcar company (short-term self-service car rental) uses on-board network services that allow you to se t prices based on an analysis of the reservation and use of the car. The Zipcar application for iPhone allows you to beep to detect a car and open its doors.

Automotive telematics, like the entire "Internet of things" is undergoing rapid development and in the near future we will see the expansion of capabilities, applications, as well as the mutual integration of smart devices. A smart home, a refrigerator or a car will finally move from the section "toys for geeks" to household needs.