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How California revolutionized the procurement of telematics

Last updated on March 8, 2022 in Smart City by Nathaniel Veeh |  4 minute read

The State of California telematics contract enables local agencies to access cost-saving, sustainable fleet management solutions.

Geotab was awarded a single-source Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA) to supply the State of California and participating local government agency fleets with a leading telematics platform. Led by the Department of General Services (DGS) with many contributions from other State departments including Caltrans (Department of Transportation), the contract was competitively awarded to Geotab after a two-year RFP and evaluation process. The State of California will now begin to deploy Geotab’s solution across its entire fleet.


As many government agencies understand, the procurement process can be taxing, making the availability of the State of California contract to local government agencies highly valuable. Local agencies often do not have the necessary resources to effectively evaluate and ultimately award technology vendors. By using the State contract in lieu of going through their own RFP process, local agencies can get the best solution at a very competitive price point, right away.


See also: Podcast: Smart Cities and data-driven traffic

Why did the State of California create this contract?

Having data that gives critical visibility into operations is necessary to successfully manage a fleet. The State of California currently manages a fleet of 50,000 assets with a combined worth of $2 billion. In order to successfully manage these assets, three goals were identified:

  1. Ensure each asset is truly needed
  2. Ensure each asset is as green as possible
  3. Once deployed ensure that each fleet asset is used in a cost-effective manner

Without telematics, California was finding processing times using the existing manual systems were long and arduous and often relied on justifications using subjective information. In order to deal with some of these challenges they set out to establish a State-wide telematics contract that would provide all of the relevant data with a full proof of concept (POC) evaluation including EV, light/heavy-duty vehicle data and reporting, winter operations and asset tracking monitoring.


In the solicitation the following key tenets were essential to the success of managing the State fleet:

  • Robust zero emission vehicle (ZEV) reporting
  • Departments must be able to control their own data
    • With many departments within the State, each department needs the ability to control their own data, what data gets reported on and how the State is able to see the data so that department operations are not compromised
  • Top-tier security information protocols
  • Integration capabilities with multiple fleet management systems
  • Participation in the California Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) continuous testing program
    • With emissions-centric telematics data for vehicles in the state, BAR would be able to grant vehicles an emissions pass (certification sticker) without the vehicles ever needing to do a manual inspection

See also: Geotab and the California BAR: What you should know

California’s fleet sustainability policy

California has some of the most aggressive fleet sustainability requirements in the United States and is leading by example in pushing these fleet sustainability policies forward. In the past seven years, eight different fleet mandates have come down either from Executive Orders or legislation that has been passed on fuel reduction goals and zero-emission adoption targets for light, medium and heavy-duty vehicles.


For example, by 2025, 50% of all of California’s light-duty vehicle purchases need to be zero-emission vehicles. When California looked at the data and the composition of their fleet they saw that 60% of their light-duty fleet consists of pick-up trucks, vans and SUVs, therefore reaching the 50% target presented a real challenge. Additionally, 4,000 of their assets are take-home vehicles that were traditionally off the table to switch to ZEVs since there was no ability to monitor when the vehicles were being charged and if they were being charged correctly.


With telematics and robust ZEV reporting, California is now able to include these 4000 vehicles as potential ZEVs as they can now create reports that show missed charging opportunities. This allows the State agency to make recommendations about best places to charge a vehicle at convenient locations for employees driving these vehicles.

Digital transformation for the State of California

Reducing costs, improving reporting capabilities, better enforcement of policy compliance and influence over driver behavior are only the tip of the iceberg. California plans to go beyond good fleet management by exploring smart city capabilities that could drastically improve overall State operations and the lives of its citizens.


As we see a wave of adoption from other cities and municipalities in California, not only will this help build knowledge and establish best practices for smart city initiatives but it also allows these different government agencies to collaborate on a deeper level including:

  • Improved emergency response capabilities
    • Visibility of fleet vehicles in a geographical area that are able to respond to emergency situations, meaning faster redirect and response times to support emergency response efforts.
    • Take it a step further by having a data sharing agreement with a local government agency to see all assets between all government agencies and deploy those in support of that response effort. This has a huge potential impact on emergency response operations.
  • Increased transparency
    • The public can have confidence in the accuracy and completeness of the State’s data, so that they know the vehicles are being used for their intended purpose. It also helps the public comprehend the massive daily effort the government is putting behind improving citizens' lives with these assets.
  • Increase engagement with the public
    • California’s open data portal allows State agencies to publish large data files that the public then has the ability to download, view, or run analyses on. By using this portal to harness the collective knowledge, citizens can, in turn, propose improvement projects.
  • Smart city opportunities

Telematics can help government agencies at a multitude of levels, from State or local operations to ensure stronger policy compliance and better serve residents, and more broadly to save costs. The State of California contract provides a convenient sourcing mechanism to State and local government agencies allowing them to confidently make the right purchasing decision so customers can keep their vehicles on the road and be as cost-effective as possible.


If you’re interested in deploying Geotab’s telematics solution on your own local or State fleet agency please reach out to Nathaniel Veeh at To learn more about how Geotab solutions can help government fleets, visit 

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Geotab's blog posts are intended to provide information and encourage discussion on topics of interest to the telematics community at large. Geotab is not providing technical, professional or legal advice through these blog posts. While every effort has been made to ensure the information in this blog post is timely and accurate, errors and omissions may occur, and the information presented here may become out-of-date with the passage of time.

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