Telematics glossary: 100+ terms to know
Table of contents
- 3G sunset
- 4G LTE network
- 5G network
- Active tracking
- Aggressive driving
- Alternative fuels
- Application Programming Interface (API)
- Asset tracking
- Asset utilization
- Autonomous vehicles
- Battery electric vehicle (BEV)
- Battery voltage
- Business intelligence and data analytics
- Collision reconstruction
- Connected vehicles
- Controller area network bus (CAN bus)
- Cost of ignoring (COI)
- Curve logging algorithm
- Dash cam
- Data feed
- Data privacy
- Data normalization
- Data visualization
- Digital transformation
- Distracted driving
- Driver feedback
- Drowsy driving
- Duty of care
- Electric vehicles (EV)
- Electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE)
- Electric vehicle service provider (EVSP)
- Electric Vehicle Suitability Assessment (EVSA)
- Electronic logging device (ELD)
- Engine diagnostics
- Engine hours
- EVSE product manufacturer
- FIPS 140-2 validation
- Fleet compliance
- Fleet electrification
- Fleet integration
- Fleet optimization
- Fuel usage
- Geotab Drive
- GO device
- GO RUGGED
- GO TALK
- Global Alliance for Vehicle Data Access (GAVDA)
- Global Positioning System (GPS)
- GPS fleet tracking
- Green fleet
- Hours of service (HOS)
- Hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) 58
- Internal combustion engine (ICE)
- International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA)
- Internet of Things (IoT)
- In-vehicle coaching
- IOX technology
- Kilowatt-hours per mile (kWh per mile)
- Level 1 charging
- Level 2 charging
- Level 3 charging (DC fast charging)
- Machine learning
- Management by measurement
- Maximum range
- Miles per gallon of gasoline-equivalent (MPGe)
- MyGeotab rules engine
- National Motor Freight Traffic Association (NMFTA)
- Nearest vehicle
- Near-field communication (NFC)
- OBD II
- On-board charger
- Open platform
- OEM (original equipment manufacturer)
- OEM embedded telematics
- Over the air (OTA)
- Plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV)
- Preventive maintenance
- Range anxiety
- Remote diagnostics
- Software development kit (SDK)
- Seat belt usage
- Smart city
- State of charge (SOC)
- Third-party device integration
- Urban analytics
- Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ)
- Vehicle dwell
- Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
- Watchdog Report
Get up to speed with this ultimate telematics glossary.
Whether you are new to the field or mastering advanced integration, this glossary is a handy reference for everything you need to know about telematics. We have now included terms for electric vehicle fleet management.
Similarly to the previous 2G network shutdown, the 3G sunset refers to the period when major cellular network carriers began phasing out or “sunsetting” their 3G networks, to allow for a transition to 4G LTE and 5G network use.
4G LTE network
4G LTE connectivity for telematics devices provides a greater level of speed and efficiency for cloud-based fleet management and solution integrations. The term “4G LTE” is an acronym for “fourth generation long-term evolution.”
The 5G network is the fifth generation of telecommunication technology used by cellular networks to transmit data around the world. This standard builds on 4G and allows increased capacity and faster speeds. There is a part of 5G called Category M which is optimized for IoT and devices like the Geotab GO.
An accelerometer is an electronic device that can measure the position of the vehicle (up/down, left/right, and forward/backward). Information from the accelerometer is used in collision reconstruction to understand driving behavior leading up to the event. Learn more about telematics hardware technology in this article.
Active Tracking is a software feature in MyGeotab that provides faster location information at a more granular level, ideal for industries that need precise and immediate vehicle location, such as in emergency/medical services. Speed, turns and stops can be seen by a dispatcher in near real-time to ensure a vehicle gets to its location safely. Read more in the Active Tracking FAQs.
This is a type of high-risk driving behavior that can be tracked by a telematics device. Aggressive driving includes speeding, which has its obvious risks; harsh braking, which can indicate the driver was following too closely or distracted; hard acceleration, which reduces chance of reacting on time, not to mention isn’t fuel efficient; and hard cornering, which can also indicate distracted driving or even drowsy driving. Telematics can help curb aggressive driving, through risk and safety monitoring, driver coaching tools and driver recognition/reward programs.
Alternative fuels is a broad term used to encompass all non-gasoline and non-diesel engine technology. Alternative fuels include fuels such as propane, compressed natural gas (CNG), biodiesel, ethanol, and hydrogen fuel cells. It also includes electric vehicles (see separate glossary term for electric vehicles). With any of these technologies, using telematics can help not only figure out which fuel would be best suited for particular vehicles or applications but then it can help benchmark and track the benefits received by switching all or part of a fleet to alternative fuels.
Application Programming Interface (API)
APIs are essential for integration of fleet management systems. An API, or application programming interface, is the language a computer uses to tell the system what data to pull. These languages must be able to talk to each other for an integration to occur. A good example of a successful integration is also seeing temperature tracking information on reefer units in your telematics dashboard.
Beyond the vehicle, companies have many other types of assets, such as heavy machinery, equipment, tools, etc. All of these can be tracked like a vehicle. Using Bluetooth® technology, the location of assets can be shown on a map, geofences setup to reduce theft, alerts when an asset reaches a certain location, and so on.
Fleet asset utilization is the understanding of what vehicles are in your fleet, who is driving them, where they are going, when they are arriving, and how they will get there. By tracking these details, fleets managers can get a better picture of fleet performance and how to use each vehicle, driver and route to the company’s advantage.
With several “levels” of autonomous technology, the highest level is self-driving cars, trucks, buses and all. Using sensors, cameras, and telematics data to detect other cars and conditions around the vehicle, autonomous vehicle technology allows the vehicle to go without an operator. Many companies have research and pilot programs happening now but it’s likely still many years off to be a mainstream vehicle.
Battery electric vehicle (BEV)
A battery electric vehicle (BEV) is a fully electric vehicle that does not contain an internal combustion engine (ICE). Examples of BEVs include the Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Bolt. Every BEV has a large onboard battery that powers all vehicle functions from driving mechanics to power windows. BEVs are separated into two categories: short range and long range. Short-range BEVs have a battery size of less than 50 kWh while long-range BEVs have a battery size of over 50 kwh. For more information on how companies are adopting EVs into their fleets, see our white paper, here.
Battery voltage is one of the many items that can be tracked by a telematics system. By tracking battery voltage, you can better monitor vehicle health.
Business intelligence and data analytics
Data analytics is the process of taking big data and turning it into Business Intelligence, meaning all the data collected is turned into palatable, understandable reports that lead to actionable insights. These data-driven decisions are considered to have a positive impact on operations by finding inefficiencies, or identifying good processes and replicating them.
Fleets can use telematics data to help reconstruct the events of a vehicle collision. Learn more on how collision detection works and how to analyze and interpret data in this white paper.
Connected vehicle technology is used around the world to support productivity, efficiency, sustainability and compliance in business and government and is essential to safety, competitiveness and innovation. Wireless vehicle connection is made possible through vehicle-to-vehicle communication and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication. For example, a vehicle-to-infrastructure relationship could be a weather alert system sending a notification to drivers in the area.
Controller area network bus (CAN bus)
The controller area network bus or CAN bus system connects and facilitates communication between all engine computer units (ECUs) in vehicles today.
Cost of ignoring (COI)
As opposed to return on investment (ROI), the cost of ignoring (COI) is the loss of savings that occur by not taking a specific action.
Curve logging algorithm
The Curve Logging Algorithm is a patented algorithm used by Geotab in processing large amounts of telematics data. The algorithm makes calculations to identify unnecessary points of data and discard them, while preserving the most important information.
With any type of data getting transmitted, there is always the need for cybersecurity. The FBI, NHTSA, and NAFA have all expressed the need for greater awareness and action on cybersecurity with regard to connected vehicles. Learn about best practices for cybersecurity in telematics in this blog post on cybersecurity management.
Dash cams (also known as dashboard cameras) are video recording devices mounted on the front dashboard of a vehicle to capture footage while a vehicle is in operation. These cameras can be installed to look out at the road, showing the vantage point of the driver, or pointed inwards to monitor driver behavior. Dash cams are useful tools in verifying a driver’s account of events during a collision or for ensuring drivers adhere to company driving standards when operating a vehicle.
The Geotab Data Feed is the application that allows telematics data to flow from a fleet’s devices to MyGeotab for management.
Strong data governance in telematics is essential to protecting the privacy of personal and vehicle data. Read why every company should be thinking about digital responsibility and data privacy.
Data normalization is the process of standardizing data to provide aggregated information on various vehicle features.
Data visualization is the process of translating telematics data into a visual representation or software dashboard on the computer, to make it easier for fleets to pinpoint actions and make decisions. It shows trends on different fleet metrics, such as daily idling averages, the safest drivers over the last month, average fleet MPG, and others.
Digital transformation is a global movement in the business economy, which includes the adoption of technology, automation, and connection to real-time data for process optimization and increased competitiveness. Examples of digital transformation is the movement toward cloud data storage.
Distracted driving is a serious and dangerous offense, punishable by law in many countries, and can be defined as driving and using a phone or texting, eating, or another activity that takes a driver’s eyes off the road or hands off the wheel. Read more distracted driving facts.
Driver feedback refers to the use of technology to notify a driver of driving errors through audible beeps or spoken messages to help promote safety on the road. Feedback can be paired with driver management and training solutions to further improve behavior and help reduce collisions. See also: How to get driver buy-in on driver scorecards
Drowsy Driving, also called “fatigued driving,” increases the likelihood of crashing and causes many fatalities and injuries on roads each year. The National Safety Council reports that driving after more than 20 hours with no sleep is equal to driving with a 0.08% blood-alcohol concentration (U.S. legal limit).
Duty of care
Duty of care is the responsibility of fleet managers to help keep drivers safe and healthy, through measures for assessing and reducing risk.
Electric vehicles (EV)
Electric vehicles (EV) are cars, trucks or other transportation vehicles that rely on full or partial battery power. There are several types of electric vehicles, including hybrid electric vehicles (HEV), battery electric vehicles (BEV) and plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEV). Learn more about Geotab and EVs here.
Electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE)
An electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) is the intermediary between a power source and the vehicle’s charging port. It is typically mounted on a wall or raised on a pedestal. Its role is to safely relay the alternating current (AC) power to the vehicle.
Electric vehicle service provider (EVSP)
An electric vehicle service provider (EVSP) provides connectivity across a network of charging stations. Connecting to a central server, they manage the software, database and communication interfaces that enable operation of the station.
Electric Vehicle Suitability Assessment (EVSA)
An Electric Vehicle Suitability Assessment (EVSA) is a customized, interactive tool from Geotab that provides EV make and model recommendations for fleets. The tool is powered by Geotab’s largest collected EV telematics dataset in the world and takes into consideration: EV availability in the local market, EV performance in extreme weather conditions, financials related to procuring the EVs and more.
Electronic logging device (ELD)
An electronic logging device, also called an ELD, is technology for drivers of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) to automatically record driving time and Hours of service (HOS) records and capture data on the vehicle’s engine, movement, and miles driven. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) mandated the use of ELDs for the commercial truck and bus industries as a means of improving road safety, strengthening compliance, and protecting commercial drivers. To learn more and see the compliance timeline, read this Quick Guide to the FMCSA’s ELD Mandate.
Engine status data for all major engine protocols, such as rpm, voltage, fuel usage, coolant temperature, and fluid levels, can be communicated through the Geotab telematics device which plugs into the OBD II port. These on-board engine diagnostics come in the form of diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs) that can be specific to an OEM.
Engine hours tells you the actual hours an engine has run, which is different from what is tracked by the odometer, which is actual miles driven. For example, the odometer reading would not include time idling at a stop light. In high-idling applications, this measurement can help provide more accurate maintenance parameters. This is also how electronic logging devices (ELDs) are able to automatically log driver hours. Read more about engine hours and idling in this article.
EVSE product manufacturer
An EVSE product manufacturer is a company that produces charging station hardware. Electric vehicle charging services are offered by EV charging network providers.
Expandability refers to technology that supports additional integrations with other software or hardware to extend capabilities. To learn about specific expandability options for Geotab, read about the Geotab OEM data platform, our Guide to Geotab IOX Add-Ons, or visit the Marketplace.
FIPS 140-2 validation
FIPS 140-2 validation is a benchmark for cryptographic modules which protects sensitive computer and telecommunication system data for the U.S. and Canadian government as well as for the military.
Keeping up with compliance standards is a key part of fleet management, especially during times of crisis. Fleet compliance refers to the adherence to regulations such as electronic driver logging (ELD), tax reporting and driver vehicle inspection reporting (DVIR) to name a few.
Fleet electrification refers to the switchover of fleets from internal combustion engines (ICE) to electric vehicles (EVs). Electrifying a fleet can help to maximize fleet efficiency and contribute to green initiatives within the transportation industry. For more information on fleet electrification, see our blog post here.
Fleet integration is the process of connecting multiple software systems within a fleet to facilitate business automation and greater visibility, accuracy and efficiency.
Through the use of telematics, fleets can improve — or optimize — many different areas of operations, such as fuel efficiency, idle time, vehicle maintenance and fleet utilization. Learn more about fleet optimization and benchmarking.
This measurement indicates how much fuel is consumed by vehicle. Learn more about how Geotab measures fuel usage.
Gamification is the concept of turning safe driving habits into a game or competition. Using the MyGeotab software and an integrated gamification solution, managers can see the top safest drivers and then reward good driving behavior, as well as create friendly competition among drivers.
Geofencing allows managers to create zones of various types such as an office or customer location. For example, if a certain vehicle shouldn’t leave a particular jobsite, a fleet manager could set up a geofence for that vehicle around the area it should stay in. With exception reporting, the manager can then receive alerts if that vehicle travels outside the geofence. A technical services engineer explains how to create a zone in MyGeotab here. See also: What is geofencing?
Geotab Drive is a Mobile App used in conjunction with Geotab GO telematics device, used for hours of service (HOS) logging, driver identification, driver vehicle inspection reports (DVIR) and driver messaging.
The Geotab GO is a telematics device for fleet management with state-of-the-art GPS technology, G-force monitoring, GEOTAB IOX expandability, and engine and battery health assessments, with data security measures.
The GO RUGGED is a ruggedized telematics device by Geotab, designed for harsh environments and for use in off-road vehicles, mining equipment, heavy machinery and more. The protective covering on a GO RUGGED device shields the internal electronics from elements like dust and water.
Geotab’s GO TALK is a driver coaching solution that delivers spoken messages to the driver in near real-time to help improve fleet safety. It does this by tracking harsh cornering, speeding and other risky behaviors and letting a driver know immediately that they should modify or change a behavior. Read an interview with two product experts on GO TALK.
Measured by an accelerometer, G-force is the movement of the vehicle and acceleration, whether left/right, up/down, forward/back. This information helps fleets reconstruct accidents. Read all about G-force and how it helps understand dangerous driving behaviors here.
Global Alliance for Vehicle Data Access (GAVDA)
GAVDA stands for the Global Alliance for Vehicle Data Access, a group that works to preserve and enhance the open, secure, technology-neutral and direct access by vehicle owners to real-time data.
Global Positioning System (GPS)
GPS, or the global positioning system, is a navigation network of satellites, monitoring stations, and receivers used to transmit global location data. GPS is used in devices like cell phones and in-car navigation systems to help track location and provide directions from point A to point B.
GPS fleet tracking
GPS fleet tracking enables fleets to understand vehicle location and other fleet activities. For Geotab, GPS tracking includes much more than “dots on a map” and also includes many other focus areas such as driver safety, fleet compliance, vehicle emissions and vehicle health.
“Green fleet” is a term used to reference fleets that are focused on sustainability, with goals to reduce environmental impact, through initiatives such as decreasing greenhouse gas emissions and fuel consumption, and electric vehicle adoption. See also: 30 tips for green fleets
Hours of service (HOS)
Hours of service (HOS) are the regulations in the commercial vehicle industry, namely for over-the-road fleets but it does cover many commercial vehicle drivers, that govern how many hours that drivers can drive and when they must take breaks. Also related to: electronic logging
Hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) 58
A hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) is a vehicle that contains both an onboard battery and an internal combustion engine (ICE). An example of an HEV is the Toyota Prius. HEVs contain small onboard batteries that are charged via regenerative braking and cannot be charged externally. The included battery is only used when idling or when the car begins moving from a stopped position. To learn more about the efficiency of HEVs, see our blog post here.
Internal combustion engine (ICE)
An internal combustion engine (ICE) is a traditional engine powered by gasoline, diesel, or organic material-based fuels. They are the most commonly used type of engine on the road, even with the rise of electric vehicles (EV). Vehicles that have an ICE generally require substantially more maintenance than EVs as they are made up of multiple moving parts that work to power the vehicle. ICEs are much more efficient now that when they were first invented, but are still nowhere near as efficient as EVs. For more information, see our blog on hybrid vs. conventional vehicles.
International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA)
The International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) is a fuel tax paid by interstate commercial carriers. The purpose is to use the funds to help keep U.S. and Canada highways funded and maintained. There are 48 American jurisdictions (states) and 10 Canadian jurisdictions (provinces) that are currently members of IFTA. Telematics can significantly help with IFTA compliance and reporting by tracking miles and fuel use.
Internet of Things (IoT)
The Internet of Things (IoT) is the trend toward “smart” products, from smart products in your home such as refrigerators and lights, to products used in transportation such as smart traffic signals that can modify signal timing based on traffic flows throughout the day. Other examples of IoT in the automotive industry are car sharing companies, where a user can reserve, unlock and rent a vehicle through an app on their phone. Read here for more about how IoT is affecting the automotive industry.
In-vehicle coaching is when a device inside the cab of the vehicle is able to alert drivers whether through audible and/or visual alerts to the operator about their driving.
IOX technology allows Geotab GO input/output device expansion. It allows you to connect other hardware to the device and further its capabilities using other Add-Ons. Geotab GO TALK is an example of IOX technology, in which the GO TALK device is connected into the Geotab GO device, sending driving tips and behavior alerts to the vehicle operator in real-time.
The J1939 standard was developed by SAE International to create consistency in how different components in a vehicle communicate with each other. The standard is used in conjunction with the controller area network bus (CAN bus) system for medium and heavy-duty commercial vehicles to send and receive signals within a vehicle. Included within J1939 is the digital annex (DA), which defines thousands of signals used on a CAN bus.
Kilowatt-hours per mile (kWh per mile)
The kilowatt-hours per mile (kWh per mile) represents how much electricity an EV uses in one mile driven, indicating its fuel efficiency.
Level 1 charging
Level 1 is the slowest form of charging. Almost all electric cars come with a cable that connects to the vehicle’s on-board charger and a standard household (120v) outlet. This setup provides between 2 and 5 miles per hour. While this does not sound at all impressive, it can work for vehicles that travel less than 40 miles a day and have all night to charge.
Level 2 charging
Level 2 charging provides power at 200-240v, through either an EVSE that has a plug that connects into your car, or via a 240v outlet (similar to the ones your oven or dryer uses) and has other home requirements in order to install. Level 2 chargers can be up to 80amps, and drivers can add 10-65 miles of range in an hour of charging.
Level 3 charging (DC fast charging)
A level 3 charger, also known as a DC fast charger, is a gas pump-sized machine. There is no single standard for fast-charging. Tesla has the Supercharger network while the Nissan Leaf along with Kia and Mitsubishi EVs get their quickest jolt using CHAdeMO. The Chevy Bolt as well as BMW and Volkswagen EVs use SAE Combo (a combined charging system also referred to as CCS). All of these fast chargers deliver about 80% charge in 30 minutes, and faster charging options are coming to market every year.
Machine learning is what makes modern predictive modeling possible, meaning that through historical data, a computer/artificial intelligence can learn about what’s most likely to happen next. Machine learning is one aspect to autonomous vehicle technology that makes it more than just sensors and cameras. It can continue to learn more and more about the roads it travels on and use that for later trips when the vehicle is on that road again.
Management by measurement
“Management by measurement” is a phrase used in business referring to the practice of making decisions based on data. Vehicle telematics is one method by which business or government fleets can gather intelligence to help inform future decisions about operations.
The Geotab Marketplace is an online solutions center where fleets can browse for business-specific Add-Ons and software Add-Ins and Apps to integrate with their Geotab telematics system, such as a fuel tracker, driver scorecard or collision reconstruction. Read an overview of the Marketplace.
The total number of miles an EV can be driven before it needs to stop and recharge. The maximum range is determined by a number of different factors including temperature, operating climate and vehicle age. The older a vehicle is, the more susceptible it is to battery degradation, which can lessen the maximum range over time.
Miles per gallon of gasoline-equivalent (MPGe)
Miles per gallon of gasoline-equivalent (MPGe) is a metric used by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to compare the fuel economy of EVs and other alternative fuel vehicles with gas-powered vehicles.
Mobileye is an autonomous vehicle technology company focused on collision avoidance systems. Mobileye’s technology is used behind the scenes in many of today’s autonomous vehicle solutions from automakers — 27 of the world’s auto manufacturers to be exact. As an aftermarket product, fleets can add this technology to help reduce collisions using Mobileye’s sensor technology by providing real-time driving feedback through audible and/or visual alerts in the cab. Mobileye is available as an add-on in the Geotab Marketplace.
MyGeotab is the fleet management software that pairs with the Geotab GO telematics device (though the software is device-agnostic and can be used with other telematics devices). The web-based, scalable software provides dashboards to actually view the data and trends about a fleet, view and export reports and benchmarking data. MyGeotab is at the heart of what makes the system friendly for the end user and brings value to fleet operations. View the MyGeotab Product Guide here.
MyGeotab rules engine
A feature of the Geotab telematics platform that allows users to set fleet management rules for drivers such as for maximum speed limit, idling time, or EV charging, then monitor compliance in MyGeotab.
National Motor Freight Traffic Association (NMFTA)
The National Motor Freight Traffic Association (NMFTA) is a non-profit membership organization responsible for publishing National Motor Freight Classifications (NMFC) and assigning Standard Carrier Alpha codes (SCAC) and Standard Point Location codes (SPLC). The organization is comprised of inter and intrastate carriers as well as foreign commerce fleets. In 2019, the NMFTA released the Open Telematics API (OTAPI) which works to improve secure interoperability between telematics providers and fleets through data standardization.
Using telematics, fleets can improve dispatching through a feature that makes it possible to locate the nearest vehicle to a particular customer stop on a map. For example, when a service or a first responder fleet gets an emergency call, instead of calling each mobile worker to check if they can respond to the job and exactly where they are, a dispatcher can easily see which vehicle and worker is closest to the job and dispatch and route them straight from where they are.
Near-field communication (NFC)
Near-field communication (NFC) is a collection of communication protocols that enables communication between two nearby devices. In fleet management, it can be used in conjunction with telematics devices to verify driver identity and allow sign-in to specific vehicles.
On-board diagnostics port (OBD-II) is an automotive electronic system for vehicle self-diagnosis and reporting capabilities. Read more about OBD II, the role it plays in telematics and fleet management.
An odometer in a vehicle depicts the actual miles driven. This is not to be confused with a vehicle’s actual engine hours (see separate glossary entry).
An on-board charger is a factory-installed charging device used in conjunction with Level 1 and Level 2 charging EVs. It works by converting alternating current (AC) power from an outlet to direct current (DC) power to charge the battery in an EV. The charging speed may vary, but the most common on-board chargers are 6.6 kW on battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and 3.3kW on plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs).
Open platform means a telematics system which provides open or free access to the data through a software development kit (SDK) and application programming interfaces (APIs) — see separate glossary entries for both. In contrast, a closed platform may have vehicle manufacturer specific hardware and the access to data is limited or filtered. Open platform users have flexibility for integrating telematics with their other business systems, and using partner vendor devices, or third-party applications and solutions such as from the Geotab Marketplace. Find a longer definition of open platform in here and read about its advantages here.
OEM (original equipment manufacturer)
The term “original equipment manufacturer,” abbreviated as “OEM,” refers to companies that produce cars and trucks and also those that manufacture parts and equipment for vehicles. For more information on how Geotab integrates with third-party information provided through built-in OEM devices, read this article.
OEM embedded telematics
OEM embedded telematics refers to vehicle manufacturers (OEMs) that provide factory-fit, built-in modems to record and process telematics and other connected vehicle data. These embedded telematics systems require no installation and can be integrated with select cloud-based telematics, like Geotab, for management of multiple vehicle makes on one platform. To learn about Geotab OEM integrations, read our blog post on Geotab’s OEM Data Platform.
Over the air (OTA)
Over the Air (OTA) testing evaluates the performance of the integrated antenna on a telematics device (and many others) to understand the safety and risks behind using a particular type of device — consider all the safety labels seen on electronics in general. This particular test makes sure the device meets the minimum levels of radiation (total radiated power) and sensitivity (total isotropic power) and is only one of three main aspects of testing these types of devices. Read more here.
Plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV)
A plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) has a two-part drive system, including an electric drive and a small internal combustion engine running on fuel. The two main other types of EVs are hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) and battery electric vehicles (BEV).
Preventive maintenance is the scheduled maintenance to regularly check a vehicle for potential problems. Getting the oil changed is just one part of a preventive maintenance check. Other tasks include checking all fluid levels, brakes, tires, and so on. Telematics goes hand in hand with preventive maintenance because fleets can keep track of maintenance scheduling and even get alerts when the engine triggers a diagnostic trouble code, which means there could be something wrong with the vehicle. Fleet can then get the vehicle into the shop, while a technician can already diagnose the problem before the vehicle even gets there.
Range anxiety refers to an EV driver’s fear of running out of electricity before the end of a trip.
Remote diagnostics is a solution that fleets can use to set up automatic alerts on diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs) generated by the engine’s computer, along with severity, fault description, and recommendations for action. Benefits of remote diagnostics include helping prepare technicians in advance so they have the right parts and decreasing vehicle downtime.
Scalability means being able to increase in size and strength as a business evolves and grows.
A driver scorecard is a useful tool for fleet managers, to measure and rank driver performance, with the goal of improving safety, productivity, efficiency or even compliance. Fleets can customize scorecards to focus on speeding, harsh braking, engine light on, idling, fuel consumption, or other metrics.
Software development kit (SDK)
A software development kit (SDK) is the set of tools, information, and examples given to other software developers on how to work with the data. The SDK along with APIs (see separate glossary entry on APIs) enable what’s called open platform telematics (see separate entry). Learn why by watching a video about the Geotab SDK here.
Seat belt usage
Seat belt usage can actually be tracked by a telematics system such as the Geotab seat belt report, which lets managers know which drivers aren’t using their seat belt. It can also be used as part of the Geotab GO TALK in-vehicle coaching add-on (see separate glossary entry).
Smart cities leverage connected infrastructure, sensors and IoT devices to help solve urban challenges like traffic congestion, service delivery for growing populations, and public health and safety. Telematics and urban analytics are the building blocks of smart cities, by providing municipalities with a real-time view on city operations and conditions. Learn more about smart city solutions from Geotab.
State of charge (SOC)
State of charge (SOC) refers to the amount of battery power left in an EV, as measured in percentage. Read here for more on how one UK fleet used Geotab devices to better track their SOC.
Sustainable fleet management is the practice of focusing and reducing environmental impact by making fleet enhancements and using management tools for fuel and CO2 emissions tracking, route optimization, as well as through electric vehicle adoption.
A tachograph is a device affixed to a vehicle weighing at least 3.5 tonnes that automatically records data on speed and distance together with the driver's activity selected from a choice of modes. To learn more about driving hour regulations in Europe see, EU-regulation (EC) No 561/2006.
Telematics is the monitoring of a car, truck or another type of equipment or asset with a device to track GPS location, vehicle speed, driving behavior, and other engine data for fleet management and optimization. Go for a deeper dive in: What is telematics?
Third-party device integration
The ability to connect partner devices to the Geotab platform so the data can be viewed alongside Geotab telematics data in MyGeotab, to allow common rules and reporting. Read more about how it works in this post.
Vehicle trips from point A to point B can be tracked by telematics and viewed from a fleet management software portal or app. In Geotab, a trip is defined when the vehicle starts moving to when the vehicle starts moving again after a stop (when the vehicle ignition is turned off, or when the vehicle has a speed of less than 1 km/h for more than 200 seconds).
Urban analytics is the collection and analysis of data on smart city processes and environment. Hazardous driving areas, intersection metrics, areas of idling and hyper-local precipitation are examples of datasets that smart cities can use to support traffic optimization, and improve safety and the environment.
Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ)
The Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) is an area in Central London where drivers must pay a daily fee for driving within the zone. The initiative was put in place to improve air quality in this heavily populated area and encourage the use of more environmentally friendly vehicles. For more information on how the UK is encouraging green fleets, read this whitepaper.
Vehicle dwell is where a fleet vehicle resides when it is not in use. For most this would be a garage, driveway or fleet yard. Read this article for information on how increased access to EV charging at locations other than a main residence can change the EV load profile.
Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
The Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) assigned to every vehicle is what tracks the vehicle throughout its life, no matter who owns it. For large fleets, keeping track of these can be a pain. VINs are important since they can also tell you if there have been any recalls on the vehicle, for example. MyGeotab has a VIN lookup tool to help manage VINs.
The Watchdog Report in MyGeotab tracks the status of all Geotab GO devices within your fleet and shows whether a device has been used recently, is installed correctly or is working properly. For more information on using the Watchdog Report to maintain a healthy fleet, see this blog post.
Zero-emissions refers to a global movement towards sustainability based on EVs generating lower or zero greenhouse gas emissions and use of other clean, sustainable technology. For more information on the road to zero-emissions, see here.
Creating a zone is a key functionality in telematics software and allows fleet managers to track metrics on productivity, such as how long a truck was stopped at a customer location for a drop-off.
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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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