Telematics in logistics and transportation: connecting road vehicles

Jan 29 2024 | #getyourdatatowork series, Logistics, Telemetry value

Telematics is a driving force in on-road and logistics operations, powering seamless connectivity and efficiency in all aspects of fleet management. However, with the imminent withdrawal of the 3G network, a technological shift is on the horizon, and the need for businesses to upgrade to more advanced solutions becomes increasingly apparent. 

In this article, we look into the pivotal role of telematics in fleet management, exploring the impending impact of the 3G network sundown and highlighting the transformative benefits that cutting-edge technology can bring to logistics operations.


The importance of telematics in fleet management

Any company vehicle authorised to drive on the road needs to be considered in your transportation asset management and telematic framework. With road vehicles being the backbone of fleets worldwide, the impending 3G changes pose a critical challenge. 

According to Telstra, “Time is running out!” With the global 3G network shutdown on 30 June 2024, Telstra is urging customers to plan their migration rollout now.”

Max Girault, Chief Commercial Officer at Inauro, adds, “Telematics for road vehicles have been around for a long time, and we know there are still at least 300,000 on-road assets running on the 3G network in Australia, from one telco alone”.

Upgrading telematic devices to 4G or 5G networks not only ensures uninterrupted connectivity but also opens the gateway to a plethora of benefits. The enhanced speed and reliability pave the way for real-time fleet monitoring, proactive maintenance scheduling and improved safety compliance – vital components in optimising fleet management. Additionally, the use of both road-facing and driver-facing cameras, as well as other sensors on top of classic telematics, are further enhancing fleet management safety. Businesses stand to gain not only in operational efficiency but also in mitigating risks associated with outdated technology.

Upgrading to the 4G network for telematic devices not only guarantees continuous connectivity but also unlocks a wide range of advantages.


Fleet management telematics for road vehicles

Different telematics devices offer varying levels of data. Some provide detailed engine data, while others focus more on driver behaviour and fuel reduction. There are many operational benefits to gain, too, from geofencing and virtual boundaries to usage permissions and restrictions (that you can control remotely!). 

When considering the best telematics in logistics and transportation for your business, consider:

  • The data you need for governance, maintenance and safety
  • The data you need for optimal operational performance and profitability
  • Your budget


The different types of telematics in logistics and transportation 


Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM)

OEM telemetry solutions are seamlessly integrated into vehicles during manufacturing. Widely adopted in contemporary cars and trucks, these solutions provide an extensive dataset and real-time fleet monitoring, however to date this has been restricted to providing data back to the manufacturer. The advent of electric vehicles and their corresponding ‘app’ ecosystem is increasingly making this data relevant to end users, and systems are slowly opening up to be leveraged. 


OBD-read diagnostics

OBD-reading devices are the most common form factor for on-road telematics. They leverage the existing diagnostics port of the vehicle to read the data from the on board computer. Designed to be compatible across different vehicle types, OBD-based telematics provide valuable fault codes based on mappings maintained by the telemetry provider. These solutions can be upgraded to provide further hardware solutions like camera, driver identification modules and sometimes bluetooth or wired sensing. This capability allows for proactive maintenance, reducing downtime and enhancing the reliability of on-road fleets.


Wired Telematics

On-road vehicles, including cars and trucks, benefit from wired telematics systems that directly interface with the vehicle’s electrical wiring. This approach ensures a reliable and durable solution, providing essential data points such as fluid levels and engine diagnostics, but requiring a longer installation. These solutions can be upgraded to provide further hardware solutions like camera, driver identification modules and sometimes bluetooth or wired sensing. The result is improved maintenance planning and heightened operational reliability for on-road fleets.


Slap ‘n’ Track

Slap ‘n’ Track telemetry can also be used for on-road vehicles, providing a simple, cost-effective and easily removable solution for monitoring asset tracking. Whether applied to cars or trucks, or more likely trailers or other attachments, this solution provides a streamlined approach to telematics integration, offering valuable insights into the real-time location and status of on-road vehicles.


Leveraging telematics for strategic advantages

The true potential of telematics unfolds when businesses harness its data for strategic decision-making. Real-world examples showcase how telematics in logistics and transportation can drive improved fleet management and provide you with a competitive edge. The ability to analyse driver behaviour, monitor vehicle health and optimise routes empowers your businesses to make informed decisions that can impact your bottom line positively.

On-road and logistics businesses must also consider Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) considerations. A data-driven approach to fleet management enhances operational efficiency and significantly contributes to sustainability goals. By leveraging telematics data, you can effectively reduce fuel consumption, lower maintenance costs and minimise your environmental footprint. By capitalising on these strategic advantages, you can position your company at the forefront of industry innovation, aligning your operational practices with broader ESG principles.


Visual representation of different types of telemetry solutions and corresponding data outcomes for the logistics and transportation industry.

There’s more regulation around the use of telematics and the chain of responsibilities, for trucks, especially



Logistics operational efficiency for growing businesses

The 3G network sunset serves as a pivotal moment for the industry, urging businesses to adapt to advanced telematics systems. Real-time tracking, predictive maintenance and improved safety compliance are not just benefits but necessities for on-road and logistics operations.

Max Girault knows this space well, adding, “On-road fleet management is fairly different from construction plant and machinery. There’s more regulation around the use of telematics and the chain of responsibility, for trucks especially – we’re also seeing compliance requirements being imposed on mine and construction sites to improve the safety of the operators.”

As the industry evolves, the Inauro team are ready to guide businesses through the intricacies of telemetry solutions. If you’re considering telematics for your on-road fleet, reach out to find out which options would suit your operations. 

Inauro’s data fusion platform, Perspio™, helps you gain competitive insight and manage your operation holistically – from any location. 


Embrace the future of logistics with Inauro today.

Reach out to learn more!


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