How telematics is changing the life of car owners today
When it comes to ensuring the best interaction by driver and car, just having a smartphone in the vehicle is no longer sufficient. If you want to scan all vehicle parameters continuously, and simultaneously record the route history using GPS navigation, you need a more scalable solution. The best option is telematics: the area of information technology that covers electronic communications, and the use of OBD devices in particular.
An OBD device is a compact gadget that attaches to the car's diagnostic connector—present in any vehicle released since 1996—and uploads data to a mobile applications server via a GSM channel (or optionally to a smartphone via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi). From there, the information is relayed to the user's mobile app and also to the dealer or insurance company's web control panel. Of course, the vehicle owner's permission to send the data to the dealer or insurance company must be obtained when selling optional equipment or an insurance policy. This permission can be granted directly through a mobile app integrated with the device. The owner decides which data may be transmitted to the dealer, and can disable this option at any time using the mobile app.
The client technology offers savings primarily. It can analyse your driving style and reduce fuel costs by 10% to 20%. As well as providing an economic benefit to the driver, it can also make a significant contribution to protecting the environment.
Car experts are already calculating the fuel savings that self-driving solutions for cars will be able to realise. According to the Intelligent Transportation Society of America, so-called intelligent transport systems (ITSs) will help reduce emissions from fuel consumption by 2% to 4% every year for the next decade. Telematics allows you to purchase insurance at a reasonable price, taking advantage of the rapidly-growing telematic service insurance market. This helps insurance company clients for whom standard insurance policies seem too expensive—especially owners of used vehicles.
The saving comes from the fact that the driver pays only for their specific driving style, rather than a standard price based on an average for some group they belong to: they are no longer overpaying for somebody else's risky driving. In telematics insurance, the mileage cost for different car owners is calculated individually, resulting sometimes in savings of 20% to 50% compared to a traditional insurance policy.
In addition, cars are a great place where people generate traffic: they watch video, listen to music, use navigation, and so forth. Telematics lets you use the same device for streaming music from the internet, and can work as a fast onboard router. Many people find it interesting to monitor the condition of their car, getting information about engine temperature and RPMs direct to their smartphone, and also the error logs and some details about the vehicle at the time errors occurred. The driver can monitor the car for speeding or for travel outside a defined area—useful if you lend your car to your children, for instance. The user also receives a smartphone alarm message in case of attack or evacuation. And the system can pay automatically for metered parking, protecting the driver from parking fines.
Telematics tools benefit corporate as well as private clients, providing a convenient solution for obtaining information on drivers' movements and rating their fuel consumption and behaviour behind the wheel. Thus, management does not need to analyze the raw statistics. Monitoring is carried out automatically and complemented with advice on fleet management from the information system platform. At the same time, logistics companies can transmit information on a particular vehicle's location to a particular customer, increasing the quality of the service.
Telematics introduces a new paradigm in the auto industry, and the development of telematics solutions is directly related to the emergence of driverless vehicles. Soon people will read, watch movies, and surf the internet while traveling by car in complete safety. Manufacturers will shift their emphasis from the driver to the passenger.
It's time to start enjoying being in the car.