Fleets often use telematics to prevent theft and aid the recovery of stolen cars. However, even though telematics solutions used for that purpose are marketed as providing ‘real-time tracking’ of fleet vehicles’ movements, in reality, they usually read the car’s location sporadically, say one update every 15 mins. That means that you don’t need high-frequency data to protect your fleet’s vehicles.
Track and trace
Monitoring the fleet vehicles’ whereabouts and movement requires more frequent but still manageable updates. For example, an update every 3-5 minutes, which is still within the low-frequency ranks, already allows you to see where your fleet is driving and whether the load will be delivered on time.
Going for a more practical approach, every few minutes is ideal if you don’t need precision turn-by-turn information. This rate gives you a good sense of where your fleet of cars is and how long they stop for, without breaking the bank. For example, suppose a vehicle hasn’t moved for several pings. In that case, this may suggest a delay in loading or unloading, an extended break taken by the driver, or another issue worth investigating. An intermittent plan—where you can increase the sample rate on demand or under specific conditions of driving—is ideal for monitoring the vehicles in these situations.
You likely need higher frequency data to gain valuable data about driver behavior that will inform the content for personalized driver training and coaching. By pinging the car often, the analytics systems can detect and record the exact maneuvers of the driver, including harsh acceleration, aggressive driving, tailgating, and others. On the contrary, pinging a car every 3-5 minutes may be too rare to collect accurate data.
However, it’s worth noting that some telematics devices work with variable data transmission, also known as curve algorithms. They have a smart mechanism only to transmit “relevant” location points where the driver is either taking a curve or changing speed, and they then relax the frequency when the driver is just driving straight at a more or less consistent speed. (Click here to get an example).