Munich, Germany - Telematics started in motorsport, as a way for the car to tell its pit crew exactly what it, and its driver, were doing, particularly as most racing drivers are too busy staying in front of the next guy to make clinical observations of the car’s behaviour.
But the technology has since found its way into the transport and logistics sector. At first this was on a purely technical level; by remotely monitoring the level of metal swarf in the lubrication system of a long-haul truck, the fleet manager can tell when it’s due for an oil change and fit the service into the truck’s busy schedule.
More importantly, a sudden rise in metal pollutants can warn of impending bearing failure, enabling the manager to get the truck off the road before it breaks down and arrange for another truck to pick up the trailer and deliver the load with the least possible loss to time.
Controversially, it can also allow management to monitor overloading (this is a hot potato because drivers often insist it is management that insists on exceeding load limits) and driver performance. This facility is now also being used by insurers to measure the proficiency of their clients and reward smooth, law-abiding driving habits with money back or lower premiums.
Big brother is right there in the cab with you