Telematics in Cars


One of the most widely-used technologies in the world today is the modern automobile. All over Malaysia and the rest of the world, it's quite easy to agree that there are just so many cars. Sometimes way too many driving on the road at any given time. For the most part, this doesn't concern us since we only have one car to worry about: the one that we own. But imagine if you were the owner of your own business that uses a large number of cars or trucks every day; how would you keep track of each one?

In this high-tech age that we live in, there is an area of technology known as 'telematics'. The term 'telematics' means the mixture of telecommunications and informatics, and it refers to the field of transmitting information over long distances. The subject can be quite broad and can refer to a few different overlapping areas. In this article, we look at how this powerful field is applied to the automotive field and used in cars, busses, and even trucks.

Telematics isn't exactly new. Back in the 1990s, telematics was already being used in Western countries, but less so elsewhere in the world. These days it's become much more widespread thanks to significant improvements in both telecommunications and informatics technologies. This is why we also hear a lot of new terms nowadays like 'Internet of Things (IoT)' where almost everything is connected through sensors and other devices. When applied to cars, telematics helps drivers to navigate better, drive safer, keep their cars secure, and of course, stay entertained throughout their journey.

Telematics has a lot of commercial benefits as well. Imagine if you were a business owner and you had a fleet of cars or trucks that were always on the road. Wouldn't you want to be able to know where those vehicles are at all times? You'd probably also want to know your staff's driving behaviours, which could affect your company's reputation. When it comes to fleet management, many local companies specialise in helping you do just that. By installing their devices across your company's fleet of cars and trucks, business owners could have constant access to the driving habits of those vehicles. This means being able to keep an eye on those vehicles' location, vehicle speed, and many other variables.

As for most of us who only own our vehicles, telematics can help us financially as well when it comes to the topic of automotive insurance. Whether we like it or not, we Malaysian drivers have to renew our car's insurance before we can pay for our road tax every year. Our insurance premiums depend on factors like how old our car is and the safety features it has, but it also depends on how good we are as drivers. Drivers without any accidents or insurance claims tend to be given discounts, while those with multiple crashes and insurance claims might be charged more. While it's still new in Malaysia, there are car insurance providers that provide you with insurance by using telematics. 

Here's how it works. The insurance company will install a telematics device on your car to measure your driving behaviours, as well as the distance and the environments in which you usually drive. Using the data that they collect, they'll be able to provide you with the right amount of insurance protection. What this means is that if you're a safe and responsible driver, it'll be recorded on those devices and you may even receive a discount on your insurance premiums!

Technological advances come at such a high speed these days that it's sometimes hard to keep track of them all. When it comes to technologies that can affect your car, advances in telematics are the ones you should definitely keep your eye out for. These advances not only improve your driving experience, but they could also save you some money in the long run.