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How Do Telematics Devices Work?

  • By Ryan Skidmore

What is a telematics device? Telematics is a funny and overly technical word for sending data about an object, car or speedboat or shipping container, from that object to a server somewhere off in cyber space. Uses for these devices are as numerous as the sands on the seashore, but a few different types of devices serve the swath of these uses. Plug n Play, hardwire devices, stand-alone units with batteries, mobile phones, and mobile phones with OBDII Bluetooth devices are the most common and serve most of the common uses of telematics. Carmine uses Plug n Play devices because it delivers the most data to our customers in a cost effective and compact package. Our Device allows collecting of OBDii data and alerts if the Device is tampered with. It’s a great unit. Carmine stands at the center of telematics uses and collects the best of all worlds for our customers. The Plug n Play Device is a choice in the pursuit of the best. While the prognosis of new technologies serving telematics is plentiful, all must prove themselves useful. Carmine keeps a keen eye out for the ones that rise to the top.

How does it work?

  1. GPS: GPS signal is gathered by the telematics Device to determine its own location. GPS signal can be received just about anywhere with a clear view of the sky (AKA it’s never out of range) because it comes from space. You can be in the middle of the sahara desert and you will have a clear GPS signal
  2. OBDii Data: Data about the vehicle is gathered from the vehicle’s computer by the Device via the diagnostic port, or OBDII port. Everything from mileage to check engine codes to if the driver has buckled his/her safety belt can be gathered to divine insights later down the pipeline. In summary you can know everything about the vehicle since you are speaking with the vehicle computer.
  3. Sensors: The most common sensor here is the accelerometer. By sensing acceleration, as its name reveals, enable the Device to sense the g-force of turns, take offs, or breaking. Hint: it knows when drivers are taking corners faster than they should.
  4. Cellular: All of this data is beamed from the Device to a server. When there is no cell signal, there is no live data connection. However, all that orphaned data is sent once a signal is reestablished.
  5. Server: The Device simply collects and transmits data. The server formats it into meaningful numbers and charts. We will cover the serve deeper in the next blog.


Telematics is a complex topic, but very relevant in today’s world.  Telematics is the key for Fleet Management.  With the help of telematics, companies can now have full control of their operations and great visibility of their driver’s behaviors.  This information is vital and plays a key role in improving operations and increase profits.

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