Sensors, Instrumentation & More: The Basis Of Telematics & What It’s Used For

It’s a field that covers a wide range of areas, including wireless communication, electrical engineering, vehicle activity and computer science. However, it’s most closely associated with the transport industry, with fleet businesses using it to record data on how their vehicles are used by their drivers.


We’ve highlighted the three foundational aspects of telematics, explaining their engineering relevance, how they’re used to record vehicle data, and the value this offers to transport businesses.


Sensors are one of the key electrical engineering components of telematics devices. They capture data that shows how the vehicles are being used. This information is transferred to reporting software that allows fleet managers to interpret it.


GPS tracking, EDR (event data recorders) and MEMS (micro-electromechanical systems) motion sensors are a feature of telematics devices and they each serve an important purpose:


  • GPS: sensors record the location of a vehicle
  • EDR: sensors record information relating to crashes
  • MEMS: sensors record vehicle motion


Together, these sensors tell you how a vehicle is driven, where it’s driven and create a black box that can help dissect accidents. It’s an example of how electrical engineering helps to make vehicles safer and more efficient.


Instrumentation is a vital part of telematics engineering. It relates to the communication between automotive instrumentation and an instrumentation computer, a process that shares vehicle variables and diagnostic inputs.


Information on fuel usage is the most important information businesses can access by telematics instrumentation. The data shows:


  • Vehicle mileage
  • Fuel economy


Fleet managers can use this information to see if their vehicles are performing as expected. From an engineering perspective, managers can provide this information to specialists who can then pinpoint what repairs are needed to enhance vehicle performance.

Wireless communications

Sensors and instrumentation are the tools used by telematics for collecting data. Wireless communication is the method for transferring this information to reporting software, allowing people to review the data and use it.


There’s a three-step process through which telematics receives and communicates information using wireless technology:


  • Satellite: GPS sends the vehicle position to the telematics device
  • Vehicle: data is transferred wirelessly to a telecommunications company
  • Reporting: the telecommunications transfers the information to reporting software


Wireless communications enables this process to happen seamlessly and in real time, so people are able to access data on vehicles as it’s collected.


Of course, it’s not only telematics that benefits from wireless technology. This tech is an essential component of an enormous amount of products, services and networks that are vital to businesses around the globe, not least the internet. Wireless internet has changed the way companies do business, allowing for more devices to be online, increasing portability and reducing both costs and infrastructructure challenges.


You can find the ideal wireless broadband provider by using a noted comparison site, like Allconnect, to locate the right provider for your company. Allconnect reviews the available options based on your postcode, highlighting the best wireless internet provider for your specific location. By using a site such as this you can be assured that you’ll get the fastest wireless internet, keeping costs down and improving the flexibility for your company.

What’s telematics used for?

Telematics is synonymous with vehicle tracking. It uses a variety of technologies (from electrical engineering to telecommunications) to collect a range of data on the vehicles the devices are fitted to:


  • How fast vehicles are driven
  • How hard drivers brake their vehicles
  • How much fuel is consumed
  • How much time is spent in idle
  • Where vehicles are driven (journey recording)


This information is ideal for UK fleets, as it allows the managers and business owners to review if any changes need to be made to driving behaviour, such as reducing the speed at which their cars, vans or HVGs are driven. These changes can help promote more responsible driving and reduce vehicle wear and tear. This makes roads safer and saves businesses money on vehicle maintenance.


You can find the right telematics device for your business by using a reputable comparison site, such as iCompario, to review what’s available. iCompario scours the market to locate a telematics device that comes with the features you need and provides the benefits you want. By using a site like this you can make sure you collect the data you require to make your drivers safer and more efficient.


Sensors, instrumentation and wireless communication are the foundation of telematics. It brings together engineering expertise and digital technologies to record valuable data on vehicle activity and driver behaviour.


Telematics is such an important technology that you can take an engineering degree in it. If you’re considering your engineering career path it might be worth thinking about if this is a worthwhile area of study, as it’s a specialism that will continue to offer value to the transport industry for the foreseeable future. 



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