How to buy telematics

The dedicated device versus mobile app debate (one that will be familiar to those in the lone-worker sector) has spread to the world of telematics, as Simon Creasey discovers

Traditionally, ‘black box’ telematics were deployed to tell fleet managers where their vehicles were, whether or not they had turned up at customer sites on time and how the fleet could be better optimised. Once installed, these box-based solutions were incredibly powerful tools. However, traditional telematics solutions are also quite costly. First you have to splash out £100 or so for the black box and a further £150 or more to get it installed. Then you have to pay for the telematics software to monitor and measure the data the box is churning out.

But things are changing in the telematics sector thanks to mobile phones. With mobile phones becoming omnipresent in businesses large and small, and as organisations get increasingly comfortable with the idea of rolling out apps across employees’ phones to give them access to email or expense account tools, there is suddenly more awareness and acceptance in the market of the potential for mobile phone apps to do more in the telematics space.

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