How telematics can make lives safer

As its name suggests, telematics combines telecommunications and informatics. Though it is a cutting-edge technology, it is becoming more common for both business and personal use, with the global telematics market for vehicles alone expected to be worth around $103 billion in 2022

Telematics devices use GPS tracking and other sensors to harvest information. The systems also have transmission capabilities that can send the data over long distances.

Telematics has become essential in specific industries. Logistics and shipping companies use devices to track the movement of packages and containers. Manufacturing companies rely on real-time data from embedded sensors to assess performance and maintenance needs for factory equipment, and companies use location transmissions to track valuable machinery or vehicles.

Telematics can also play an important role in individual safety. Devices can capture and transmit information to help motorists adopt safer driving practices, and smart home systems can rely on sensors to detect unsafe conditions and send immediate warnings. Here is a closer look at how this technology enhances safety on the road and at home.

How is telematics used at home?

Tracking abilities of telematics devices can also be used to collect data about a driver’s habits on the road. Insurance companies can rely on telematic devices to assess a driver’s speed, aggressiveness, and adherence to traffic rules. They can adjust rates according to safety performance.

The effectiveness of this telematics software is a primary reason the global commercial telematics market is projected to enjoy a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 21.6% between 2021 and 2028.

Another reason for telematics growth is the use of devices in smart appliances and smart home systems. In addition to measuring appliance efficiency and sending maintenance warnings, these systems use sensors to detect hazards like gas leaks, carbon monoxide levels, and fires.

Here is a closer look at how telematics are helping to improve the performance, control, and accuracy of smart home appliances.

Telematics smart home apps

Smart home systems typically have mobile applications that receive data and alerts from devices and sensors in the house. As with auto telematics, these smart home setups are useful for insurers who can assess risks based on the collected and transmitted data.

Homeowners can also use smart home apps to help increase safety of their dwellings. Here are the most common examples of how these systems can limit dangers and provide early warnings about potential problems.

  • Motion and sound detectors attached to the security system can provide alerts about a potential break-in. The noise or movement can also trigger an alarm or start CCTV cameras to collect visual evidence of the crime.
  • Homes often have carbon monoxide, natural gas, and smoke detectors. With telematics, these devices connect directly to a smart home app, providing early warnings of a leak or fire even if the owner is not at home.
  • Smart thermostats allow homeowners to adjust temperatures and receive alerts when the HVAC system is not working correctly. This helps with safety for pets when no one is at home and also avoids issues like frozen pipes.

Telematics also has applications in home health care, with devices able to help ensure the correct operation of important medical equipment and even allow physicians to collect data on patients and receive alerts about medical emergencies directly from devices, such as heart monitors.

How can car telematics help drivers?

In addition to insurance companies collecting driving data to tweak policy terms and coverages, motorists themselves can benefit from the insights and warnings that car-based telematics systems offer.

Here are four ways that this technology can enhance driver safety.

Bringing attention to unsafe driving behavior

Auto telematics devices have GPS trackers, accelerometers to track acceleration and braking, and the ability to read onboard diagnostics via the OBD II connection.

The data collected gets sent to a mobile app so that the driver can get information about their behind-the-wheel performance. For example, they may see how fast they drive in different road sections, and how abruptly they apply brakes.

With this feedback, drivers may realize they have certain unsafe habits that they were completely unaware of before using telematics. They can then adjust their driving style to improve overall safety.

Helping to stay mindful during drives 

Telematics can help drivers stay mindful during drives by providing real-time feedback regarding their driving performance. Once they are aware that their performance is being tracked, they may become more conscious of their driving style and pay more attention to speed, braking, acceleration, following distance, and signaling.

If they use a telematics device connected to their auto insurance, drivers also have a financial incentive to remain mindful of their habits on the road. Some insurers offer up to 40% off premiums for drivers who demonstrate safe driving habits.

Monitoring younger drivers

Younger drivers are often inexperienced behind the wheel and unaware of the consequences of making mistakes at high speed. Parents can use telemetry devices to monitor their children's driving behavior. They will receive alerts that can identify unsafe driving behaviors, use data to help their young drivers correct any bad driving habits, and have the ability to tie vehicle privileges to safe driving performance.

Telematics driving apps

Drivers can receive feedback on their performance via mobile apps connected to the telematic devices in their car.

These applications use data from the connected device to provide feedback related to safe driving performance that can promote safe vehicle operation in other ways.

Here is a look at two Verizon solutions that promote safe driving and offer additional information that can help drivers avoid dangers and receive alerts about potential problems with their vehicles.

Hum by Verizon 

Hum uses both an app and a piece of equipment that easily connects to your OBD port under the dash. It has GPS and other data collection components that can assess driving performance and offer insights to motorists via a mobile app. Hum uses variables like speed, braking, cornering, and acceleration to provide a driving score, setting a benchmark that drivers can attempt to improve by changing habits.

Hum also offers speed and location warnings, a connection to roadside assistance and emergency services, and alerts about vehicle maintenance needs.

Smart Family App

The Smart Family App uses motion sensors in smartphones to detect movements and assess driving performance. This application is designed for parents who want to monitor the safety and activity of their driving-age children.

Like Hum, this tool offers speed and location reporting for parents that can identify unsafe driving behaviors. The app also monitors phone use so children are discouraged from talking or texting when on the road. Crash alert and response features are also a part of this application.

Whether at home or on the road, telematics provides data and alerts that can improve the safety of drivers, homeowners, and their families. All projections suggest that this technology will become even more common over the next few years, bringing more safety tools to vehicles and homes.