Embedded Telematics and How It Impacts You

 In Industry News

Vehicle and equipment manufacturers are increasingly providing connected services with the purchase of their vehicles, equipment, and machines. While many are aware of this offering, few fleet managers are taking full advantage for a variety of reasons. Even though OEM or embedded telematics are often more data rich and can be more accurate than aftermarket offerings, the complications of using the services has often been seen as “more trouble than it’s worth”.


John Deere Offers No Connectivity Costs for JDLink Telematics

First and foremost, the cost of these services has historically been higher than aftermarket offerings. However, this trend appears to be changing as many manufacturers are increasingly providing connectivity at no charge for a period of time after purchase. Caterpillar, for example, will provide telematics services at no charge for 12-36 months for free with the purchase of a new unit. In addition, John Deere recently announced that embedded telematics will be provided at no charge for newly purchased equipment.

Even if it’s cheaper and the data is more accurate, how do I adopt an embedded telematics solution when my fleet consists of a mix of vario

us manufacturers and / or much of my fleet is older and isn’t already outfitted with OEM telematics? Great question – the solution is a telematics aggregator vs. a telematics provider. The distinction is that traditional aftermarket telematics providers have been in the business of embedded devices, cellular connectivity, and a web-based portal as a complete solution. Typically their entire solution is base

d on the premise that they control the device and data traffic and reports to their proprietary portal, which knows how to decipher the data sent in by their device. However, this model doesn’t work in a world where your machine already has a device reporting data. You don’t want or need an entire solution, you need a solution that is adept at aggregating data from multiple telematics devices that is not controlled by the provider of your telematics web-based platform – i.e. a Telematics Aggregator.

ThingTech is a hybrid solution that provides device, connectivity, and a web-based solution but also aggregates data from the leading OEM telematics services (and also many after-market telematics providers). As a result, we offer our customers the opportunity to mix and match different connectivity options that best suite their needs. 

For example, a fleet may look like this:

  • 50 recently purchased Caterpillar Dozers with CAT Telematics embedded
  • 25 GM vehicles with Onstar embedded
  • 100 John Deer Tractors with JDLink embedded
  • 25 JLG Lifts with ClearSky embedded
  • 100 Caterpillar Dozers with NO telematics embedded
  • 100 Ford and GM Vehicles with NO telematics embedded

In this scenario, ThingTech can offer our aggregated telematics solution with the following components:

  • CAT Telematics Connector
  • GM Onstar Connector
  • JDLink Connector
  • JLG ClearSky Connector
  • After-market telematics devices for Caterpillar Dozers
  • After-market telematics devices for light/medium duty vehicles

By doing so, our customers have a single web-based portal to access data from their entire fleet and a single point of integration (if they chose) to integrate into ERP’s, TMS, and other back office systems.

The trend of embedded telemetry is expected to accelerate in the coming years and costs will continue to decrease or go away entirely. As a fleet manager, embracing OEM provided data will help you better manage the utilization and performance of your fleet and will increasingly become the most economical way to connect your fleet. To fully take advantage, you’ll need to align yourself with a Telematics Aggregator to take full advantage and to future proof your fleet.

If you’d like to talk more about how ThingTech can help move you forward with OEM or embedded telematics, reach out to us at sales@thingtech.com to talk with us, schedule a demo, or start a free trial.