Automobile telematics: from its invention to its paroxysm.

digital twin

Jean FALCHERO, Head Of Business Unit SoFLEET.

What is automotive telematics?

Telematics is the set of technologies that allow the transmission of information at a distance, through telecommunication networks. For the management of vehicle fleets, it refers to a solution that allows for optimization, thanks to various elements that can be connected (consumption, vehicle condition, maintenance monitoring, kilometers driven and even driving style).

It has revolutionized the way we communicate and access information, providing instant access to data and services from anywhere in the world. In the transport sector, telematics can be used for trucks and other commercial vehicles, light vehicles, but also for soft mobility with the management of fleets of bicycles or scooters (which have been flourishing everywhere in cities since 2010).

Definition : Free-floating is the short-term rental of self-service vehicles.

It means being able to remotely receive all the technical data of vehicles (cars, trucks) to help a company optimize its fleet management and save money (energy, time and money).

Jean FALCHERO, Head Of Business Unit SoFLEET

The origin of telematics

Jean Falchero has been a specialist in connected vehicles since 1999. It is a pioneer in connected fleet management in France since it used the very first telematics box equipped with a SIM card (SFR), capable of sending information by SMS, at a time when SMS was not yet marketed to the general public.

“I remember our first customer, we equipped a SMART, for the German manufacturer Audi.

Jean FALCHERO, Head Of Business Unit SoFLEET

In 2003, the future Head Of Business Unit SoFLEET created his own company in the field of automotive telematics with a certain technological background and references. A company he will leave in 2020. A year later, he joined a challenging adventure with SoFLEET, the fleet management solution from Synox (creator of IoT solutions for over 15 years).

SoFLEET, the fleet management platform for all types of vehicles

“In 2021, I joined SoFLEET to leverage my experience in the telematics field. In particular, with manufacturers, with whom we have established important partnerships. My goal was to develop Synox’s transportation business vertical.

Jean FALCHERO, Head Of Business Unit SoFLEET

Renault, Stellantis, Toyota, and finally Mercedes-Benz Connectivity Services: we have succeeded in creating a real synergy with manufacturers who, as industrialists, have a very innovative and evolving vision of technology in the automobile.

With SoFLEET, Jean Falchero is now working to take automotive and truck telematics one step (or even 10 steps) further. SoFLEET has deployed partnerships in France and in Europe but also internationally. This contributed to the establishment of Synox Iberica in Valencià, Spain. With some of these partners, the ambition was immediately international. The latest one allows us to access the fleet management market in about 20 countries around the world.

And, beyond the operators, we are working closely with international car suppliers on the creation of a car-sharing solution for Europe and the North American continent.

Vehicle telematics: the keys to optimized fleet management

Managing connected vehicle fleets is a challenge for companies of all sizes. This technology allows companies to better manage their resources and maximize the efficiency of their fleet. This connected and automated management brings considerable benefits:

connected fleet management

– Real-time monitoring: allows for better planning of tours and quick reaction in case of technical problems.

– Data analysis: allows to collect a lot of data on the use of vehicles. This data can be analyzed to identify efficiency and profitability opportunities.

– Preventive maintenance: vehicle maintenance can be scheduled more efficiently and downtime reduced.

– Communication with drivers: connected vehicles can be equipped with communication systems that allow drivers to stay in touch with their control unit and receive instructions in real time.

– Road safety: connecting a vehicle allows to prevent road accidents by following for example the speed and the movements of vehicles.

“From the remotely transmitted CAN bus data, we even have the ability to improve maintenance and overhauls. This automatically reduces accidents, particularly through eco-driving.

Jean FALCHERO, Head Of Business Unit SoFLEET

What is a telematics box?

The on-board telematics box is installed and plugged into the vehicle’s cabin and connects to the network to obtain and transmit information about the vehicle, its geolocation with GPS data, its status and its consumption. It also collects data on driving habits, such as average speed, time spent driving and frequent stops, which can be used to improve fuel efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions. This on-board technology is invaluable for safe, cost-effective, optimized and environmentally friendly fleet management.

Its main characteristics?

Essential in the automotive industry, vehicle telematics is divided into three main stages:

“Somewhere along the line, the digital twin also forces us to measure things we didn’t measure before.”

– Data reception
– Data storage
– Sending the data

Its objective is to improve fleet management, regardless of the size and type of vehicle, by controlling costs with two key indicators: the TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) and the PRK (Prix de Revient Kilométrique).

What are the advantages of telematics?

“The very principle of fleet management for companies is to gain in productivity and profitability, thanks to the optimization of their vehicle fleet.

Jean FALCHERO, Head Of Business Unit SoFLEET

By improving the rotation of their vehicles and automatically connecting their data:

– Productivity increases by 15% on average
– Gasoline consumption is reduced by 25% on average
– TCO (total cost of ownership) can be reduced by up to 40%.
– 15% of an FTE’s time spent on data research is saved
– Autonomous maintenance and disaster alerts reduce costs, risks and downtime
– The environmental footprint is reduced by 20%.
– The risk of accidents is also considerably reduced.

Its objective is to improve fleet management, regardless of the size and type of vehicle, by controlling costs with two key indicators: the TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) and the PRK (Prix de Revient Kilométrique).

SoFLEET Mockup

“The SoFLEET solution allows fleet managers to focus on high value-added tasks instead of chasing information (kilometers, consumption data, maintenance deadlines…). And that changes everything.

What is the link between telematics and fleet management?
It goes hand in hand!

“With SoFLEET, we are addressing fleet managers, but not only.”

This also concerns garage networks, to whom we supply the boxes and connect the vehicles, to ensure the maintenance of their customers’ vehicles. But also, the telecom operators since, let’s remember that the management of connected fleet :

“It’s M2M (Machine to Machine).”

Not to mention car-sharing and free-floating companies and even insurance companies that need vehicle maintenance data.

Future challenges of telematics

fleet telematics

In summary, connected vehicle fleet management can bring many benefits to businesses, including efficiency and profitability.

However, it is important to understand the technologies used and to put in place the right practices to take full advantage of them. This is where SoFLEET comes in, with its complete solution, its support service and its network of partners, in France and abroad.

In 2023, the European Union has foreseen new regulations for the management of heavy goods vehicles. It integrates on-board telematics as a solution to improve the logistics of transporters and the environmental impact of their activity in EU countries.

In summary, telematics is a constantly evolving field that has profoundly transformed the way we manage transportation and travel. It offers many opportunities and a valuable service for the players in this sector.

“In 2023, the time is ripe for energy savings, and everyone knows that telematics is one of the essential levers to activate.

Jean FALCHERO, Head Of Business Unit SoFLEET

The 2023 edition of CES, we were there!

Discover the interview of Emmanuel Mouton, CEO of Synox and SoFLEET

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