Glossary: Telematics Terminology

The Floow - July 29th, 2014

Here at The Floow, we’re used to hearing the various jargon that exists in the telematics industry. However, we also recognise that some phrases are still misunderstood, which is why we’ve put together this comprehensive glossary of telematics terminology – complete with definitions and explanations.

Telematics Terminology Explained

  • 2G – Second generation mobile systems. Supports voice, low speed data communications and SMS.
  • 3G – Third generation mobile systems. Provides high-speed data transmission and supports multimedia applications including full-motion video, video-conferencing and internet access.
  • Acceleration – A vehicle’s ability to gain or increase speed.
  • Accelerometer – An instrument for measuring the acceleration of a vehicle.
  • Actionable Insight – Having enough knowledge to allow effective change to be delivered.
  • Actuary – An individual who compiles and analyses statistics for use in calculating insurance risks and premiums.
  • Aggressive Driving – A style of driving not conducive with road safety, vehicle longevity or good fuel economy.
  • Android – An open-source operating system used for smartphones and tablets.
  • API (Application Program Interface) – A set of routines, protocols and tools used for building software applications.
  • Auto Integrations – The ability to embed apps and use sensor technology within a vehicle, e.g. Apple’s CarPlay, MirrorLink, Renault’s Rlink and Android Auto.
  • Automatic Start / Stop – Technology developed within an app to ensure drivers do not need to engage with their mobile devices to start or stop recording their journeys.
  • Beidou Navigation Satellite System – Chinese positional satellites akin to GPS to provide accurate positioning of devices.
  • Big Data – The usage of diverse large scale, often heterogeneous, data to derive actionable insight.
  • Black Box – A small device fitted to a vehicle which transmits driving behaviour data to the insurer.
  • Bluetooth – A standard for the short-range wireless interconnection of electronic devices such as mobile phones and computers. Bluetooth can be used to improve Automatic Start / Stop in a telematics-based app.
  • Braking – To make a moving vehicle slow down or stop completely by using a brake.
  • Car Makers – The brands and companies that make cars worldwide. The Floow works directly with a number of auto companies to ensure future telematic data capture is aligned to the needs of our clients, i.e. quality and accessible data.
  • Celeration – Academic work providing an evidence base for patterns of acceleration and deceleration linked to unsafe driving styles, such as Aggressive Driving.
  • Claims – A formal request to an insurance company asking for a payment based on the terms of the insurance policy. This request is then reviewed by the company and, if approved, is paid out to the requesting party.
  • Claims Handling – The process within an insurance organisation where claims and accidents are processed. Telematics and claims reports can provide much needed insight to streamline and lower the costs of claims handling.
  • Coasting – When driving, coasting refers to keeping the clutch depressed so as to free-wheel and not use the engine to move, leading to the driver having less control over their car.
  • Compliance – Most countries have a varying degree of citizen adherence to laws and rules. In telematics, we can observe the degree a country or individual complies to the regulations they are under.
  • Computer Science – The study of the use and principles of computers.
  • Consilience – An agreement between the approaches to a topic of different academic subjects.
  • Contextual Data – Refers to external data from beyond immediate telematics data to consider a driver in a wider context. Such data can involve weather, mapping, statistics and so on to better understand the circumstances of a wider environment. Understanding the wider contextual data gives The Floow unique abilities to provide meaningful understanding of driving.
  • Customer Portal – Customers can see and understand aspects of driving from a dedicated portal to review journeys and scoring from telematic data users provide.
  • Customer Retention – Telematics acts as a new way to keep in touch with end-users by having a direct and real-time responsive touch point. Smartphone technology and interfaces also have a strong ability to maintain a relationship with a customer.
  • Dashboard – A user interface that organises and presents information, performance and other data relating to the user.
  • Data Analysis – Refers to a range of techniques used to process large and disparate data to give actionable insight into the driving of end-users.
  • Data Integration – The ability to combine different data from a range of types (heterogeneous). The Floow use a wide range of data from a variety of sources to improve data analysis.
  • Data Mining – A programmatic technique to mine useful information from a range of sources which otherwise would not be usable. The Floow obtain a range of information to help data analysis.
  • Data Privacy – Any person or organisation who handles personal information about individuals much comply to the legal obligations that protect that information under the Data Protection Act 1998.
  • Data Protection – Legal control over the use of and access to data stored on computers.
  • Decision Support – A system intended to help decision makers compile useful information to identify and solve problems.
  • Digital Tachograph – A control device for road transport, which succeeded the original Tachograph in 2006.
  • Driver Education – Education of drivers is a complex subject requiring balancing the messages to ensure a positive effect with all users to improve road safety.
  • Driving Psychology – The study of psychology of an individual’s behaviour related to driving. Primarily the aim of driving psychology is to bring meaningful education to end-users. All considered, education and user feedback can have a negative effect.
  • Duty of Care – Duty of Care to another, to ensure that they do not suffer any unreasonable harm or loss, is an essential part of fleet management.
  • eCall – An EU initiative with the purpose of bringing rapid assistance to motorists involved in a collision. In a crash, an eCall equipped car automatically calls the nearest emergency centre.
  • ECO Driving – Driving in such a way as to minimise fuel consumption and the emission of carbon dioxide.
  • Fleet – A number of vehicles operating together or under the same ownership.
  • Fleet Operators – An entity that owns or operates more than 15 vehicles per calendar year.
  • Fleet Portal – A portal specifically aimed for fleet managers to understand a pool of drivers within an organisation.
  • Floating Car Data – This details the data that vehicles produce which, following anonymisation, can be reused for wider statistical purposes.
  • FMS (Fleet Management System) – Vehicle telematics for a company’s vehicle fleet.
  • Fraud Detection – Any approach automatically built to uncover fraud across users.
  • g-force – A measurement of acceleration and deceleration which a vehicle is subjected to during its movement. Tracking the g-force of vehicles is part of any movement analysis.
  • Galileo – EU positional satellites akin to GPS to provide accurate positioning of devices.
  • Gamification – The process of engendering good user involvement and behaviour by the introduction of gaming elements in user interfaces e.g. league tables, awards and badges.
  • Gender Directive – The implementation of the principle of equal treatment between men and women in the access to and supply of goods and services under the Council Directive 2004/113/EC of 13th December 2004. This is a directive with prohibits both direct and indirect sexual discrimination in the provision of goods and services in the EU. This ruling prevented the insurance operations using gender in any ranking and rating systems – pushing the adoption of technology to better measure actual driving ability.q2
  • Geo-aware – Also known as location awareness, this refers to devices that can determine their location such as vehicles using navigational instruments to provide their location coordinates.
  • Geofence – A virtual boundary which can trigger alert messages if a device travels outside of a geofence region. This is used to ensure fleet vehicles are used responsibly.
  • Glonass – Russian positional satellites akin to GPS to provide accurate positioning of devices.
  • GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) – Mobile data service on 2G and 3G mobile systems.
  • GPS (Global Positioning System) – A satellite navigation system that provides location and time information.
  • GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) – An open, digital technology that is used for transmitting mobile voice and data services.
  • Hawthorne Effect – The alteration of behaviour by the subjects of a study due to their awareness of being observed. By this rule, users of telematic systems are naturally aware and adjust behaviour just through adoption of a monitoring system.
  • HGV (Heavy Goods Vehicle) – An EU term for any truck over 3,500kg in gross combined mass.
  • Installation – The process or action of installing a device or programme, such as a black box or smartphone telematics app.
  • Insurer Portal – A specific web portal aiming for insurance staff to understand all drivers with an insurance product.
  • Ionospheric Radiation – I95 is a measure of the ionospheric radiation which when high (during solar flares and space born radiation events) GPS quality can decrease. Being aware of radiation events can allow smooth handling even during problematic GPS periods.
  • iOS – Operating system used for mobile devices manufactured by Apple Inc.
  • IP Address (Internet Protocol Address) – A unique string of numbers separated by full stops that identifies each computer using the Internet Protocol to communicate over a network.
  • Key Differentiators – The key and unique values setting apart a company or product from its competitors. The Floow is uniquely able to capture telematic data whilst being device agnostic and advanced analysis of risk estimation. This unique edge comes from The Floow’s bleeding edge position in the marketplace.
  • Large Data Modelling Techniques – Modelling using large data is a computational challenge, the techniques to apply need careful design and can cover a range of state of the art disciplines. The Floow specialise in large scale analysis and have a range of techniques used to handle large scale and heterogeneous data to provide actionable insight for drivers, insurers and fleet managers.
  • Linked Data – Openly available data with the ability to link and combine across data sources with common aspects such as government body, location or other common fields allowing data alignment. Linked-data is provided in a variety of formats and work is needed beyond a simple join to make it fit together.
  • M2M (Machine to Machine) – Technologies that allow both wireless and wired systems to communicate with other devices of the same type.
  • Machine Learning – Artificial intelligence techniques to teach computers to determine solutions to complex scenarios. The Floow use these techniques in building models and techniques to provide cutting edge services.
  • Magnetometer – An instrument used for measuring magnetic forces. This is built into many black boxes and most phones to give a compass bearing (direction).
  • Mobile Application – A software application that works on the devices’ operating system. Also known as ‘apps’, they are downloaded onto the device to perform a specific set of functions.
  • Mobile Traffic – Data sent over mobile data plans.
  • Mobility – The ability to move or be moved freely and easily.
  • Motor Insurers – Licensed bodies providing legally mandated insurance cover for driving on the road.
  • OBD (On-Board Diagnostic) – A vehicle’s self-diagnostic and reporting capability which gives the vehicle owner access to the status of the various vehicle subsystems.
  • Odometer – An instrument for measuring the distance travelled by a vehicle.
  • On-Board Device – A device that is attached to the in-vehicle computer to become part of the mobile computing solution.
  • Permission / Access Rights – Permissions that are granted to a user or application to read, write and erase files in the device or computer.
  • PII (Personal Identifiable Information) – Knowledge that can be used to identify, contact, locate or identify an individual.
  • Predictive Analytics – Gives the ability of using prior data to statistically predict future outcomes. The Floow use predictive analytics to predict potential accident risk and locations.
  • Premium Pricing – A function that helps to assign a fair price for insurance premiums from known data. The Floow provide needed insight into factors that influence risk and hence pricing.
  • Real Time – The actual time in which a process or event occurs.
  • Regression – A measure of the relation between the mean value of one variable and corresponding values of other variables, such as time and cost.
  • Road Map – A map especially designed for motorists which shows the roads of any particular area.
  • Road Sensor Data – Data derived from infrastructure sensors such as vehicle counts, induction loops measure numbers and speeds of traffic.
  • Road Traffic Data – Any data conferring an improved understanding of the movement of vehicles on the road. The Floow process and work with large volumes of road traffic data from around the world.
  • RPM (Revolutions per Minute) – A measure of the frequency of a rotation.
  • Sim Card – A smart card inside a mobile phone that carries an identification number unique to the owner and stores personal data.
  • Smartphone – A mobile phone that has the ability to perform the same functions as a computer.
  • Smooth Driving – User behaviour corresponding to the pattern of acceleration and braking, smooth driving is correlated to decreased crash risk as opposed to aggressive driving which is correlated to worst crash risks.
  • SMS (Short Message Service) – A text messaging service that allows fixed line or mobile phone devices to exchange short text messages. Sending text messages whilst driving is extremely dangerous and The Floow discourage use of SMS whilst driving.
  • Software Update / Upgrade – Software that is designed to fix problems with or update a computer programme or its supporting data.
  • Tachograph – A device fitted to a vehicle that automatically records its speed and distance. Such devices have been heavily used in HGV’s and trains for many years. In the early days this technology was much derided, but now it is seen as essential by drivers and employers alike to protect all involved.
  • Telematic System – A black box, OBD, white box, smartphone device or embedded vehicle electronics used to capture telemetry data from a moving vehicle.
  • Telematics – A GPS receiver which records information about how, when and where you drive.
  • Telematics 2.0 – Smartphone based telematics technology used for auto insurance which utilises smartphone based sensors rather than black box devices.
  • Telemetry – A highly automated communications process. Measurements are made and other data collected at remote or inaccessible points and transmitted to receiving equipment to be monitored.
  • The Floow – Telematics service provider developing and supplying the world’s most advanced and lowest cost telematics systems.
  • Tracking Device – An electronic device which allows you to monitor the location of a subject, such as a person, object or vehicle.
  • TSP (Telematics Service Provider) – A business or organisation that provides telematics-based products and services to its customers.
  • User Engagement Analysis – An essential part of customer retention. This insight gives needed observation into the success of any user interaction by the visibility and response of the users.
  • User Experience Design – The process of enhancing customer satisfaction and loyalty by improving the usability, ease of use, and pleasure provided in the interaction between the customer and the product.
  • Web Application – Software that runs in a web browser. The Floow provide a range of web applications and portals to deliver software to end-users.
  • Web Portal – Web browser based portal made available to end-users to access and see information. The Floow provide a range of web portals to deliver results to end-users. This ranges from insurance portals, end-user portal sand fleet portals.
  • Whiplash – A type of car accident injury caused by a severe jerk to the head. In many countries whiplash claims have spiked in recent years with more than 70% regarded as fraud. Detection of fraudulent whiplash claims is aided by telematics and the analysis The Floow can provide.
  • White Box – A reduced and hence cheaper variant of black box telematic devices, white boxes reduce functionality that can be obtained from other sources or is less valuable to provide a cheaper telematics solution.

Disclaimer: We appreciate that this comprehensive list is never going to be considered complete or 100% accurate, but we hope that it will have a positive effect towards demystifying the world of telematics.

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