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Telematics Terminology Explained

HomeTelematics Terminology Explained

This page provides a glossary of vehicle tracking, telematics and  fleet management related terminology under the following categories Vehicle TerminologyCommercial TerminologyTelematics TerminologyCtrack Terminology

Vehicle Terminology

CANbus – Modern vehicles use a CAN Bus to transfer information between the various electronic vehicle systems.

Excess Idling – unnecessary engine use where drivers leave a vehicle running when not in operation, wasting fuel and creating excessive engine wear.

FMS Gateway – An interface based on FMS (Fleet Management Standard) where data collected by the CAN Bus vehicle control system collected by can be obtained according to a uniform protocol.

Green Band Driving – A driving technique for the correct handling of vehicle power trains.

HGV – Heavy Goods Vehicle.

J1939 – A CAN Bus protocol widely adopted by HGV manufacturers for communication and diagnostics among vehicle components.

KPL – Kilometers per litre – fuel consumption

LGV – Light Goods Vehicle.

MPG (Miles per Gallon) – measurement of fuel usage.

OBD (On board diagnostic) – OBD systems are designed to monitor the performance of some of an engine’s major components providing access to the status of the various vehicle sub-systems.

Odometer – device that measures the distance travelled by a vehicle.

RPM (Revolutions per Minute) – A measure of the frequency of a rotation representing the number of times the shaft of a motor rotates in one minute.

Tachograph / Digital Tachograph – Devices that record information about driving time, speed and distance in heavy goods vehicles to ensure drivers and employers follow the rules on drivers’ hours.

Tail Lift – A mechanical lifted fitted to the back of a van or lorry used for loading or unloading of goods and items.

Commercial Terminology

BIK Tax (Benefit in Kind Tax) – a tax imposed on employees who receive perks other than their salary as part of their remuneration package such as a company car that is made available for private use.

COF (Cost of Funds) – the cost of borrowing based on the rate of interest paid in order to obtain money through a loan.

CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) – the commitment of organisations to behave ethically and contribute to economic development while improving the quality of life of employees, the local community and society.

DOC (Duty of Care) – an obligation for fleets to operate responsibly in order to protect drivers, other road users and pedestrians.

Fuel Card Integration – enables fuel card data to be upload to other fleet and back-office systems to monitor fuel usage, identify areas or underperformance and provide added insight into mobile asset management.

Hardware & Services – the provision of IT hardware requirements combined with ongoing support services.

Insurance Telematics  – policies that offer a personalised price for car insurance based on when and how a person drives using vehicle tracking to measure techniques and habits.

KPI (Key Performance Indicator) – A performance measure that helps an organisation to define and measure progress towards its goals and objectives.

Leasing / Rental – An alternative methods of procuring vehicles without the need for outright purchase.

MRM (Mobile Resource Management) – A means of tracking vehicles, employees and other assets to enable businesses to deploy resources efficiently and effectively.

ORP (Outright Purchase) – To make business investment with full upfront payment.

ROI (Return on Investment) – A performance measure that is used to evaluate the success and financial payback of an investment.

Telematics / Technology Terminology

Accelerometer – Measures the force of acceleration, allowing it to determine movement, speed and direction.

Accident Buffer – Captures detailed data at 20 millisecond intervals before and after an accident to support accident reconstruction.

Alerts – A feature that provides real-time notification via text or email of predetermined vehicle or workforce activity.

API (Application Programming Interface) – specifies how some software components should interact with each other to make it easier to develop and integrate a program.

Anti-Tamper – security measures to protect against unauthorised interference.

BI (Business Intelligence) – Analysis of raw operational data to provide meaningful insight that supports improved decision making, cost reduction and identification of new business opportunities.

Bluetooth – Wireless communication technology standard for exchanging data over short distances.

BP Switch (Business & Private Mileage Switch) – In-vehicle switch that a driver can use to define business and private usage.

Buzzer – communication of driver behaviour issues or non-compliance of driver ID to the driver.

CSV – A comma-separated values is a file format that is used to store data in a structured table of lists that is used to import/export large amounts of data between back-office applications.

Dashboard – a management information system that provides a real-time user interface that offers an overview of key operational information.

Data Coverage – Same as GPRS

De-installation – removal of tracking unit performed by engineer / technician.

Door Sensors – On-board sensors that capture data on when vehicle doors are opened and closed.

Driver ID – Tracking tool that identifies which driver is operating a vehicle using a dallas key and in-vehicle reader, an integrated navigation device or an RFID tag.

Driver Scheduling – Enables appointments and jobs to be entered in the system to support workflow management and job allocation, with dedicated reports and alerts.

E-Call – European initiative that is designed to bring rapid assistance to motorists involved in a vehicle collision.

Engineer / Technician – field-based engineering professional responsible for all technology installation, testing, repair and maintenance.

Find my Nearest – Tracking feature that enables the identification of the closest and most appropriate vehicle, driver, location or point of interest.

Geo Coding – Software that converts geographic coordinates (latitude and longitude) sent from a tracking device to a street address, postcode or location on the mapping.

Geofencing / Geo-Zone – Used to create virtual perimeters around geographic locations or areas to provide alerts and reports on tracking devices entering or exiting the designated zones.

Glonass – Satellite-based radio navigation system run by the Russian Ministry of Defence that provides three-dimensional position and velocity data.

GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) – A widely-used wireless service that is designed to enable data to be sent and received more rapidly using mobile devices.

GPS (Global Positioning System) – Uses a network of satellites to provide positioning and velocity data regarding a tracking device.

GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) – A communications standard developed by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI).

Heading – Direction of vehicle movement (North, East, South, West).

Helpdesk – Offers information and support to provide technical guidance and troubleshoot issues.

Installation – Process of setting up a tracking unit for use performed by engineer / technician.

Integrated Camera – Camera technology that is combined with a vehicle tracking system to capture video footage of an actual or alleged driving incident.

IP67 – Environmental protection standard that means an enclosure is fully sealed against dust and submergible up to one metre for up to 30 minutes.

Journey Replay – Tracking functionality that provides playback of a historic journey onscreen with route and vehicle data.

Lone Worker – Remote and vulnerable employees that operate in isolation without close or direct supervision.

Mapping – visual representation of an area that shows vehicle locations and points of interest.

M2M (Machine-to-Machine) – Connects devices and appliances wirelessly to the Internet to create intelligent assets that can be monitored and managed remotely.

Message Forwarding – Email or SMS notification of an event or activity.

Mobile Application (Mobile App) – Software application developed to operate on smartphones, tablet computers and other mobile devices.

On-board Device – Dashboard communication tool with a visual display to provide satellite navigation, two-way messaging and task dispatch.

OTA Upgrade – Over the air upgrade to remotely update with latest software solution.

Roaming – Extension of connectivity service that ensures a wireless device is kept connected outside of its home location.

Panic Button – built-in or remote panic alarm device to alert an individual or call centre in case of an emergency or accident.

Permission / Access Rights – Controls the features and data that can be accessed by a specific user.

Planned vs Actual – Analysis of planned objectives and targets against the actual results achieved.

POI (Point of Interest) – Mapping feature that allows key locations to be visible.

Polling – a process that allows a user to communicate directly with a tracking unit to provide an immediate status update.

PTO (Power Take Off) – refers to the monitoring and measurement of a variety of peripheral vehicle equipment such as bin / skip lifts, emergency lights, gritting systems, tyre compressors, cranes and safety equipment.

Real Time / Live – the ability to view events and status of vehicles immediately as they occur.

Remote Immobiliser – allows a vehicle to a vehicle to be remotely disabled to prevent it from being operated.

RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) – a generic term that refers to technologies that use radio waves to automatically identify assets and objects, allowing the storing and retrieval of information using RFID tags.

Roadmap – Plan or strategy to achieve a particular objective or goal.

Rollover / Crash Detection – Detection and notification system that provides an alert of vehicle accidents and incidents.

Route Management – Monitoring of static and timed routes to maximise operational performance.

Route Optimisation – enables the identification and plotting of the most effective and fuel efficient route

RS232 – Serial connector that is used by many tracking devices for an external input.

Server Based Solution – Applications that are implemented, controlled, supported and functioned within a server-based environment.

Service Call – a visit made by engineer/technician to undertake installation, repair or maintenance.

Sim Card – a portable memory chip that works as an ID card for a mobile device containing a unique identification number and other personal data.

SMS (Simple Message System) – text messaging service component used by phone, web, or mobile communication systems.

Snail Trail – Historical view of where a vehicle has been (see Journey Replay).

Software Update / Upgrade – replacing the software with a newer version to bring a system up-to-date.

Street Level Mapping – Enables the vehicle tracking system to zoom into a street-level view to provide precise locations of assets and mobile employees.

Temperature Monitoring – sensors integrated with your wired or wireless tracking solution to monitor temperatures and deliver full visibility of assets.

Telematics – Merging and integrated use of telecommunications and information technology including GPS and navigation systems.

Thin Client – Typically a software application that is designed so that the bulk of the data processing occurs elsewhere on a server.

Tracking Device – the hardware unit installed into a vehicle that captures and communicates vehicle location, movement and status data.

Two-Way Communications – Two-way messaging functionality between a tracking software application and an in-vehicle device.

Update Frequency – the time intervals between receiving status updates from the tracking device.

User – the person that accesses and interacts with a tracking system to monitor mobile assets and employees

Warranty Friendly – Product or solution that will not invalidate the manufacturer’s warranty.

Web Application – A tracking software solution that is accessed online via a web browser.

Webex – Desktop conferencing tool that provides a means of delivering support, training and other communications requirements.

Ctrack Terminology

CANTouch – Warranty-friendly solution that connects to a vehicle’s CAN Bus system to access additional driver behaviour and engine management data.

Ctrack MaXx – Fleet management software that combines real-time vehicle tracking with powerful analytical software to provide a sophisticated business analysis package.

Ctrack Mobi – real-time fleet management application that enables the tracking of vehicles and resources from an iPhone, Android smartphone or tablet.

Ctrack Online – web-based vehicle tracking solution that provides visibility and control over mobile assets.

Ctrack Plug N Play – effective installation process to ensure a tracking solution is implemented quickly and efficiently.

Ctrack Wireless – portable, battery-powered tracking system to help manage, utilise and protect all types of powered and unpowered assets.

Daily Health Check – Daily inspection of technology solution to ensure all tracking units are working correctly and the system is fit-for-purpose.

DBI (Driver Behaviour Indicator) – In-vehicle device that alerts drivers to any infringements when on the road by displaying a series of traffic-light coloured warning lights.

GYR (Green Yellow Red) – Driver behaviour report using a green, yellow or red band for each exception with an overall score calculated to enable a simple ranking system.

Multi-Comms – telematics unit enabling communication via Wi-Fi, Iridium Satellite Communication and Tetra.

No Go / Barred Locations – Unauthorised places or areas that drivers are not permitted to enter.

Unauthorised / Illegal Movement – Identification of towing and movement without the ignition on.

Waypoint – checkpoint along a fixed route.