Time for a Telematics Refresher

March 24, 2014

AEMP and AEM capped several weeks of back-room fine-tuning by announcing an agreement to rework and improve the API currently in existence to allow back-end aggregation of machine telemetric data. In a Conexpo press conference on Thursday, March 6, the two associations announced the AEM/AEMP Telematics Standard.

The announcement is significant in that it recognizes and affirms that equipment manufacturers and fleet asset managers must work in concert in order to take full advantage of the data already streaming from black boxes affixed to equipment by both OEs and third-party telematics providers.

The possibility of finally reaching some sort of standardized data transmission was illustrated just this week when the two groups announced a time frame for release of the beta version of the expanded standard. The standard will expand the range of data available for standardized access from the original six to 19, plus it adds 42 fault codes.

According to AEMP, calls for information on the new standard have been quick and steady since Conexpo, and telematics providers are being encouraged to register to receive access to the standard when it becomes available.

The agreement and pending beta version are encouraging, and the situation certainly points toward more ready access to machine data for fleets running a variety of brands of heavy equipment. This is a hurdle that has held up any sort of widespread implementation of telemetric data into fleet-management systems.

But put the standard into the overall context of fleet-management data. In the same week this historic announcement came together, numerous telemetric platforms were also on display at Conexpo. Third-party providers can install their data collection devices on machines regardless of brand, and give a fleet telemetric information. OEMs such as Caterpillar and John Deere offer telematics-based services from simple data transmission to full-fledged fleet management regardless of brand. Trimble, Topcon and Leica offer fleet-management data services as part of their integrated products, too.

Conexpo 2014 might well be remembered as the year telemetric information technology overshadowed the iron that it’s built to monitor. It all depends on how fast fleets can access all their data, the ease in which they can integrate it into enterprise financial systems, and the speed in which fleet professionals understand how to use the data to build productive and cost-effective fleet operations.

For those equipment managers new to the technology, keep in mind that you can start by simply collecting basic data, such as machine hours, idle vs. run time, or equipment location. Your dealers can help you set up these simple operations.

We’ve been covering telematics for years, and below is a list of articles we’ve published that will either serve as a review of or an introduction to what’s ahead for fleet-asset management.

Telematics Resources

Implementing Telematics to Save Money and More: Telematics experts highlight priorities and offer advice on how to start with technology that may seem daunting.

Practical Telematics: The basics of using and integrating telematics.

The Future of Telematics: OEMs and aftermarket suppliers are constantly upgrading capabilities and looking into providing more.

A Slow and Steady Telematics Strategy: One hurdle to realizing the promise of telematics seems to be the high cost of fleet-wide implementation.

Fuel Savings Boost Telematics ROI: F-U-E-L. That’s the quickest way to sell a telematics program to upper management.

A Tool for Emissions Compliance: Telematics data enable fleets to monitor machine location, engine performance and more.

Are Telematics Data Ready for Prime Time?: Equipment manufacturers and fleet managers agree to work toward full integration of telematics.

Telematics Turns the Corner: With fewer than one in five fleets implementing telematics into their management process, the gap between technology and real-world benefit is wide.

Telematics Puts Managers In the Driver’s Seat: Telematics' goal is to streamline and simplify the process of tracking your fleet.

Telematics and Warranty Claims: Managers should not worry about how manufacturers will use machine data.

Telematics Brings Intelligence to Machine Management: GPS fleet-tracking systems increase control over equipment productivity, costs and profits.

More Resources


About the Author

Rod Sutton

Sutton has served as the editorial lead of Construction Equipment magazine and ConstructionEquipment.com since 2001. 

Our mission is to help managers of heavy equipment and trucks to improve their performance in acquiring and managing their fleets. One way we do that is with our Executive Institute, where experts share information and ideas that will enable equipment managers to accurately manage equipment costs so that they can deliver the optimum financial benefits to their organizations.

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