The world of fleet management can seem simple from a bird’s eye view. Terms such as ‘smart camera’ or ‘landmarks’ are words we know, but when telematics are involved, these terms take a different spin. To ensure you know your fleet from A to Z, we put together a comprehensive glossary to help you stay tuned into the technology.


Internet of Things (IoT)

The IoT is a term that encompasses a rapidly growing network of connected “smart” products, from smart consumer products like refrigerators and thermostats, to products used in vehicles and transportation such as smart traffic signals. These smart devices collect and exchange data in real time using embedded sensors.

Connected Vehicles

A connected vehicle is typically integrated with a type of fleet optimization and telematics technology that supports greater productivity, efficiency, compliance, and safety efforts. Fleet vehicles are connected via wireless, vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication technology.

A connected vehicle integrates Global Positioning Systems (GPS) with computers and mobile devices to locate and track the movement of multiple vehicles within a fleet, report driver behavior, vehicle performance, engine data, fault codes and more. Connected vehicle technology allows fleet managers to track when their vehicles start and shut down, leave the office, idle, or speed, and provides real-time data to compare different vehicles, drivers, routes, and more.

Edge Computing

Edge computing is data processing done in the same place or very near to where the data is collected. Edge computing models move data processing from a centralized server out to the furthest point (or edge) of the network: the vehicle.

Currently, telematics devices collect a huge amount of data on a truck and send it to the central location for processing. Unfortunately, there is a cost to send that data back to a server. Edge computing reduces delays and streamlines operations by gathering, processing, and analyzing data at the source—providing fleet managers complete real-time visibility of all the data on the vehicle.

Machine Learning

Machine learning is the application of artificial intelligence (AI) that provides systems the ability to access data and automatically learn and improve from experience without being explicitly programmed. This technology has played a key role in the development of self-driving cars and is used in fleet management to develop better preventative and predictive maintenance programs.


Smart Cameras

Smart cameras have been in use across multiple industries for decades, but technological advances in the past several years have made the devices much more accessible and useful in fleet services. They are not just image sensors but powerful devices that provide and process key data to improve safety and boost efficiency.

Smart cameras can review, evaluate, and store footage, monitor driving habits, recognize safe and unsafe driving, provide real-time information to coach or alert drivers, and provide indisputable evidence in the event of an accident or false claim against a driver. Learn more about smart cameras and their uses.

Dash Cameras

Like smart cameras, dash cams (also known as dashboard cameras) are front and rear-facing cameras that record vehicle operation footage and road data. Dash cams can also help verify a driver’s account of events during a collision, or ensure drivers adhere to company driving standards and protocols.




A DTC, short for Diagnostic Trouble Code, is a code used to diagnose malfunctions in a vehicle or heavy equipment. DTC codes are used by vehicle onboard diagnostics (OBD) systems to alert drivers when a malfunction occurs.


OBD-II, short for On-Board Diagnostic II, is the latest generation of on-board self-diagnostic equipment requirements for light- and medium-duty vehicles. Diagnostic capabilities are built directly into the hardware and software of the vehicle’s on-board computer to monitor emission performance. The system stores important information about any detected malfunction to provide repair technicians accurate data to find and address the problem.

Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE)

An electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) serves as an intermediary between a power source and the vehicle’s charging port. Typically mounted on a wall or raised on a pedestal, an EVSE safely relays the alternating current (AC) power to the vehicle.


An accelerometer is an electronic device that measures the physical position of the vehicle (up/down, left/right, etc.). Information from the accelerometer is used to aid collision reconstruction to determine driving behavior leading up to the event.

Power Takeoff (PTO)

Power takeoff (PTO) devices connect the vehicle’s engine to another device and help it run. It allows you to use all or a portion of the truck’s engine power to perform various tasks, usually through a switch.

In essence, PTOs take the rotary power of the truck’s engine and turn it into hydraulic power that can raise the bed of a dump truck, lift a bucket to repair a power line, or turn the barrel of a cement truck, just to name a few applications. PTOs are effective tools to better manage and combat true idle time and are often used by f efficient. There are dozens of PTO options to choose from.

True Idle Time

True idle time is when the vehicle ignition is on and there is no power take-off (PTO) usage identified. Measuring true idle time can help save money on wasted fuel, wear, and tear, and much more.

Of course, not all idling is wasteful. Some fleet vehicles need to idle to either cool off or warm-up the cab, or to use a bucket lift. Fleet managers must determine whether a vehicle is idling for necessary work purposes, or unnecessary, non-work purposes. When your work trucks use equipment that requires them to idle, this is considered working idle time. When the trucks are idling but not used for work purposes, this is considered true idle time. It is important to track the two separately.


One of the most important terms in fleet management technology, geofencing marks a virtual boundary on the map to designate an enclosed area for monitoring. Geofencing technology allows fleet managers to create zones of any shape and size in which their vehicles are to operate. With GPS tracking, managers can then track travel, ensure vehicles remain on the job site, monitor unauthorized use, and reduce vehicle theft.


A landmark is a place where you want to monitor and manage a fleet vehicle. It is a set of coordinates surrounding a geographic area where a fleet vehicle could be located. Often used in conjunction with geofencing, fleet managers can create custom landmarks such as specific customers, fuel stops, maintenance facilities or distribution centers, and use them to track vehicles more effectively and efficiently.

These are just a few terms that can help your business invest in and deploy fleet management technologies. Are there any terms that we missed? Anything you’d like to hear more about? Reach out here and let us know!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *