The term 'Telematics' actually evolved from the combination of words 'telecommunications' and 'informatik'. Telecommunications is defined as the exchange of information over a distance through wireless means of communication and the term informatik is a German term for computer science.
The blend of these two technologies has illuminated the pathway of car safety evolution. This new technology was introduced with the desire to merge the global positioning systems and a pack of wireless technologies for roadside assistance. Gradually, the term applications, and significance of telematics was widespread across various industrial sectors.
The history of car telematics is traced back to the first stolen vehicle tracking system in the U.S. The General Motors then introduced and popularised its 'OnStar' system that builds a link between the car and the driver through an advanced combination of global positioning system and cellular technology.
The OnStar system is centrally connected to an OnStar Centre where advisors offer an all-time personalised assistance. After the introduction of this system by General Motors, many car telematics
came into picture revealing their true significance in the industry.
Even today, U.S is considered to be the largest market for telematics. However, the Europe and India both have made their entries in the corresponding industry but are yet on a slow track. At present, the European market is quite slow in adopting this new technology but still a handful of car companies that have accepted the significance and a bundle of them have variety of telematics in-car applications.
Even in the Indian car industry, the car telematics industry is on a gradual and constant move. Many of the car manufacturers have started using telematics in association with the navigation system, audio system, and Bluetooth technology. Premium brands like the Porsche, Volvo, Fiat, Mercedes-Benz
, BMW, and the Rolls Royce Phantom presently have a full fledge entertainment and in-car functional systems supported by telematics.
There are many reasons that are pushing the growth of car telematics in and around the Indian car market. Many car manufacturers today are taking initiatives to introduction the car telematics to enhance car safety and security standards.
The factors that have become the key reasons for the growing popularity of car telematics in India are discussed below:
Increasing Traffic Congestion: Presently, Indian roads are experiencing a massive traffic congestion. With this, the demand of the technologies that would help drivers stay informed about the traffic and road situations ahead is increasing. Luxury car brands like Mercedes-Benz and BMW are on the way to introduce such technologies and set a new benchmark in the industry.
Road Safety: This is an another reason that is accelerating the demand of car telematics. Indian roads witness a large number of car accidents on a daily basis. Most of these accidents cause due to the low visibility of distant obstacle while driving. Car manufacturers today are introducing such technologies that will send signals to the driver much before the driver could actually see it. In future, car telematics will also automatically notify emergency authorities in case of a car accident, which in turn would reduce the number of traffic casualties.
Wireless Networks: Most of the modern cars are fitted with a bunch of wireless technologies that include in-car entertainment systems. Bluetooth technology, mobile phone connectivity, and navigation system are fun to use when behind the wheel. These technologies have improved driving comfort and safety standards. However, in India there are many cars that are equipped with the navigation system today but still a further growth and advancements is required.