Telematics/GPS tracking Glossary

The Telematics/GPS tracking industry is rapidly growing and changing as more companies with fleets seek solutions, meet increasing regulations, and automate vehicle maintenance. There are numerous terms and acronyms in use. This glossary is a small collection of the most commonly used.

We will continue to update this page as new relevant terms become commonplace and/or relevant.


What is Telematics?

Telematics is the branch of information technology that deals with the long-distance transmission of computerized information.

Telematics was coined from "telos" meaning long distance and "informatics" - itself a combination of information and automatic/automated.

What is GPS tracking?

Today’s Global Positioning System (GPS), utilizes one or many satellite systems to track the precise location of personnel, vehicles, watercrafts, assets, etc.

What is DOT?

The Department of Transportation (DOT) is the name for a government agency in North America devoted to transportation. The largest is the United States Department of Transportation, which oversees interstate travel and is a federal agency.

What is the FMCSA?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is an agency in the United States Department of Transportation that regulates the trucking industry in the United States. The primary mission of the FMCSA is to reduce crashes, injuries and fatalities involving large trucks and buses.

What is CSA?

CSA stands for Compliance, Safety, Accountability. It is the safety compliance and enforcement program of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration that holds motor carriers and drivers accountable for their role in safety. It employs a Safety Measurement System (SMS) containing 7 categories to determine driver risk and intervene as necessary.

What is DOT compliance?

Department of Transportation (DOT) compliance refers to several areas of requirements including: Drug testing, Vehicle inspection, Maintenance programs, Hours of service and several more. Violation of any one of these can lead to serious consequences and are regularly monitored to ensure compliance.

What is DVIR?

A Driver Vehicle Inspection Report (DVIR), needs to be completed daily by drivers for any commercial vehicle they operate, as specified by Federal Law 49 CFR 396.11 and 396.13 and enforced by the DOT.

What is HOS?

Hours of service (HOS) is a term referring to the number of hours that a commercial motor vehicle driver is allowed work per day, or week, or other period as mandated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

What is an ELD?

An electronic logging device is a device, typically a tablet, carried in the truck cab. It records data including the operation of the vehicle, driver activity, hours of service (HOS), Record of Duty (ROD) for each 24-hour period.

What is AOBRD?

Automatic on-board recording devices (ABORDs) were introduced by FMCSA back in 2014 to reduce hours of service violations and attempts to reduce crashes by fatigued drivers.

What is ROD?

Record Of duty (ROD) is a log containing the drivers name, date, and status throughout a 24-hour period.

What is the ELD mandate?

The ELD mandate, or ELD Final Rule, is a U.S. federal government regulation specifying that operators of commercial motor vehicles covered by this law will be required to use electronic logging devices. This will eliminate AOBRDS (Automatic on Board Recording Devices) and paper logs fully by 12/16/2019.

What is IFTA?

The International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) is an arrangement among U.S. states and Canada it works as a "pay now or pay later" system. As commercial motor vehicles buy fuel, any fuel taxes paid are credited to that licensee's account. At the end of the fiscal quarter, the licensee completes their fuel tax report listing all miles traveled in all participating jurisdictions and lists all gallons purchased. Then the average MPG is applied to the miles traveled to determine the tax liability to each jurisdiction.

What is Geofencing?

Geofencing is utilized in GPS tracking applications. It allows a predefined virtual perimeter to be set up like real-world geographic fences. It has a wide range of uses and applications and can include: a house, job site, office, service area, states. etc. It enables software to trigger a response when the GPS tracker enters or leave the virtual fence.