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.
Telematics is the branch of information technology that deals with the long-distance transmission of computerized
Telematics was coined from "telos" meaning long distance and "informatics" - itself a combination of information
Today’s Global Positioning System (GPS), utilizes one or many satellite systems to track the precise location of
personnel, vehicles, watercrafts, assets, etc.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
Record Of duty (ROD) is a log containing the drivers name, date, and status throughout a 24-hour period.
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.
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.
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.