FAQ | Telematics Units

All about Telematics Units

08 April 2021 | Reading time 5 min

FAQ for Telematics Units

Connecting vehicles via telematics units is one of the central elements for operating your shared mobility service. This article will answer the most frequently asked questions.

What is a telematics unit?

A ‘Telematics Unit’, also known as an ‘OBU (Onboard Unit)’ or an ‘IOT Device’, refers to the connecting unit which enables a vehicle to communicate with smartphone apps, RFID cards and the related, and in turn makes the vehicle usable for shared mobility operations. Telematic units can already be implemented in a car as a standard part of the vehicle, they can be implemented by you or a facilitator or they can be brought in as additional hardware at a later time.

Can I use MOQO without a telematics unit?

MOQO offers services that provide benefits even without a telematics unit installed. For example, you can manage internal vehicle fleets as well as access booking calendars, driver logs and trip reports. It is also possible to make vehicles accessible with a key box system.

How do I choose the right telematics unit?

The right telematics unit depends on the desired use case. For example, different hardware is required for use in a car than for the operation of a bike sharing system. In addition to the respective ‘off-the-shelf’ standard product, there are products from manufacturers which have different advantages for many use cases.

How does the hardware get into the vehicle?

If telematics hardware has to be installed in the vehicle, it should be installed by an authorized specialist company. The standard specialist MOQO works with is CarTec Systems GmbH. After an appointment between the installer (CarTec) and the sharing provider is made, the installation can be carried out at the respective vehicle location. Alternatively, the sharing provider can conduct its own installation by the specialist company of its choice. Smartlocks for bikes can usually be installed by the provider him- or herself.

How does a vehicle get into the platform?

After successful installation of the telematics hardware, the vehicle is then set up on the platform by MOQO. Within the platform, the vehicles can be authorized to different teams and linked to tariffs, insurance information and other elements.

I already own telematics hardware. Can I continue to use it?

In principle, yes but it must be hardware that has already been tested with the MOQO platform. The manual effort required to enable further use with MOQO depends on the hardware itself.

What data do I receive from the telematics unit?

All telematics units enable the opening and closing of the related vehicle and depending on the unit, central locking and the engine immobilizer can also be controlled. Mileage, tank or charge levels as well as information on the condition of the vehicle can also be received. The data which can be communicated depends on the telematics unit used and vehicle model.

Can I use a specific telematics unit for my vehicles?

If the telematics unit selected is compatible with the vehicle type in question, there is nothing to prevent this from a technical point of view. To be sure about compatibility, you can contact the manufacturer of the telematics unit. MOQO will put you in contact with them.

I would like to create a new fleet of vehicles. What would fit best?

There is no restriction on the choice of vehicle but to be on the safe side, the compatibility between the vehicle and the telematics unit should be discussed. The right choice of vehicles is usually indicated by the on-site structural conditions of the sharing offer. Additionally, the use cases to be served should be recorded. It is also useful to make a target group analysis, a competitor analysis and an analysis of the situation on site.

I have developed custom vehicles to create a special user experience. Can I integrate them as well?

MOQO can provide the contact to the manufacturers of the telematics hardware. As a sharing provider and vehicle manufacturer, you can work with the telematics manufacturer to discuss whether the installation of these telematics units in your vehicle(s) is feasible. Some manufacturers also lend out test hardware.

What do I do with old hardware that I no longer need?

That depends on the type of ownership. In the case of a rental agreement, the device can be returned to the manufacturer at the end of the usage period. In the case of a purchase, the hardware is the property of the sharing provider.

Can I also provide users with RFID cards?

In principle, sharing is possible through RFID cards but a greater manual effort is required to manage this sharing method. For example, new end users have to wait for their card before a first trip and cannot be added at short notice - which is the case with smartphone use. The use of RFID cards makes sense in corporate sharing, where employees do not have a smartphone or do not want to/ are not allowed to use their personal smartphone for business purposes in carsharing.

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