July 18, 2023
7 min read

What's up with Telematics?

Akshitha Ramachandran


Telematics devices installed on commercial motor vehicles collect varied data points including: location, speed, fuel level, and safety events to name a few. This data is critical to ensure driver and road safety, but also provides a foundation for software solutions in the trucking space. The issue with these devices is that there are hundreds available without any data standardization. To build anything useful from this data requires months of developer time building custom integrations for each device. Axle helps tech companies by taking that engineering work off their plate and providing one data access point for all hundreds of devices.


The trucking industry is the backbone of the United States' economy and transportation infrastructure. This $1T industry connects manufacturers, businesses, and consumers. Interestingly, the industry provides employment opportunities for ~3.5m drivers and 8m+ individuals across related industries (e.g.  truck manufacturing, maintenance, logistics, and warehousing) [1].

Given the longstanding history of the industry, many practices such as logging hours driven are antiquated and still use pen and paper. But, in today’s era there are new technologies that can increase the accuracy and ease for many such tasks. In fact, current legislation (MAP-21) is moving in that direction and requires commercial motor vehicles to use Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) to record their hours of service (HOS) electronically. The goal is to improve road safety and ensure Hours of Service (HOS) compliance [2].

ELD Opportunities

ELDs are powerful devices that are installed in over 20M vehicles. While legislation requires the devices for HOS logging and to ensure road safety, they offer a multitude of other data intel that can be leveraged for decision making in the space. Many players in the trucking space including FinTech and LogTech companies, insurers, and Telematics Management Systems (TMSs) all use ELD data to build their platforms.

The power of ELDs rests in the data it collects including: real-time location, fuel level, speed, safety events, and more. Some use cases these devices can support include building accurate ETA views for vehicles, proving delivery status, real-time load optimization recommendations, and validating transaction data.

Additionally, the storage of historical data serves as a valuable system of record, enabling businesses to analyze past patterns and gain insights into their operations.

ELDs unlock a range of possibilities for enhancing efficiency, optimizing logistics, and improving decision-making in the transportation industry.


However, there are over 100 ELDs on the market, each providing different data in varying formats. For an end-user working with multiple fleets and ELDs, the complexity scales exponentially [4].

Therefore, when building software solutions, there has to be an intermediate layer that supports the ingestion, standardization, storage, and accessibility of this data. Without this data layer, months of developer time will need to be dedicated to this task at every company for the initial integration and on-going maintenance.


Axle is a universal data platform that makes it easy for fleets to share their ELD/telematics data in a reliable, secure, and scalable way. Our suite of products enables software solutions to extract important data points across devices from a single, standardized endpoints. The burden of integrating with each individual device is handled by Axle and companies have more time to focus on building out their core product.

Our customers in the fuel card space use this data to validate the legitimacy of transactions with fuel-level and location data. LogTech companies can automate proof of delivery notifications and load optimization decisions with location, HOS, and asset data. Insurers have access to usage-based premium pricing with driver history and safety records. Learn more about how our customers are using Axle here.

Reach out to learn how Axle can serve as your one-stop-shop for access to standardized commercial vehicle data through data-pipelines or interactive user interfaces!


1) https://www.trucking.org/economics-and-industry-data#:~:text=Employment%3A,of 3.7%25 from 2020)

2) https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/mission/policy/map-21-moving-ahead-progress-21st-century-act

3) https://www.abiresearch.com/market-research/product/1029464-commercial-telematics/

4) https://eld.fmcsa.dot.gov/List

Written by
Akshitha Ramachandran

The future of transportation is built with Axle