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Telematics: what's that?

Explaining the technology that connects drivers' vehicles to info (and insurance discounts).

Image of a person in a vehicle, one hand on the steering wheel and one interacting with an onboard telematics system.

Today's cars can do more than get you from point A to point B, thanks to something called telematics - standard on many new vehicles.

What is telematics?

Telematics is the use of cellular, GPS, and other technology to gather and transmit data. There are two types of telematics systems:

  • Embedded
  • Non-embedded

What are the benefits?

  • Assistance: Whether drivers have an emergency, need directions or just want to make reservations at a nearby restaurant, telematics systems connect drivers to the appropriate live support. Some systems offer turn-by-turn navigation.
  • Convenience: Many systems offer access to email, weather, traffic reports, stock quotes - even social media.
  • Safety: Newer telematics systems can locate or track a car with GPS - whether it's stolen or you can't remember where you parked. Some systems also can monitor your car's diagnostics, automatically detect collisions, and remotely lock and unlock doors.

Insurance companies can use telematics systems to reward your driving. State Farm® Drive Safe & Save™ helps you control how much you save on your insurance premiums. Drive Safe & Save uses your smartphone, combined with a Bluetooth beacon provided, to collect basic information about your driving characteristics. The less you drive and the safer you drive, the more you could save on your auto insurance.

What should you purchase?

You can choose from several features for telematics systems. To help determine which is right for you, ask yourself what you'll benefit from the most. Keep in mind: Many of these systems come pre-installed and are activated at no charge after a new vehicle purchase, but a monthly or annual subscription charge may apply beyond the trial period.

The information in this article was obtained from various sources not associated with State Farm®. While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. The information is not intended to replace manuals or instructions provided by the manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional. Nor is it intended to effect coverage under our policy. State Farm makes no guarantees of results from use of this information.

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