Vehicle telematics systems, the key to smart cars

Because it is the link between the car and the cloud, the telematics unit is an essential element of connected vehicles, which already represent 60% of new automobiles produced worldwide (80% in 5 years and nearly 90% by the end of the decade). Valeo's telematics units are already installed in millions of cars worldwide (company cars, rental cars…) to connect occupants to the digital world, increase safety, facilitate vehicle maintenance and offer new onboard services.

In the ongoing digital transformation of the automotive industry, automakers are increasingly showing their ambitions to generate new sources of revenue from connected services. The telematics unit, which is the vehicle’s cellular modem, is a key element in this digital transformation as it connects the vehicle to service platforms.

What are telematics systems in the automotive industry?

A vehicle telematics system includes a tracking device installed inside the vehicle and helps transmit and store real-time data. These data are transmitted to the driver or automotive fleet management to schedule preventive maintenance or quickly react in case of problems on the road: warnings of oil leaks, alerts about fuel consumption, breakdowns…

More safety on the road with a telematics unit

A car being connected generates a lot of value for drivers, passengers and for carmakers:

  • eCall services – In case of a car accident, without any action from occupants, eCall services can automatically trigger an alert to the emergency center, which can then contact occupants by voice call, take appropriate action and reduce intervention time for emergency responders and rescue teams.
  • With V2X (vehicle to everything) technologies, vehicles are always connected to the road infrastructure and surrounding vehicles to be informed and anticipate potential dangers.
  • Vehicles are always up-to-date with Over-The-Air (OTA) software updates for the latest cybersecurity patches.
  • Predictive maintenance to detect in advance potential sources of failure and alert users before they happen.

More comfort driving with telematics systems

Connected car data transmitted by the telematic device helps improve urban driving. Telematics systems help monitor the driver’s behavior on the road and offer solutions for a more ecological driving:

  • Informs in advance of traffic jams and offers route recommendations to save time.
  • Increases the fluidity of traffic and reduces CO2 emission. Limits start-and-stop driving by recommending optimal speed.
  • Makes suggestions to quickly find parking spots and avoid circling parking lots in vain.

More interior comfort for the passengers

Telematics units and modules installed in connected cars also improve entertainment on board to enjoy a better experience during the trip:

  • Videos, gaming, internet browsing, social media, connected navigation.

More serenity: telematics modules with connected vehicles

Automotive telematics has been developed for peace of mind for the driver and for vehicle fleet management companies, offering solutions such as:

  • Stolen vehicle tracking.
  • Finding EV charging stations and gas stations.
  • Monitoring the health of your vehicle.

Innovative technologies used for smart and connected cars

To offer all of these connected services, a telematics unit relies on a range of advanced technology and software, including:

  • 4G and 5G modem for fast data transfer.
  • GPS for localization of the vehicle.
  • V2X (vehicle to everything) module for more interaction between vehicles, road infrastructure, pedestrians, etc.
  • Over-The-Air software capabilities to remotely upgrade the vehicle’s software.
  • Cybersecurity to protect the car against potential attacks.


Developing innovative solutions for connected car services is the result of strong technical and industrial expertises as well as collaborations among many ecosystems.

Valeo is working with partners and ecosystems to develop the next 5G connected car experience. Valeo was one of the first companies to join the 5G Automotive Association to leverage 5G infrastructure and V2X (vehicle to everything) for innovative services.