Telematics is the joint science of telecommunications and informatics applied in wireless technologies and computational systems.
For most insurance purposes, telematics is short for vehicle telematics, referring to automation in cars and other vehicles. GPS navigation, integrated hands-free cell phones, wireless safety communications and automatic driving assistance systems are all covered under the telematics umbrella. Insurance-related applications of telematics have evolved, including vehicle and container tracking, fleet management, satellite navigation, wireless vehicle safety communications, emergency warning systems, intelligent vehicle technologies and more.
The ability to monitor and track driving characteristics and driver behaviours provides the basis for Pay As You Drive (PAYD) or Usage-Based Insurance (UBI). Telematics would be a component of self-drive cars (SDC).