The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

Sponsored by General Motors

GM Offers Built-In Telematics Solution

March 31, 2017

<p>Photo: GM</p>

Over the past decade, telematics has evolved from a dots-on-the-map GPS system into a sophisticated fleet management solution. These systems help give fleet managers insight into real-time fleet operations, all the way down to the individual vehicle and driver level.

Automotive Fleet has estimated that less than 40% of commercial and public sector fleets have a telematics system in place1. Overall, most fleets use telematics to help improve driver behavior and operational efficiencies2. According to Frost and Sullivan, an independent consulting firm, a fleet management system can significantly impact costs and productivity by3:

  • Reducing fuel consumption by up to 25%
  • Lowering total miles driven by up to 10%
  • Decreasing idling by up to 30%
  • Reducing employee overtime by up to 15%
  • Increasing vehicle utilization by up to 20%
  • Improving overall productivity by up to 15% 

With the launch of OnStar® in 1996, GM Fleet has been at the forefront of developing built-in telematics solutions — a growing trend in the market4 — giving its large and small commercial customers flexible, customizable, and easy-to-use options to monitor fleet operations, such as driver behavior and vehicle systems.

These systems are easy to use, and are accessible by fleet managers and business owners 24/7 via a computer, tablet, or a smartphone. As a further benefit, the solutions available from GM can be customized to the specific business needs of the fleet, including what is measured and how the data is presented to the fleet manager via customized reporting.

Setting the Foundation with OnStar

The foundation of GM’s telematics offering is the OEM’s available factory-installed OnStar telematics solution on most models. OnStar provides fleets with a number of services, including emergency, diagnostics, and directions — and a variety of pricing plans5. OnStar also offers an available built-in 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot6 that transforms fleet vehicles into mobile workstations, allowing several devices to stay connected at once out at a job site. There are four OnStar large-fleet plans: Basic7, Protection, Security, and Fleet Guidance.


Which Solution Is Right for Your Fleet?

OnStar provides the foundation needed to layer on advanced telematics options for GM vehicles. GM offers two solutions for its fleet customers: Commercial Link and Telogis® Fleet for GM.

There are several criteria that fleet managers need to consider when deciding which GM solution to use:

  1. The composition of the fleet (OEM, model year, etc.)
  2. Fleet size
  3. Level of sophistication that the fleet manager and the fleet’s stakeholders need in order to optimize operations


Cost-Effective Solution: Commercial Link

Commercial Link is available on most Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, and Cadillac vehicles model-year 2015 or later equipped with OnStar8 and is designed as a cost-effective solution for fleets of 100 vehicles or fewer.

The subscription-based system — which fleets can try for 30 days, free of charge9 — uses the data provided by the embedded OnStar hardware, and can provide a detailed, near real-time view of vehicle operations.

Commercial Link can provide fleet managers maintenance status, monitor vehicle speed (including setting alerts), monitor vehicles’ fuel levels, track location (including setting geofences), and create reports by the entire fleet or individual vehicle over time. Alerts can be set for the entire fleet or for individual vehicles. When alerts are triggered, they are sent directly to the fleet manager.

The Commercial Link app is available for iPhone®10 and Android™11 devices, giving fleet managers or business owners connectivity to the system in or out of the office, day or night.

Currently, the cost of Commercial Link is $10/vehicle/month (plus applicable tax) with the activation of the vehicle’s OnStar Basic Plan.

<p>Photo: GM</p>

Scalable Solution: Telogis Fleet for GM

Ideal for mixed fleets scaling from 10 to 50,000-plus vehicles, Telogis Fleet for GM is available on most OnStar-equipped GM vehicles model-year 2015 or later.

Telogis Fleet for GM robustly meets the needs of fleets with a scalable approach that helps fleets with productivity, driver behavior, and cost management.

Among the data provided to fleet managers are vehicle location, fuel consumption, speed, idling, odometer readings, hard braking, and seat belt usage. The solution also allows fleet managers to monitor speeding, set geofences, receive diagnostic trouble codes, monitor employee overtime, measure asset utilization, and determine time on site.

Accessible from both desktop and mobile environments, Telogis Fleet for GM can grow with the fleet. Fleets using Telogis Fleet for GM can add complementary services, such as mobile apps from Telogis that give driving scores, log personal versus work mileage, and provide an ETA to a customer for a delivery.

Additional services that can be included are:

  1. Fuel module, which integrates fuel card transaction data and can be used to analyze trends, misuse, or maintenance issues.
  2. In-cab alerts for drivers.
  3. Telogis Work Order Management, which helps drivers stay on task.
  4. Telogis Schedule, which optimizes routing to match business needs.
  5. Telogis Compliance, designed for fleets that need to automate compliance paperwork, including ELD and DVIR.
  6. Telogis Coach, a gamification solution designed to help drivers improve their performance in a fun, competitive environment. 
  7. Telogis Logbook, which enables capturing business vs. personal mileage.

Fleets can test Telogis Fleet for GM free for 30 days.

Taken together, GM offers fleets a full array of solutions, allowing them to be part of the growing telematics revolution.

1 “Five Unpredictions for 2017.” January 2017. Retrieved on February 14, 2016. 
2 “The U.S. Commercial Fleet Market Continues to be Strong.” June 2016. Retrieved on February 14, 2016. 
3 "Benefits After Effective Deployment of Fleet Management System." Frost & Sullivan. 2015.          4 “Top 7 Telematics Developments of 2016.” December 2016. Retrieved on February 14, 2016.      
5 Visit for vehicle availability, details, and system limitations. OnStar acts as a link to existing emergency service providers. Not all vehicles may transmit all crash data.
6 Visit for vehicle availability, details, and system limitations. Services and connectivity may vary by model and conditions. 4G LTE service available in select markets. Some services require a data plan. Data plans provided by AT&T. 
7 Does not include emergency or security services. Visit for coverage map, details and system limitations. 
8 Excludes the following Chevrolet models: Low Cab Forward and City Express.
9 You authorize Commercial Link, through OnStar or one of its assigns, to charge the monthly fee for your Commercial Link service (plus any applicable sales tax) to the debit/credit card designated in your Commercial Link.                                                                                             10 iPhone is a registered trademark of Apple Inc.                                                                                                                                             11 Android is a trademark of Google Inc.

Twitter Facebook Google+

Fleet Incentives

Determine the actual cost of owning and running a vehicle in your fleet. Compare vehicles by class and model.


Fleet Tracking And Telematics

Todd Ewing from Verizon Connect will answer your questions and challenges

View All


Fleet Management And Leasing

Jack Firriolo from Merchants will answer your questions and challenges

View All


Fuel Management

Bernie Kanavagh from WEX will answer your questions and challenges

View All


Sponsored by

Dick Heather was a founder of Peterson, Howell & Heather (currently PHH Arval) in 1946.

Read more

Up Next

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher