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Oxygen – climate change and telematics

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Climate change is big news these days and is finally perforating the general public’s conscious.

We are being told by the younger generation that if we don’t act now and make drastic changes to our daily lives, sea levels will rise, extreme weather events will become the default, countless animals will become extinct and my 8 year old is convinced we will run out of oxygen by the time he is old.  He thinks old is 23.

The arguments against the science are receding faster than my hairline, so we now find ourselves in a position where we have to accept that climate change is here to stay.  There is no getting away from it.  The evidence is overwhelming.

There is a danger here though.  Being constantly bombarded by bad news on the climate with the thinly veiled accusation of ‘it’s all our fault’ is maybe true, but it doesn’t help find a solution.

Too much of the same message can lead to an acceptance and a resignation that there is nothing that can be done.  It becomes the norm.


So – lets move this argument on.  How can we fix it?   Can we fix it?  Have we got time to fix it?


Clearly one individual cannot stop climate change single handedly, although Greta Thunberg is having a good go.  However, a lot of people making small changes to their daily lives can have a big impact.  And when lots of individuals make small changes, it adds up.

What then?  I think measurement is the key.  By measuring frequently, you can see your own progress and it can keep you focussed – especially if there is a target to aim for. [ In a way it is similar to a weight loss programme.   Weighing yourself weekly keeps you on track and makes you think twice about having that extra bag of crisps.]

Telematics can help with this.

Having a box in your car, monitoring your driving, can help you become a smoother and therefore greener driver.  That is a secondary benefit in my view to the main question – do you need to be driving the car at all?

By measuring the distance you drive – on an app, can also prompt you to think ‘Do I really need to make that journey by car and burn that fossil fuel?’   Is there another way to do it – by bus, train, bike, walk – or even not at all?   Setting yourself a driven distance reduction target could help your bank balance, as you’ll not need to visit the petrol station quite so much.

You never know, it could also help the next generation to not run out of oxygen when they are “ancient”.  Every little helps.

Solving the jigsaw puzzle that is BIG DATA…

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Imagine for a moment a jigsaw puzzle.  A jigsaw that you have to make, and quickly.  If you fail, or if you take too long, it will cost your company a lot of money.  There is much riding on your success.  Don’t worry though, you can get your friends who are brilliant at doing jigsaws to help you.

Easy?  Maybe.

Now consider the jigsaw itself.  The pieces are randomly scattered.  Some are face up, some aren’t.

You don’t know what the finished picture looks like.  Nor do you know how many pieces there are, how big it is supposed to be, or whether there are any pieces missing.

Still feeling confident ?  Perhaps less so.

Some pieces are duplicates and some appear to fit together but then don’t – and confuse you.  Other pieces aren’t real.  You are told they are there, but they aren’t really.  Several are even shape-shifters and change before your eyes.

It is quite hard now.

You must also wear special blinkers that allow you only to see one piece at a time.

Very hard now…  Maybe impossible?

Your instinct is telling you that it is going to take you and your friends a lot of time to finish the jigsaw. 

Time that quite frankly, you and your friends could be making better use of because there are other, easier jigsaws to solve.  You still have to solve this one though.  There is no getting away from that.

jigsaw of data

This puzzle is the solution to a problem you are working on.

The problem may be devices not working properly, too much data, too little data, a feature not doing as you expect it to …and so on.   In other words, any operational problem you are likely to come across.  It could be all sorts of things in a complex telematics eco-system.

The special one-piece-at-a-time blinkers are your view into another part of the telematics ecosystem that you do not have access to, and therefore do not understand.  Maybe it is provided by another company.  Possibly even in a different time zone, in a different language.  Perhaps people at that company don’t want to help you solve your jigsaw.  They are too busy solving their own big data jigsaws.  Maybe some people want to help too much.  They are well-meaning and their hearts are in the right place, but for whatever reason the information they are giving you is not consistent.  You get even more confused.

Anybody working in telematics solves jigsaw puzzles every day.  Some of them are hard, some of them are easy.  All of them cost money.

Keeping the jigsaw pieces together, on the table, face-up, not moving, not changing, without wearing those pesky blinkers is the key to solving big data puzzles quickly with the minimum of fuss and the minimum of wasted operational money.  That can only happen where the telematics eco-system is fully integrated.

Redtail is proud to have built and completely understand its own telematics eco-system, down to every single component and to the very last line of code.  Everybody is under one roof and works together to solve those jigsaws very quickly and efficiently.   Our customers know and recognise this as the true value of a Total Service Provider.  We are here to help you in solving the big data puzzles you encounter!

When the fog rolls in, what would you do?

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Essex Search and Rescue (ESAR) have been using Redtail Telematics vehicle tracking devices and accompanying app to help save lives…

Arthur finds life difficult these days.  Normal things no longer make sense.  There is a fog in his head that he can’t shake off.  It makes everything hard to understand.  The fog is frightening.  He doesn’t know what it is, or why it is there.  It never used to be like this.  Or did it?  He can’t remember.

Occasionally the fog clears and he remembers again.  Like he used to. 

He is happy and less fearful.  For a few seconds at least, he understands.   All too soon though, the mists swirl back in and he forgets.   Again.  The fog seems thicker now.  Things are even more confusing.

People he used to know well, are now only vaguely familiar.   He knows he should know them, but he can’t quite recall who they are.  You are one of them.  You remember Arthur as a strong, popular and happy man.  Now he is old, weak, vulnerable and, for the last three hours, missing.

Daylight is fading.  It is raining outside.   You wonder if he is getting cold.  Or thirsty, or hungry.   Where is he?  You know Arthur is afraid of the dark.  He never used to be.   Anxiety creeps in.  You feel deep down that something is wrong, very wrong.

Eventually, you phone the Police and report him as missing.  Are you already too late you wonder?

The Police patiently take down the details and try to reassure you that all will be well.

They decide that Arthur is at risk.  He needs to be found.  And quickly.

The Police assign as many resources as they can to look for him.  They call out a specialist volunteer Search and Rescue (SAR) team, who they know will respond immediately at any time of day or night.  The SAR team know how you feel.  They have felt the same as you in their own lives.  They gladly volunteer their time to look for Arthur and to help you.

The SAR team are on their way.

Some members get to the designated rendezvous point before their Incident Control vehicle arrives.  Time is of the essence.   Maybe Arthur is nearby and lying injured somewhere?  The SAR team want to organise rapid sweep of the local area, before the main search begins.

The incident control vehicle is equipped with a tracking device.   The SAR team know where the vehicle is by having access to an App on their phone. An initial sweep of the area can get underway, whilst having real time information as to when the incident control vehicle will arrive.  A support vehicle also arrives, ready to ferry personnel and essential equipment between the search areas. This vehicle also has a tracking device, allowing the SAR team to see the exact position of the vehicle at all times during the search.

After several hours of searching, Arthur is found.  Alive but very cold, wet and hungry.  Another life saved.  All is well. For now.


Redtail Telematics is proud to support Essex Search & Rescue (ESAR), one of the 2019 recipients of the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service by providing vehicle tracking devices and an accompanying Mobile App.

Tony Allen, CTO Redtail Telematics and volunteer Search Technician.

About Essex Search and Rescue


In 2018 ESAR was called out 93 times, primarily within Essex but sometimes assisting other search & rescue teams in neighboring counties. It is a member of Lowland Rescue, a network of voluntary search & rescue teams covering those parts of the UK not served by Mountain Rescue teams.

ESAR is a registered charity (1096661) founded in 2002. It is run entirely by volunteers and is on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to work alongside the full-time emergency services to assist in the search for vulnerable missing people, such as people living with dementia, potential suicides, children, etc.