9 February, 2023

Is ChatGPT good enough for telematics discourse?

Testing ChatGPT’s knowledge of telematics, awareness of flespi, and ability to serve as a support assistant.

If you are not on a strict news-free diet, you should have seen at least some stories about the ChatGPT bot. It speaks perfect English, can generate software code for more or less straightforward tasks, and knows almost everything that was published on the Internet.

Given the fact that flespi support is provided in the real-time chat by highly qualified engineers, I am highly interested in saving part of their time and delegating response generation for some basic questions about Telematics to the bot.

So I registered at OpenAI, opened the chat window and started playing with the bot.

Before I share my experience, let me point out a few important considerations:

  • The ChatGPT model was trained up to 2021. Content that was published later is not yet available to it.

  • OpenAI can be fine-tuned for the specific domain. I haven't tried such Telematics-specific tuning yet, so a standard model was used for my inquiries.

  • ChatGPT is based on the GPT-3 AI tool, while the next AI tool called GPT-4 is on its way. And GPT-4 after less training is expected to provide much better text output compared to GPT-3.

OK, let’s start the game. Flespi started its public voyage in 2017 and appeared on the Internet around that time, so definitely ChatGPT should know something about it, which I immediately checked.


Do you know flespi?


Yes, I am aware of flespi. It is a platform that provides various IoT services such as device management, data storage, and real-time data processing. It can be used to build IoT solutions for various industries including transportation, logistics, and industrial automation. It also provides a set of tools for integrating with other systems and platforms.

So far, not bad. Let’s move on. One of the popular questions we get is how to connect a device. Given that in 2022 around 400 various flespi users connected a total of 95,000 Teltonika devices to flespi, I asked a very popular question.


How to connect a teltonika device to flespi?


To connect a Teltonika device to the flespi platform, you can follow these general steps:

  1. Create an account on the flespi platform and create a new channel in the "Channels" section.

  2. In the channel settings, configure the protocol and other settings as appropriate for your Teltonika device.

  3. On your Teltonika device, configure the server settings to point to the flespi platform. This typically includes the server address, port, and credentials. The specifics of this step will depend on the model and firmware version of your Teltonika device.

  4. Verify that the device is able to connect and send data to the flespi platform by checking the "Streams" section in the flespi platform.

  5. Configure any additional settings or integrations as needed.

It is important to note that the configuration process may vary depending on the specific model and firmware version of your Teltonika device, so you should refer to the device's documentation for detailed instructions.

Well done in general. This is our version to compare. However, step 4 from bot’s advice is absolutely incorrect. There is nothing to do with Streams, only Channels are needed for data ingestion. OK, let’s go further and be more specific. 


How to point teltonika fmb920 device to flespi channel IP port with SMS?


To point a Teltonika FMB920 device to a flespi channel using SMS, you can follow these steps:

  1. Create an SMS message in the following format: <parameter> <space> <value>

  2. Send the SMS message to the Teltonika FMB920 device.

Here are the parameters you need to set in the SMS message to point the device to the flespi channel:

  • ip: the IP address of the flespi channel.

  • port: the port of the flespi channel.

  • deviceid: the unique identifier of your device in flespi.

  • password: the password of your device in flespi.

Example: ip port 20000 deviceid 123456 password abcd1234

  1. Verify that the device has successfully connected to the flespi channel by checking the "Streams" section in the flespi platform.

It's also important to note that the FMB920 device must have a valid SIM card with SMS and internet capabilities to receive the command and connect to the flespi channel.

I'd recommend checking the FMB920 documentation for more detailed instructions, as the specific steps may vary depending on the firmware version of the device.

Well… Again step 3 is incorrect (I’m wondering where the bot found this misinformation at all?) but what is more important step 2 — SMS message text sample — is compiled from multiple device types and is totally wrong. For example, if you ask the same question to Google, the very first link will point you to the Teltonika Support Portal with the right answer you need: <Login><Password>setparam 2004:;2005:12345.

This is frightening — for specific questions you receive incorrect answers in perfect English. OK, let’s continue the investigation. Next I asked about data parsing.


How to parse Teltonika FMB920 binary data into JSON?


To parse binary data from a Teltonika FMB920 device into JSON, you can use the flespi platform's built-in binary parser. Here are the general steps to do this:

  1. In the flespi platform, navigate to the "Channels" section and select the channel that the FMB920 device is connected to.

  2. In the channel settings, navigate to the "Binary parser" tab.

  3. Select the "Teltonika" protocol from the drop-down list.

  4. Configure the parser settings as appropriate for the specific data format of your FMB920 device.

  5. Click "Save" to apply the new parser settings.

  6. Verify that the binary data from the FMB920 device is being parsed correctly by checking the "Streams" section in the flespi platform. The data should now be in JSON format.

It's important to note that the settings and options available in the binary parser may vary depending on the firmware version of the FMB920 device and the specific data format it's sending. Also, you can use flespi rules engine to convert the data to JSON format.

You may need to consult the FMB920 documentation or the flespi platform documentation for more detailed instructions.

Given the fact that ChatGPT had the flespi context loaded into it, it advises me to use flespi capabilities. However, the whole reply starting from step 2 is wrong — there is no “binary parser” tab in the Channels section and no associated parsing settings (and has actually never been).

Finally, I decided to switch context and ask different telematics-related questions. Let’s ask the bot to do some analysis.


How can you compare traccar and gpswox and what is better to use with concox?


Traccar and GPSWOX are both open-source GPS tracking platforms that can be used to track and monitor devices such as vehicles, assets and mobile workforce. Both platforms have their own set of features, and which one is better to use depends on the specific requirements of your project.

Traccar is a self-hosted platform that can be installed on your own server, it's free and open source. Traccar provides a wide range of features such as real-time tracking, geofencing, and historical data replay. It also has a built-in web interface and can be integrated with other systems through its API.

GPSWOX is a cloud-based GPS tracking platform that provides a wide range of features such as real-time tracking, geofencing, and historical data replay. It also offers a mobile app and a web-based interface for tracking and managing devices. GPSWOX is a paid service and provide different plans for different needs.

In terms of compatibility with Concox devices, both Traccar and GPSWOX support Concox devices. However, Traccar may require additional configuration to support Concox devices, as it is a self-hosted platform, while GPSWOX is a cloud-based platform that is already configured to support Concox devices.

In summary, Traccar and GPSWOX are both powerful GPS tracking platforms that can be used with Concox devices, but the choice between them will depend on your specific requirements, such as budget, scalability, and ease of use.

Now the answer in my opinion is much better. It’s quite generic but contains important information that I may use for further decisions. 

My next question was probably so difficult that the bot took a minute or so before giving me an answer.


Which GPS tracking device is the most popular for LCV segment in Europe?


It is difficult to determine a specific GPS tracking device that is the most popular for the Light Commercial Vehicle (LCV) segment in Europe as the market is quite dynamic and there are many different brands and models available. However, some of the more popular brands among LCV owners and fleet managers in Europe include Teltonika, Concox, and Coban.

Teltonika is a popular brand that offers a wide range of GPS tracking devices that are suitable for the LCV segment. Their devices are known for their durability, reliability, and long battery life. Some of the most popular Teltonika devices for LCV segment are FM1100, FM5300, and FM4200

Concox is also a well-known brand for GPS tracking devices in Europe, offering a range of devices that are suitable for the LCV segment, such as the GT300, GT800 and GT06N.

Coban is another popular brand that offers a wide range of GPS tracking devices for the LCV segment, their devices are known for their advanced features such as real-time tracking, fuel monitoring, and driver behavior analysis.

It is worth mentioning that popularity of the device also depend on the country and region, it's always recommended to check the local market and ask for references before making a decision.

Remember, the model is trained on the data up to 2021. But the answer is brilliant. Let’s continue in this direction and compare the platforms.


Which GPS tracking platform is currently the best to track LCV vehicle in Latin America and why?


It is difficult to determine the best GPS tracking platform for LCV vehicles in Latin America without more specific information about the requirements and goals of the user. However, some popular and well-regarded options for GPS tracking include:

  • GPS Insight: Offers real-time tracking, detailed reporting and alerts, and integration with other software.

  • Omnitracs: Provides advanced fleet management features, such as predictive analytics, and compliance tools for compliance with regulations such as Hours of Service.

  • Trimble: Offers a range of fleet management solutions, including real-time tracking and reporting, driver safety tools, and integration with other software such as electronic logging devices (ELDs).

Ultimately, the best GPS tracking platform will depend on the specific needs and goals of the user, as well as the features and capabilities of the platform. It is recommended to check the product demos, price comparison and user reviews before making a purchase decision.

I didn’t like the answer now. As far as I know, there should be totally different names in that list. 

And the final question — about the future — I wanted to know if the bot is a pessimist or an optimist by its nature.


What is the future of GPS tracking business and what to expect in that market?


The GPS tracking business is expected to continue growing in the future, driven by a number of factors such as:

  • Increasing demand for fleet management solutions: As businesses continue to rely on transportation and logistics to move goods and services, the demand for tools to manage and optimize fleet operations is likely to increase.

  • Advancements in technology: The development of new technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and machine learning is expected to improve the capabilities and accuracy of GPS tracking systems, and drive the development of new and more sophisticated solutions.

  • Government regulations: Government regulations such as Electronic Logging Device (ELD) mandate will continue to drive the adoption of GPS tracking solutions to ensure compliance with these regulations.

In the future, GPS tracking solutions are expected to become more sophisticated and integrated with other technologies, such as telematics, cameras, and sensors to provide more comprehensive fleet management and logistics optimization. Additionally, the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning will allow for more accurate and predictive fleet management, and real-time monitoring of vehicle conditions and driver behaviors.

In summary, the GPS tracking business is expected to continue to grow in the future, driven by increasing demand for fleet management solutions, advancements in technology, and government regulations. Companies that provide innovative and comprehensive solutions will likely be best positioned to succeed in this market.

Completely agree with the answer :)


What is my resolution about the bot? I liked its ability to generate perfect English, as a non-native speaker I can not generate such cool content. And I liked it in cases where I needed to make some analysis of market options when selecting something. So for the very first step it is rather good and can replace Google for such initial investigations. However, when talking about technical questions in a specific domain it either lacks confidence or, which is even worse, provides misleading answers very confidently.

It can not yet replace Technical Support specialists in specific products, however it can quite easily stay on the first line of Support in B2C. And it looks very promising anyway! Let’s see how the technology advances and do another check in a year or so.