When it comes to GPS, most people think of mapping and navigation, and perhaps of sports like geocaching. While those are the most popular uses, GPS also has other applications, and some of them are downright amazing. Did you know, for example, that GPS can be used for tracking vehicles both for personal and for business use?
Think about it; the implications can be enormous. With GPS alone, you always know where you are, but a GPS tracking system also lets you know where your vehicle is at any given time even if you are not in it. How does it work? A GPS vehicle tracking device consists of a GPS receiver, a cell phone, and a variety of sensors. The tracking device therefore a) knows where it is, b) can call or respond to calls, and c) can perform certain actions in response to a call, to its location, or to a condition. It's a wonder of the new millennium, plus it gives you the security you desire.
After all, personal use of a GPS vehicle tracking system essentially means adding safety and security to your vehicle. You can, for example, program a "geofence" around the vehicle. If it is stolen, it will alert you via call, email, or computer message as to its location. It is a very effective anti-theft system as the starter can be remotely disabled, the alarm triggered, or the doors locked. Parents of teenage drivers may simply want to track and enforce vehicle use. A web-based application will show where the vehicle is, provide satellite photos of the location, report when geographic boundaries are exceeded, and also report speed and top speeds. In addition, if someone gets locked out, the system can unlock the doors or start the engine.
Business use of GPS vehicle tracking has even greater benefits. Intelligent fleet monitoring can absolutely revolutionize the way a business is run. In addition to theft protection, business owners and dispatchers know at any time where their vehicles are, what routes they have run, what the odometer reading is, and whether they are being used according to plan and policy. One system we looked at, called Millennium Plus, not only provides vehicle location on a map, geofences, remote alarms and door unlocking, but also detailed history reports that can show hourly usage, violations, speeding, or many other parameters. But even that is not all. Special sensors can retrieve information from the OBDII onboard diagnostics system. OBDII tracks dozens of vehicle functions, and that data could be used to provide fuel efficiency data, warn of potential vehicle failures or manage maintenance requirements.
If all this sounds enormously complicated, it's not. Installation of a GPS vehicle tracking system is inherently no more difficult than that of a car audio system. Setting up the web-based tracking reports is simple as well, and can be done both for individual as well as multiple vehicles.
How much does it cost? That depends on the type and system. A typical GPS tracking device can cost little more than a fancy smartphone. Usage is generally charged in a similar way to cell phones, but even comprehensive plans cost less than a basic phone plan. That's a very small price to pay for theft protection and peace of mind if used on a personal vehicle, and potentially dramatic savings and increased efficiency in a commercial fleet monitoring tracking system.