Every day millions of people around the world use GPS technology to assist themselves on road. It includes traffic information to avoid heavy traffic, tracking a vehicle or roadside assistance. Fleet managers use GPS for tracking mobile assets. The GPS data helps to address problems like compliance, accountability, and safety which makes fleets operate more efficiently and more profitably.

The GPS data can help to overcome unique business challenges like visibility of fleet and historical location. It can also provide information about the speed, idling, unauthorize usage and hours worked. There are endless possibilities with GPS data and its implication and depends on challenges that can be meet by tracking technology.

Old GPS device called “Passive devices” that store GPS location, speed, vehicle details and direction. When the vehicle returns, the device is removed and the data is downloaded to the computer for evaluation. Usually, automatic download system is available which downloads the data wirelessly. These devices can store a limited data that does not expire.

Modern GPS devices known as “Active devices” store the same information and transmit it immediately via cellular or satellite networks to the base station which can be access and user can track the vehicle in real-time. These devices can store unlimited data and have historical location information backup in cloud.

How GPS Tracking Works

Global Positioning System (GPS) is a navigation system formed from the constellation of 31 satellites containing precise atomic clocks. GPS tracking is based on the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) which consists of satellites that transmit microwave signals to GPS receivers to give information on location and speed.

GPS satellite signals are processed by a receiver not only track the location but can also compute velocity. The location can even be computed with the help of four GPS satellite signals. The GPS consists of 31 Earth-orbiting GPS satellites of which 27 are operational at any time and 4 allocated as stand-by. These satellites revolve around the Earth every 12 hours and send radio signals from space. A GPS receiver is always in contact with 4 satellites, 3 satellites determine latitude, longitude and elevation ad the fourth provides an element of time.

The GPS operation is based on a mathematical principle called trilateration. In order to make the mathematical calculation, the GPS receiver needs two values. First, the location of the place is to be traced by at least three satellites above the place. Second, the distance between each of those Satellites. Satellites send signals having precise information of the time when the is transmitted and its exact location in the space. Based on this information position is calculated.

The tracking device installed on the vehicle gathers information like speed, direction, and location. The GPS device receives this information by running an algorithm on the data that it receives from satellite and calculate its precise location. It then transmits this data to a remote server using a cellular network provider. The server act as a cloud that allows the user to access this information from any part of the world. The data transmitted in the form of longitude and latitude that is displayed on the map in near real-time. All complex calculations are done in the background and users can easily track their vehicle. The accuracy of the GPS tracking provides the vehicle location with the accuracy of about 5m to 10m.

Assisted GPS

In Assisted GPS tracking, the cellular network is used alongside GPS to locate accurate positioning information. AGPS is used to overcome the limitations of GPS. With unassisted GPS, locating the satellites and confirming the exact position may cause delays. The accuracy of AGPS is between 3m and 8m.

The network provider can estimate the location of a cell phone using triangulation. The location is based on measuring power levels and antenna patterns. The mobile phone communicates with the closest base stations, so knowing which base station is in communicates with the mobile phone, the location can be measured.

However, the introduction of GPS technology into cell phones has meant that cell phone GPS tracking now makes this information a lot more accurate.

Key Benefits of Tracking Systems

Manage on duty Employees: Tracking software can give updates and detailed reports about the drivers and what they are doing on duty. This information can be used to maximize the productivity and safety.

Cut Out the Side Jobs:  Fleet managers find out that employees are using company vehicles for side jobs. Tracking system can show you, when vehicles are being used outside the duty hours and find out where they’re using it.

By eliminating side jobs, it reduces wear and tear on vehicles. You might also find that it helps protect your brand and protect your organization being associated with an unauthorized job.

Increase Productivity: Tracking devices allows you to serve customers more efficiently. With access to information about traffic and road conditions, you can redirect drivers toward alternative routes so they can reach their destination without wasting precious time.

Anti-Theft features: Keeping track of your vehicle, you can monitor any suspicious activity and develop a plan in case a vehicle goes off-route. Recovery of a stolen vehicle can be much easy if it has a tracking device on it.

Resource Utilization:  It is challenging to measure utilization of company’s resource without the help of a management system. With a tracking system, you can receive accurate resource data on a regular basis which allows you to analyze and develop technique to use all of your resources at maximum efficiency.

Engine Status: The most important features of modern tracking systems are their addition of the engine start and stop record. This information logs the exact time when your vehicles were turned on and off. This feature makes it much easier to see exactly how your drivers are using your vehicles.

Daily Travel Usage: It’s important to not only know where your fleet is, but also how it got there. Travel usage reports allow you to view daily records of your GPS fleet tracking data so that you can analyze the paths your drivers took. With this information, you can learn to avoid highly congested routes.

Driver Analysis Reporting: It lets you pull up driver statistics instantly. It shows how long trip takes, how much time drivers spent idle, and how fast they went. Analysis report makes it easy to compare your employees’ side-by-side and their dedication towards work.