Vehicle Tracking Systems

Vehicle Tracking Systems That Use GPS Technology – Some Basic Information

Global positioning system (GPS) is a technology that is widely used in many parts of the world today. Initially developed by the U. S. Department of Defense, the GPS technology, uses about 24 satellites that are orbiting the Earth to calculate the exact position of any object. Transmitted signals from an object reach a satellite after a time delay. The satellite is fitted with a precise clock, and it retransmits the received signal with a time message. The receiver calculates the time difference and determines the distance to the satellite. The technology takes the help of three satellites to calculate the latitude and longitude of the receiver. It uses yet another satellite to calculate the altitude.

The GPS technology has been used for many applications in the civilian world. The vehicle tracking system is one of them. A typical vehicle tracking system consists of the following components:

• A GPS tracking unit is installed in the vehicle. The device captures and stores information at regular intervals. The information can pertain to the location, temperature, door open/close, fuel cutoff, battery status, etc., among many others. The extent of the tracking system depends on the capacity of these devices.
• A GPS tracking server receives, stores and produces this information to the user on demand.
• The user interface displays required data in specified formats.

Passive systems collect data that are downloaded later for a batch process. Passive tracking devices are less expensive. Active systems transmit the data collected in real time for automatic processing through satellite or cellular networks and inference thereafter. They are more sophisticated and expensive. Many vehicles tracking systems include both active and passive methods of working. Companies that use real time tracking are required to pay a monthly subscription to use the service. The subscription can be bought along with the GPS tracking device.

This technology helps the owner of a vehicle or a third party to protect and monitor mobile assets such as cars, buses, ships, bikes, trucks, etc. Their current position can be located to within a few meters. Fleet management companies can maintain up-to-date records of all fleet activities such as routes, time taken, travel records, mileage, etc. Automatic wireless tracking systems download stored data as they near the base station. Thus, there is no requirement for manual downloads. Bus service companies use the GPS technology for adherence to time and route schedules. Events like display of special messages and audio stop messages can be triggered using these vehicle tracking systems.

GPS systems help extensively in vehicle theft prevention and retrieval of the vehicle. In addition to being able to locate the position of the vehicle, some systems allow the engine and door to get blocked by using the remote control. Vehicle tracking systems are used extensively by field sales personnel for food delivery and vehicle rental companies to improve and optimize their business expenditure. Companies and individuals use the GPS technology to track valuable assets in motion. They can be used for covert surveillance operations.

The new GPS vehicle tracking systems deliver data via the web in a user friendly manner. They are programmed to deliver relevant data in various languages