What Is GPS Fleet Tracking and Why is it Useful?

The most popular location system is GPS (Global Positioning System), and it is based on the constellation of satellites of the Department of Defense of the American Government. But in recent years other alternative and complementary constellations have been developed, such as the European Galileo system, the Russian Glonass, or the Chinese Beidou.

Using satellite and telematics technology, GPS fleet tracking allows for the tracking of the location, movement, speed, and more of a fleet of vehicles, enabled by a small telematics device that is installed in each vehicle.

The modern chips that incorporate telematics equipment, which are used as satellite receivers, use all the technologies mentioned above to give the location with the best possible precision.

Powered by Global Positioning System (technology) – which use atomic clocks and radio signals to enable the pinpointing of GPS devices and, by extension, the vehicle that contains it – GPS fleet tracking combines this with telematics technology to enable this information and more to be transmitted to the manager of a fleet.

At its core, telematics is a gatherer and transmitter of data, which it obtains from in-vehicle sensors, engine data, and of course, GPS technology. The data collected by the telematics equipment is sent to a centralized server. Through the software of that server, the fleet location can be viewed. But there are many other functions that these servers allow to perform, associated with the location of the vehicles. You can make reports on the activities carried out by the vehicles, know the stops made, the kilometers traveled, what visits are made to the clients and when, the times of passage through each point, and a host of other functions.

These telematics devices can be implemented in a few different ways: hard-wired into the vehicles – perfect for businesses who need to prove compliance, or that need greater security and reliability of data that can’t be tampered with – or, plugged into the vehicle with self-install devices, while another option still is to install an app onto drivers’ phones.

Why is GPS fleet tracking so useful?

In practice, implementing GPS fleet tracking means that in addition to keeping track of a fleet of vehicles, it gives fleet managers the ability to re-route drivers remotely if necessary, ensure that the fleet is being used appropriately (a.k.a. not for personal errands) and gather driving data to allow drivers to improve their driving performance.

For example, if drivers brake forcefully, accelerate too hard and too often, or drive erratically around corners, GPS fleet tracking technology is able to detect this. Then, fleet drivers can be informed on how they can improve their own driving safety, increase their fuel consumption efficiency, reduce fuel costs and decrease the likelihood that the vehicle will need premature maintenance done.

In addition to being an invaluable tool to reduce transportation costs and increase business’ return of investment, GPS fleet tracking is also a vital feature of ensuring those in the transportation industry are compliant with regulations pertaining to Hours of Service (HOS) and more.

Therefore, in order to aid with compliance, keep track of a fleet of vehicles, and improve the usage of those vehicles, implementing quality GPS fleet tracking is a no-brainer.

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Author: Peter Navarro

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