What is GPS and how did it start?
A satellite based direction-finding system made up of twenty four satellites was initially placed into orbit by the U.S. Department of Defense. In 1980 they opened the system for civilian use. The satellites are in orbit continuously working in all conditions and there are no subscription fees or setup charges for the GPS use. Each satellite makes two complete round trips around the planet and runs on solar power. Each satellite transmits signals specifying their exact location at a given point in time. The location of anything which has a receiver on it can be determined by simple triangulation. On the average, locations calculated on the basis of GPS systems are accurate to about 15 meters.
GPS technology serves numerous purposes. It can be employed by emergency service units to locate cars nearest to the place of emergency and help increase their efficiency, it is useful in surveying and mapping, and even wildlife experts use it to track migration habits of different species. The most commonly used application of the GPS positioning systems are calculating one’s location. This, in turn, reduces the risk of car theft and fleet management.
Companies involved in transport of goods use GPS fleet tracking to help reduce costs and increase profits. The GPS fleet tracking reports are capable of producing detailed logs that allow management to calculate and substantiate the exact timings when billing. This helps to eliminate billing disagreements. Fleet management is improved through elimination of idling by drivers. Additionally, it allows to keep track of all vehicles at all times.
There are many vehicle location companies that install GPS receivers in the vehicle and they can then keep track of the vehicle at all times. Most of the new cars come with receivers pre-installed. If the company detects any unauthorized movement of a car, they notify the owner by a cell phone call. Vehicles equipped with these devices can also be tracked online in real time, including things like which direction the vehicle is going in, its speed, and where it has been. This feature is especially useful for fleet management.
In the unlikely event that the car is stolen, the owner will get a call of the vehicle’s unauthorized movement. The owner can then alert the company, which tracks the car, who in turn will inform the police. After identifying the vehicle positively and when it is safe, the police will request the company to disable the engine. The company will then send an electronic GPS signal to the car’s electronic system that provides fuel to the engine. This will cause the gasoline to drain off the engine and force the car to stop.
In the area of haulage, transport, and multi-drop delivery business, GPS fleet tracking plays an important and documented role in the reduction of carbon emissions – thus keeping the environment clean. Companies have been able to reduce up to 15% in fuel costs and see a drop in CO2 emissions through tracking. The real-time GPS fleet tracking provides tremendous benefits to companies.
While there are a large variety of GPS devices available, and many are small enough to place covertly in a vehicle, the key component is the software and monitoring contracts one chooses to use. The most common use, of course, is tracking of a vehicle. In the field of fleet management, software used to operate the vehicle passively is ideal. In this mode, the unit will get and store information periodically. Alternatively, the option to have the information updated every thirty seconds in real time is also possible. The data collected from these devices can be put on display on any computer that has an internet connection. It can be displayed on a global map display or on a street by street three dimensional display for a more precise positioning.
Additional features that can be added include the “geofence”. This allows for an alert to be set up which goes off if a vehicle crosses a specified boundary line. Other features available are monitoring the speed and idling habits of employees.
Installing GPS or other safety features in your vehicle not only can help save your life, they can also help save you money on insurance. Insurance companies offer safe auto insurance discounts for many safety features. If you are wondering how your GPS or other safety systems can help you save on your premiums, contact your insurance agent today.