GPS tracking can be defined as the surveillance of location through the use of the Global Positioning System commonly referred to as GPS. This system is used to track the exact location of an object that is enabled to the GPS system remotely. This technology can pinpoint ground speed, course of direction, latitude and longitude of the entity or object in focus.
The GPS consists of a group of twenty four spaced satellites that orbit the earth. People or objects fitted with ground receivers can pinpoint the exact geographical location of an object in focus. The accuracy is estimated to be between ten and one hundred meters, depending on the type of equipment. Military equipment are said to be more accurate than civilian equipment.
With the changing times and improved technology, GPS is available to almost anybody who wishes to use this service. It was once only used by the military and special scientific research stations. With the invention of smart phone and tablets and the subsidized cost of these items, everyone is within reach of a GPS system.
Although everyone can own a GPS tracking device, there are certain professions that need it most. Professionals such as police and law enforcement, military and firefighters are most reliant on the GPS system given the nature of their work.
Other companies that rely on the GPS system include courier businesses. With a GPS locator system better known as automatic vehicle locators or AVL for short, these businesses thrive by knowing and managing their large fleet remotely. AVL systems are used for a network of vehicles that must be equipped with the below;
- A GPS receiver
- A mobile radio receiver
- A GPS modem
- A GPS antenna
Once you have a vehicle with the above you need a base radio connection that will have a computer station. This computer station must have a GPS receiver in order to communicate remotely with the fleet of vehicles and an interface. Once you have an AVL system for your fleet of vehicles, you can relax knowing one hundred percent where you can find them at all times. It has also shown to improve accountability and improve efficiency.
There are various benefits to anyone who uses GPS systems for their businesses. These benefits include;
- Gives management the ability to save on money for fuel
All standard GPS models and vehicle tracking software have the ability to calculate the shortest, most economical and quickest route to reach a destination. If you have a fleet of courier vehicles you may want to invest in a more advanced type of GPS system. The advanced GPS system gives actual, real time information on fuel consumption per mile. This will make it much easier to track consumption and budget for the cost of fuel for future use.
- Known GPS tracking improves character of employees
Human nature dictates that when you know forehand that there are repercussions for your actions, you tend to be more cautious about how you behave or act. This is the effect GPS tracking has on most employees. The drivers who know that they are being monitored tend to become more cautious on the road and will less likely cause accidents due to careless driving. They also tend to be more vigilant of road signs and adhere to the regulations.
- Management of large fleets of vehicles is made easier
The management and owners of companies feel like they are in control when they use the GPS system. Instead of relying on the word of mouth from their employees, they actually get real-time feedback on the location of their vehicles, how fast it is going and what rate of fuel consumption it takes. The managers are literally co drivers with every single vehicle that is fitted with the GPS system. With this kind of detailed information and knowledge, management is made much easier.
- Helps both the driver and management in prediction of what to expect on the roads
Vehicle GPS tracking systems warn the drivers and management team of any incoming traffic situations long before the driver arrives at it. Updates on accidents, incidents, road closures, vehicle diversions and heavy traffic jams are made in a timely manner and thus prevent bad outcomes on the businesses. Things like delays for courier companies are avoided.
- Long term GPS tracking eventually improves on the driving habits of a driver
They say that habit eventually breeds character. This is true when it comes to all human beings. A driver who is consistently monitored through a GPS system eventually becomes a very responsible driver with great driving habits. Poorly driven vehicles tend to damage a car leading to a shorter life span. If you have a fleet of vehicles that are constantly being exposed to reckless driving, they will not serve you for very long. Having a team of competent drivers will not only save you money, but will also breed a confident and competent work force.
- It greatly increases the safety and security of your vehicle
Whether you are a private vehicle owner or the owner of a large fleet of courier vehicles, when you install a GPS system you feel safe and secure. Unfortunate events such as theft of a vehicle can be resolved quite easily. A hidden GPS receiver can help law enforcement pin point the exact location of your stolen car and have it returned as soon as possible. Not to mention the apprehension of the criminal in record time.
- Curb unethical behavior among employees
If you own a fleet of vehicles such as a courier service or a luxury car escort service, you will be assured that none of your employees are using your company vehicles for personal use. You can install an alert system whereby you get reports immediately a car is used after business hours. During working hours some employees may want to sneak off and run their own errands and a GPS system will also alert you when an employee goes off the set course.
- Causes Improvement of customer service
Customer service and delivery is greatly improved once the management of your vehicles improves. There is timely delivery of items if you are in the courier business, there is also the avoidance of heavy traffic due to regular alerts. Once customer service is improved, there is increase in business and thereby increased cash flow to your business.
- Helps improve maintenance of vehicles
GPS systems are fitted with alerts for maintenance of your fleet of vehicles. When you need a vehicle turn up or oil check the GPS system will send you timely alerts. This will eventually avoid unnecessary visits to the garage and also help you save money and plan on your time.
- Generating and printing of reports and alerts
Instead of manually generating reports on your vehicle the GPS system can be programmed to do it for you. If you invest in an improved state of the art system, this will be a great investment for you and your company. Weekly, monthly and even annual reports can be automatically generated through the GPS system. All you have to do is to set up the alerts and print them out. This will also save you income as you will not have to waste manpower on this task.
- Accurate mapping systems.
Many GPS systems, depending on your provider, have teamed up with the county’s geographical mapping department in order to get the latest and most accurate mapping technology and systems available. This provides for better service offered to clients on a long term basis.
The above mentioned advantages are for fleet companies and courier services or mostly for people who are in business. However, private vehicle owners and individuals also need GPS system. Below are some of the ways GPS can be advantageous to a private vehicle owner
- For parents, you can track your teenage child’s movements, especially when they are driving long distances e.g. for a long road trip or when they go off to college. You can sleep better knowing where they are and what time they are scheduled to reach their destination
- For parents too, tracking your teenage children’s vehicles will replace the nagging phone conversations inquiring their location. It will also help you monitor their movements and catch them in a lie.
- If you have elderly parents or relatives, it is advised that you track their movements too to ensure that they are safe. For the elderly folk, the most important information is to know their safety and to help them when they lose their way.
- For private vehicle owners, installing a GPS system will help you in vehicle recovery if your car is stolen. The system will pinpoint the exact location of your vehicle.
The importance of the GPS system for today’s generation cannot be emphasized enough, as it has revolutionized the way we operate on a daily basis. The GPS system is one of the best inventions of the 21st century.