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23Sep2014

7 Things to Consider When Choosing a GPS Vehicle Tracking Device

GPS tracking systems have become immensely popular over the last decade. This technology has found numerous applications across industries. You can find it in major social medias such as Facebook, Google plus, etc. There are also tracking devices for ensuring safety such as the GPS school bus tracking system.

The basic function of a GPS vehicle tracking system is to gather the Real-time location of a vehicle. However, the difference between a good quality GPS system and the other low quality products depends upon way the data is transmitted to the server, the type of data transmitted and how the transmitted data reaches the user.

There are different factors to consider while choosing a vehicle tracking device. The seven most important things to consider when choosing a GPS vehicle tracking device are mentioned below:

1. Passive tracking system vs. Real-time tracking system: In Passive tracking systems, the receiver unit will store all GPS data. This stored data would be downloaded onto a local server only after the vehicle returns to the headquarters for the day. A Wi-Fi hotspot is needed to download the transmitted data onto a local server. The selection of Passive tracking system mainly depends upon the frequency of information gathering and the memory space available for the storage of the transmitted data. The Passive system gathers information in every 30 seconds and it requires considerable amount of memory to store the data.

The storage capacity of Passive solution is variable. Some solutions can store data only for 7 days while some can store data up to 60 days. There is a risk of data loss if the vehicle stays out of the coverage for long period and the data exceeds the memory capacity. Due to shortage of memory, the new data will overwrite the old data and the old data is lost forever.

Real-time tracking or Active tracking make use of the cellular/satellite modem within the GPS system. Based on a predetermined frequency, it will continuously update the data into the server. Depending upon the provider, the frequency of data updates can vary from 15 seconds to once in a day. As the data is updated continuously, there is no risk of data loss.

2. Cost: The cost of Real-time solutions is comparable with Passive solutions. There is a common myth that Passive solutions is affordable compared to a Real-time solution. Majority of the people have a feeling that Real-time solutions are costlier due to the monthly wireless fees. However, it is not correct. Real-time solutions are

increasingly affordable as wireless rates have come down over the last few years. On the other hand, a Passive system can be costlier due to Wi-Fi infrastructure as it needs regular maintenance.

3. Dispatching: Effective dispatching is possible with Real-time solutions. It is possible to know the status of each vehicle and the location of the drivers on a map. This feature allows you to take actions on emergency or other situations and to effectively manage the day-to-day operations.

4. Alerts and Notification feature: In a GPS system, Real-time alerts and notifications are very important and can be achieved only by using Real-time solutions. With the Passive system, the fleet managers will be able to monitor the vehicle only once the vehicle returns to the headquarters. Real-time system allows the fleet managers to track the vehicles 24/7 even when they are not in office.

Managers don’t have to stick to their desks all day because they will receive alerts via email or to their mobile device. Alerts can be initiated for excessive speeding and idling events, entering or exiting specific geographic areas, driving behaviour etc. It also allows preventing unsafe and costly activities in real time. The scheduling of these alerts can be done by Real-time engine diagnostics or the miles driven.

5. Quality Mapping: The mapping features of a

vehicle tracking device allows you to zoom to street levels. It also provides different views like street maps, satellite and birds eye. The GPS system should be partnered with a good mapping provider. One of the famous mapping providers, Bing mapping provides accurate and up-to-date mapping. This facility allows them to accurately track vehicle location.

6. Accidents: With Passive tracking system, if a vehicle meets with an accident and the unit is damaged, the chance of losing the data is high as the data is not continuously updated. In Real-time solutions, the last information right before the accident is transmitted. If the unit is not damaged, it would continue updating the real data.

7. Theft prevention: Theft prevention is another feature of GPS system. Most of the companies also prefer to implement GPS system into their vehicles due to this facility. As the Real-time tracking system continuously updates the position of the vehicle, it is easy to find out the lost vehicle. In comparison to Passive systems, Real-time systems are faster due to their live data updates.

There are numerous applications for GPS tracking. Probably the most important to any parent would be the School Bus Tracking system. It helps parents ensure the safety and security of their children. For schools, GPS systems are of great help as it helps them to give more attention to individual students.

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