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What is Vehicle Tracking?

Vehicle Tracking Buyers' Guide

A vehicle tracking system uses GPS technology to monitor a vehicle's location and the specific details of its usage. The information is relayed back to a website or individual handheld device (i.e. a Smartphone) so the user can be kept updated on where and how any number of vehicles are being used at any time of day.

There are two types of vehicle tracking systems: a telematics system, usually used in fleet management, and a much more simple anti-theft device that is usually used as a recovery system after the theft of expensive plant machinery or high-end luxury cars. It is the telematics tracking system that can offer so much more than letting you know the location of your vehicles. An advanced telematics system allows you to monitor every detail of a vehicle's usage and can offer huge benefits to a company, whether you are sending three or three hundred vehicles out on the road.

Vehicle Tracking Data

A telematics tracking system can feed back information including:

  • The location of the vehicle
  • Whether a vehicle has strayed out of a pre-determined area of use
  • Whether the vehicle is in motion or static, and the speed at which the vehicle is traveling
  • How many miles per gallon the vehicle is getting
  • How much fuel is left in the tank
  • Whether the doors are open/closed
  • What gear the vehicle is in
  • The route that the driver has taken
  • The weight of the load being carried

Many systems are also fitted with panic alarms that can be activated by the driver in emergency situations - this alarm will be relayed back to the tracking unit.

Vehicle Tracking Interfaces

The manager of a fleet of vehicles can have regular, or with a more advanced system, 'live' updates on any of these details so they can keep constant surveillance on how the vehicles are being used. The information is fed through to a secure website that is controlled, supplied and monitored by the Vehicle Tracking company, giving easy and immediate access to the main user. Alternatively, many systems allow on-the-spot access through the use of Smartphones so the Fleet Manager can keep in touch wherever they may be.

As well as pinpoint monitoring, the Vehicle Tracking system can be used to keep in touch with the driver: alternate, more convenient routes or updated destinations can be sent through to drivers from the main system. This means that the potentially hazardous use of mobile phones can be avoided and the driver can have quick and efficient information sent through at the touch of a button.

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