GPS, or Global Positioning System, is a global navigation satellite system for determining the position of people and objects. Live GPS trackers have become indispensable tools for fleet management. This technology communicates the location and the direction of travel, along with other data concerning business vehicles. With the help of a comprehensive GPS software system, fleet managers benefit from the overview of their fleet that this kind of data provides, resulting in numerous financial and organisational advantages.
What is GPS?
The Global Positioning System was originally developed by the US military and replaced the NNSS satellite navigation system, which was no longer current at the time, in the mid-1980s. Since 2000, GPS has been used increasingly in civil traffic control and as a way for individuals to find their way around. The system receives signals from satellites that transmit their position at regular intervals. From this it calculates its own location with high accuracy.
Originally developed for military purposes, live GPS trackers were used to determine the position of weapon systems, warships and aircraft. The big advantage is that GPS allowed military entities to navigate without third parties knowing their location, this was because live GPS trackers could only receive data, but could not send it itself. Nowadays, GPS is mainly used in the civilian area.
The GPS system consists of a total of 32 satellites orbiting the earth at an altitude of approximately 20,000 km. These satellites continuously send their position and time to Earth. In order for a live GPS tracker to determine its position on earth, it must have at least contact with four satellites. The more satellite signals are received, the more precise your own position determination.
The GPS calculates the coordinates from the satellite positions and the times sent. The exact position of the device can be determined based on the time it takes the signal from the satellite to earth and the position of the satellite. Your own speed can be calculated from the time that is determined for the route from two determined coordinates.
Why do Companies use Live GPS Trackers?
A GPS program that tracks fleet vehicles makes organisation easier, increases security and ultimately saves a lot of money. One solution GPS tracker technology provides is the correct documentation of working hours and driving times. This feature is beneficial for many within a company. Drivers do not have to worry about constantly documenting their working hours, saving time at the end of their shift and the human resource department can more easily obtain timesheets.
By automating even the simplest of processes the susceptibility to errors is practically set to zero. With a GPS fleet software tracking and documenting routes and idle times, vehicle administrators or fleet managers are able to provide accurate proof of all working hours. The acquired data can then be transferred to the payroll department for the creation of pay slips or to an ERP system for the optimisation of logistics processes.
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How are Live GPS Trackers Used Within a Fleet of Vehicles?
The installation of a live GPS tracker in a fleet of vehicles allows the fleet manager to better monitor and support drivers that are out in the field or on a job. A modern GPS system tracks vehicles in real time and records their routes for documentation of working times or for proof of contact with a customer. Fleet managers can also use this data to better plan routes and vehicle usage. There are numerous scenarios in which the use of a GPS becomes profitable to a business:
- Planning and optimisation of routes for vehicles on the road (e.g. in logistics, outpatient care, delivery, services)
- Assistance in vehicle locating for car rental companies and car sharing models
- Quick response in emergencies and breakdowns
- Increased customer satisfaction and more accurate ETAs
- Easier fleet management
- Effective theft protection through real-time tracking of vehicles and construction machinery
- Flexibility towards appointment changes or last minute service requests
- Improvement in capacity utilisation since vehicles do not remain unused
- Coordination of vehicles and employees
- Fast delivery of vehicles to employees
- Ease of data collection and sharing among departments
The prerequisite for this level of optimisation from a live GPS tracker is of course the installation of a GPS tracking hardware into the vehicle. Depending on the intended use and design, some GPS trackers are permanently installed in the vehicle interior or in the engine compartment and, if necessary, connected to the vehicle battery.
The GPS tracker remains permanently active in vehicles that are used by several employees. According to EU law, if a vehicle is used for private trips then it must be possible to deactivate the GPS system during that time.
Examples of GPS Optimisation
Live GPS trackers are used to the benefit of multiple departments within a company. The tracking of pool vehicle movements and the automation of administrative tasks allows for work processes to be optimised, idle times minimised and vehicles to be used more productively. For companies, this means enormous time savings with simultaneously falling costs.
Across industries and sectors, fleet managers are aware of the benefits a GPS system can provide. From the efficient utilisation of vehicles and optimised route planning to the reduced administrative work and ultimate impact on customer satisfaction.
With GPS technology, businesses also see an increase in the safety of their employees. The driver and dispatcher remain connected to each other throughout the working hours. Quick help is possible in case of a dangerous situation or an accident. This also applies to vehicle theft. The GPS system tells the fleet manager the location in real time so that they can forward the data to the police.
How GPS is Revolutionising Entire Business Sectors
Live GPS tracking is playing an increasingly important role in fleet and fleet management. Studies have shown that companies that rely on outdated models of fleet management do in fact suffer, and this goes for fleets ranging from one vehicle to 50+. However vehicle tracking isn’t the only way GPS technology is making changes. Here is a list of other industries benefiting and evolving due to this automation.
GPS systems have become indispensable for location in aviation and seafaring. Vehicle insurance companies sometimes offer advantages and discounts to drivers with vehicles equipped with a GPS setup. In agriculture, GPS is used to determine the position of the machines in the field. In the outdoor area,live GPS trackers serve as the basis for the trending sport geocaching, and in our day-to-day lives GPS is used on almost every smartphone for navigation and location determination.
GPS is also a cornerstone of autonomous driving technology. However, in autonomous driving, the position of a vehicle must be determined to the centimeter. GPS alone cannot do this and is therefore supplemented by the data collected by driver assistance systems.
There are several reasons why you may want to install a live GPS tracker on your car or truck. The two primary reasons are the ability to accurately locate it at all times and also for improving the vehicle’s security. Besides the anti-theft benefits, businesses also use the GPS tracking data to monitor fuel usage, routes, driver behaviour and more.
Vimcar offers a reliable GPS tracking system that is not only highly accurate but also easy to install. Learn how to install our GPS tracker here below.
Installation options for live GPS trackers
Chiefly, you’ll come across two primary installation choices for users of our Vimcar live GPS tracker: a dongle or a box. Both methods are easy to follow and do not require previous technical knowledge. In fact, you won’t even need to take your car to the garage for the GPS installation, since both installations options are quite straightforward.
1. Vimcar Dongle
The Vimcar Dongle is a plug-in live GPS tracker that easily connects to your vehicles OBD interface. The installation process is as follows:
Advantages of a plug-in live GPS trackers
- Plug-in installation means that the live GPS tracker is ready for use in under 2 minutes
- You can easily move it from one car to the next
- No installation costs since you are quickly plugging it in by yourself
- No mechanic required
- Great for personal staff vehicles, hire cars etc.
- Open your Vimcar Dongle package and take out the GPS tracker
- Locate your OBD port, usually found in your car’s footwell
- Plug the Vimcar Dongle into the OBD port and you are done
2. Vimcar Box
The Vimcar Box is a hardwired device that directly connects to your vehicle’s battery. There are key benefits of this live GPS tracker installation method, as shown below:
Advantages of our hardwired live GPS trackers
- Great option for people looking for a GPS that is hidden from direct view
- Better power connection since the GPS connects directly to the battery
- The simple installation process means you won’t have to experience major downtimes when installing this GPS tracker
Final words on live GPS trackers
Installing the Vimcar live GPS tracker to your car or truck is quite straightforward, regardless of whether you choose the dongle or the box installation procedure. Choose one that best suits your needs to gain all the benefits of having a live GPS tracker.
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