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How GPS Tracking Works

November 01, 2016 by Andrew Mead

Learn the Technology and How Businesses Use It

We hope you enjoy this overview of how GPS Tracking Works. If you’d like to discuss your company’s specific needs and how Fleetmatics can help, please contact us for a gps fleet tracking demo.

The Science Behind GPS

The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a combination of 27 satellites that transmit signals to GPS receivers all over the globe.

By measuring the travel time of the radio signals between the receiver and the satellite, the distance between the GPS receiver and the satellite can be determined.

By combining, or triangulating, the distance from the three or four nearest satellites over time, location, speed, and direction of the GPS receivers can be determined.

This location data becomes useful for fleet owners when it’s aggregated for all their vehicles and presented on a map and/or in reports.

Active vs. Passive Tracking

Active: the data from the GPS receiver is transmitted every 60 seconds to a remote user at regular intervals. This gives you real-time location information.

Passive: all the GPS data is stored in the receiver and must be downloaded once all the vehicles return to the office

Real-time tracking has become the most popular method despite its higher cost because of the huge benefits of having real-time information to make on-demand management decisions.

Covert or Open?

Some fleet tracking companies offer units that have no exposed wires or antennas, allowing for covert installation. Some business owners prefer covert installations to keep behaviour honest while providing subtle coaching when problems are detected.

Other business owners and fleet managers prefer to keep the tracking out in the open and let employees know that they're watching. The choice isn't always easy, but we offer some tips on how you can share tracking with your team.

Uses of GPS Tracking

While Most Industries Use Fleet Tracking for their Trucks, Vans, Semis, etc…

  • Construction/Paving/Landscaping

  • Plumbers/Electricians

  • Wholesaler/Supplier/Distributors

  • Emergency/Repair Services

  • Transportation

  • Roofing/Garage Installation

Some Industries Track More Unconventional Assets:

  • Taxi Cabs

  • Ambulances

  • Buses

  • Boats

  • Trains

  • Lawn Mowers

  • Heavy Equipment

  • Mobile Medical Units

  • Street sweepers

They All Experience the Same Benefits:

  • Overtime Reduction

  • Improved Customer Service

  • Timesheet Automation/Verification

  • Increased Productivity

  • Fuel Reduction

  • Vehicle Mileage Reduction

  • Increased Fleet and Workforce Security

  • Improved Routing

Keep In Mind…

There are very few vehicle tracking systems that offer the right combination of the features you need to achieve the maximum benefits of a GPS system. These features include: usability, technology development and financial stability.

The best GPS solutions provide the information securely over the Internet. As long as you know the login and password, you can access your system from any Internet-enabled computer. The flexibility and 24/7 accessibility of an Internet based solution makes it the far superior choice when deciding on a specific GPS solution.

Fleetmatics is one of the fastest growing GPS tracking systems in the industry. We provide the best solutions to your biggest fleet management challenges. If you have more questions about GPS Tracking in general, or would like to learn more about our specific product, please call 01 499 6200 or schedule a gps demo today!