Monthly Archives: April 2011
If you are thinking about implementing a GPS Tracking solution as part of your overall fleet management strategy, you may have been a little overwhelmed by the array of equipment options out in the marketplace. Choosing the right option is usually driven by what it is you need to get out of the system. Let’s review the 3 main categories of GPS tracking systems:
Real Time Tracking: These units transmit a continuous stream of information from each vehicle in your fleet to a central data center, where the information is processed and then provided to you in real time over the internet (usually on a web page). It’s important to note that the phrase “real time” generally refers to how quickly the data is made available to the user, and not necesarily how rapidly each vehicle’s location is being updated. While it is technically possible to update each vehicle in your fleet every 5 or 10 seconds, many applications will update at a slower rate to reduce server overhead and therefore service costs.
Exception Tracking: These devices allow you to locate the unit being tracked at any time. Think of it as flipping on the lightswitch in a room just for an instant. In that moment you can see exactly where an individual was in the room, and these units work essentially the same way. When you locate, or “ping”, the tracker, it will tell you where it is in that moment of time, but you will not have any information on where the device was before the ping or after. Many applications that allow you to ping a cell phone work exactly this way.
Passive Tracking: Passive tracking systems, also known as dataloggers, store a history of the device’s location in onboard memory. The data is normally retreived by downloading the information onto a computer, where the tracking history can be displayed. Data loggers have the important advantage of not requiring any sort of wireless service to operate, which means they have no monthly service fees.
Of course, there are many other ways to segment the GPS tracking market. Here are a few other questions you will want to answer before settling on a particular solution:
- Do I want battery powered devices, or something that will be hard-wired into the vehicle?
- Do I need professional grade equipment, or will a quality, consumer grade devices suit my needs?
- Will cellular service be adequate for transmission of my incoming tracking data, or do I need a pure satellite based solution?
- If the GPS signal is obstructed for some reason, will the device triangulate using cell towers? Do I need/want to pay for this feature?
The customer service reps at our sister-site World Tracking Solutions can help you navigate the list of options if you are thinking about implementing a GPS Tracking solution for your business.