Historically, vehicle tracking has been accomplished by installing a box into the vehicle, either self-powered with a battery or wired into the vehicle's power system. For detailed vehicle locating and tracking this is still the predominant method; however, many companies are increasingly interested in the emerging cell phone technologies that provide tracking of multiple entities, such as both a salesperson and their vehicle.
These systems also offer tracking of calls, texts, web use and generally provide a wider range of options.
Vehicle tracking systems are commonly used by fleet operators for fleet management functions such as fleet tracking , routing, dispatching, on-board information and security. Some vehicle tracking systems are bundled with or interface with fleet management software.
Along with commercial fleet operators, urban transit agencies use the technology for a number of purposes, including monitoring schedule adherence of buses in service, triggering automatic changes of buses' destination sign displays once the vehicle approaches the bus terminus or other set location along a bus route such as a particular bus stop along the route , and triggering pre-recorded or even synthetic speech bus stop, route and its destination or service announcements for passengers.
The American Public Transportation Association estimated that, at the beginning of , around half of all transit buses in the United States were already using a GPS-based vehicle tracking system to trigger automated stop announcements. Some transit agencies provide a virtual map on their website, with icons depicting the current locations of buses in service on each route, for customers' information,  while others provide such information only to dispatchers or other employees.
Other applications include monitoring driving behavior, such as an employer of an employee, or a parent with a teen driver. Vehicle tracking systems are also popular in consumer vehicles as a theft prevention , monitoring and retrieval device. Police can simply follow the signal emitted by the tracking system and locate the stolen vehicle. When used as a security system, a Vehicle Tracking System may serve as either an addition to or replacement for a traditional car alarm.
Some vehicle tracking systems make it possible to control the vehicle remotely, including block doors or engine in case of emergency.
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The existence of vehicle tracking device then can be used to reduce the insurance cost, because the loss-risk of the vehicle drops significantly. Vehicle tracking systems are an integrated part of the "layered approach" to vehicle protection, recommended by the National Insurance Crime Bureau NICB to prevent motor vehicle theft. This approach recommends four layers of security based on the risk factors pertaining to a specific vehicle. Some vehicle tracking systems integrate several security systems, for example by sending an automatic alert to a phone or email if an alarm is triggered or the vehicle is moved without authorization, or when it leaves or enters a geofence.
Vehicle tracking systems are widely used worldwide. Additionally, these systems may also feature short range data communication systems such as WiFi. While most will offer real-time tracking, others record real time data and store it to be read, in a fashion similar to data loggers. Systems like these track and record and allow reports after certain points have been solved. A cellular OBD GPS tracker directly communicates with the cell tower for sending the location and other vehicle performance data to the server over cellular wireless network.
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In addition, OBD trackers communicate with the different vehicle subsystems for receiving vehicle diagnostic and fuel consumption related data. Aside from theft-prevention , the most common use of vehicle tracking is in logistics and transport. These systems make use of GPS and GSM technology to provide precise and constant location telematics to an individual fleet manager.
These systems are typically equipped with features to monitor statistics such as; fuel consumption, average speed, current driver time and location. There has been a recent increase in demand for this technology as EU regulations place increased restrictions on the hours driver are allowed to work in a given day. It is currently limited to 9 hours per day.
This obligation has led many to attempt to cauterize this potentially onerous obligation, instead turning it into a benefit. Much like other forms of trackers, although due to their nature they are equipped with more thorough diagnostic features. Industries not traditionally known to use vehicle tracking systems logistics and transportation industries are the ones that have traditionally incorporated vehicle tracking system into their operations have started to use it in creative ways to improve their processes or businesses. The hospitality industry has caught on to this technology to improve customer service.
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For example, a luxury hotel in Singapore has installed vehicle tracking systems in their limousines to ensure they can welcome their VIPs when they reach the hotel. Vehicle tracking systems used in food delivery vans may alert if the temperature of the refrigerated compartment moves outside of the range of safe food storage temperatures. Locate a site on Google Maps, search nearest vehicles available for a job and dispatch the details to the relevant vehicle.
See the location of your entire mobile workforce in relation to scheduled or yet-to-be-scheduled jobs in one screen. Use the advanced filter to see details for only the jobs and quotes you require. In simPRO, quickly identify and schedule the nearest technician to a job, and send job details to their vehicle with Garmin in-car messaging.
GPS vehicle tracking software. Monitor and manage your fleet. Watch the 2 min video Log in Get started. Live GPS Tracking Login from any device with an internet connection to see the location of your vehicles at any time.
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Detailed Reports Report on everything from on-site time and travel time through to vehicle speeds and idle time. Geofencing and Alerts Define perimeters in the field and be notified every time one of your vehicles enters or exits those perimeters. Maintenance Planner Receive a notification if a vehicle is due for servicing and set up maintenance tests that can be performed by staff using the Maintenance Planner. Driver Identification Create drivers in simTRAC to keep records of their details and vehicle histories, and assign them to vehicles so you can monitor who is using what, and when.