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Different Forms Of Vehicle Tracking System

May 22, 2008
Vehicle tracking systems are becoming an evermore popular option for fleet managers. There are many benefits to a system that allows you to track your vehicle fleet; purchasing a system however can be quite an expense. Normally a tracking system will be attached to software that must be installed back at headquarters. This means that the operator has access to information on all of the vehicles in their fleet, their location, speed, distance travelled and maintenance details.

A vehicle tracking system will work wonders for the efficiency of your fleet. No more is it necessary to have piles of maps in each vehicle in order for operatives to find their way. GPS tracking will give your operatives information on directions and locations. While it may take time for your vehicle drivers to utilise the system effectively, ultimately it will create a system where efficiency is held in the primacy. Cutting out delays and reducing fuel costs is of importance to all fleet managers, a tracking system will help you do this.

Fundamentally there are three distinct types of vehicle tracking systems available on the market today. All have various advantages and disadvantages. These three kinds of system are labelled cellular, wireless passive and satellite real time. But what is the best solution for your fleet? Here is an outlay of the pros and cons.

Cellular tracking has a lower initial set up cost than the other two forms of system. Cellular systems utilise cellular transmissions to transmit information on the whereabouts of your vehicle fleet. It is not strictly up to date however; locations are reported approximately every five to ten minutes depending upon the system you opt for. This type of system does however carry service costs based upon a monthly fee, meaning that it is an ongoing expense and not a one-off payment. The information is normally displayed over the internet using the accompanying software.

Wireless Passive tracking systems differ from cellular systems in the way that they can be considered a one-off payment. Once the system has been installed and set up, it is in place for not further fees; it can be expensive however to set up and install. The reason for this expense is the dual components of hardware and software that must be installed as well as the creation of a database. There is however a fundamental problem with this form of tracking system, the information can only be retrieved once the vehicle has been returned to the depot.

Some companies, because of this major disadvantage will not want to employ this kind of system as it simply does not provide information at the right time. It also provides no protection if the vehicle is stolen or involved in accident. Modern passive systems are however installing added modems in vehicles so real time information is available. This addition has also meant that the system is also far more detailed. This kind of system now can give information on vehicle speed and when stops have occurred. Subsequently, many companies are opting for this option as it becomes more advanced and still retains no monthly fee.

Satellite based tracking systems, while not giving the detailed information of the other two systems; do provide a solution around the entire country. Subsequently shipping and trucking companies are more likely to select this sort of system. This can be an expensive system to employ although monthly fees do vary on the detail that the company wishes to be given.

As evermore developments are made in the GPS vehicle tracking industry, it is possible to combine the benefits of these three systems. What we can be certain is that as the technology clearly advances; these types of system will become increasing widespread in a number of industries.
About the Author
Technology expert Thomas Pretty looks into the three major types of GPS vehicle tracking systems on the market today.
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