As technology advances and connectivity improves, we seem to be moving towards an age of ultra-efficiency when it comes to logistics. There are a number of devices that can now be connected through the Internet of Things (IoT) and data from these devices can be collected to study various aspects of the supply chain and bring about efficiencies like never before.
The GPS tracker has been a crucial enabling technology to enter the logistics industry. This piece of hardware has driven radical change and brought about never-before-seen efficiencies in this industry. The GPS tracker has changed the way we move cargo and keep the supply chain moving.
How Do GPS Trackers Work?
There are a number of uses for GPS trackers. There are GPS trackers for cars that can be used as a good security system and you can connect a number of GPS trackers from your vehicles to use a fleet tracking and management system.
The Global Positioning System (GPS) was initially developed by the US government for military navigation, but now anyone with a GPS tracker can use this system. The GPS uses a constellation of about 24 artificial satellites and the process of trilateration to determine an object’s current position.
What is Trilateration?
Trilateration is the process of determining the absolute or relative location of objects by measuring distances using spheres, triangles, and circles. For a GPS receiver to pinpoint your location there have to be at least 3 satellites actively tracking it.
Let’s say the satellites are called A, B, and C. The receiver will determine your distance from satellite A, imagine a circle with a radius of the distance between you and the satellite. The same procedure will be followed with satellites B and C. The point at which all three circles intersect will be your current location. This procedure of using a minimum of 3 satellites to determine the current location of an object is called trilateration.
Things to Consider While Purchasing a GPS Tracker
GPS trackers come in various forms and with different functionalities. There are two main types of GPS trackers on the market today, GPS loggers and GPS pushers. Most GPS trackers for cars and fleet tracking would be considered GPS pushers.
GPS loggers log GPS information on their onboard memory banks and GPS pushers send or “push” GPS data to an external central system of the server for processing or viewing. Here are a few things to keep in mind while buying a GPS tracker for car or fleet tracking.
The purpose for which a GPS tracker is being purchased is important to determine what type of GPS tracker to buy. A single GPS tracker for your car can be easy to buy as most GPS trackers have about the same functionality and provide you with the same data. For fleet tracking, it is a little more tricky, as you will need to buy GPS trackers that will be compatible with your entire fleet and can be tracked from a single dashboard.
The battery type of GPS tracker is another important thing to consider. There is a variety of power inputs you can select from. Some GPS trackers come with an onboard battery and others can be connected to your vehicle’s battery. GPS trackers with onboard batteries require you to change their batteries periodically, but GPS trackers that draw power from your vehicle’s battery do not need any battery changes, saving you time and effort.
There are a number of channels used by GPS devices to send and receive data. These channels are GPS, SMS, GSM, GPRS, DTMF, CDMA, AGPS, etc. These cellular and radio frequencies are used by the GPS tracker for communication and most GPS trackers support multiple channels. The important thing is to use software that is compatible with the communication system.
The Benefits of Using a Fleet Tracking System
Fleet tracking is using data from multiple GPS trackers in your fleet to determine where resources need to be targeted and monitor the ongoing movement of your fleet. There are a number of advantages to using a fleet tracking system.
Using a fleet tracking system is a great way to reduce the operating costs of a fleet. The fleet management system allows the user to monitor fuel consumption and make adjustments to improve fuel efficiencies. It can also provide you with data on driver behavior and any erratic driving patterns will be relayed.
A fleet tracking system provides you with a lot of data relating to your vehicles. By checking how many miles the vehicles have run you can determine when they need to be serviced or when certain parts like tires, ball bearings, brake pads, etc., need to be replaced. This timely service and replacement of parts can improve longevity and reduce overall costs as well.
Punctuality is the name of the game when it comes to logistics and running a fleet. A fleet tracking system can be a vital tool to ensure your cargo is reaching its destination on time. The fleet tracking and management systems will show you a real-time feed of your cargo and in case of breakdowns will allow you to redirect resources to ensure all your cargo gets delivered on time.
Overall, using the data provided by GPS trackers for cars or a fleet of vehicles can help improve the overall efficiency of the vehicles and can provide you insights into where you can cut costs and redirect resources. These little pieces of technology have changed the way we move cargo globally.