February 6, 2020

What is a Vehicle Tracking System?

Vehicle tracking systems have quickly become part of the landscape of any business which relies on transportation because there is literally nothing more efficient than GPS technology for locating and monitoring vehicles on the roadway. By relying upon coordinating satellite information, and due to the fact that there are always at least three satellites in the range from any location on Earth, they are also extremely reliable.

Besides being used to track down stolen vehicles and criminals, GPS asset trackers have become very prominent in the trucking industry because they help ensure that drivers are complying with federal regulations regarding hours of use and driving habits. Some vehicle tracking systems are extremely elaborate and can track a great deal of data in detail, all of which can be transmitted back to a central location.

Other tracking systems are fairly simple and only record positions that a given vehicle has stopped at. Regardless of how sophisticated the tracking system is, a great deal of information can be recorded by these systems, and that makes them extraordinarily useful to some businesses.

What is a Vehicle Tracking System?

Vehicle tracking systems use several different kinds of technology in order to monitor the real-time position of vehicles or to determine those locations where a vehicle has recently been. These kinds of tracking systems are used by a number of different industries, notably in the trucking industry, for fleet management, and they are also commonly used to track down stolen vehicles.

Most modern vehicle tracking systems make use of GPS technology, although some use radio transmitters as well. There are two different types of vehicle tracking, which are primarily in use today, those being passive and active tracking. In passive tracking, a GPS device will record a vehicle’s position over some specific time frame. Then when that tracker is removed, all data which it has gathered can be transferred to a computer system for analysis.

These types of passive tracking systems are often used in fleet management because they’re simple and easy to implement. Active tracking devices are a bit more complex and have the ability to transmit a vehicle’s location right in real-time. Also used very frequently in fleet management, active tracking systems can be very useful for dispatching, and the transmissions are monitored from a centralized location, normally the headquarters of fleet management.

How Does a System Like This Work?

A reliable GPS tracking service depends on a whole network of satellites, which can determine the location of a device that was designed to be monitored in this way. The basic concept behind GPS tracking is that it uses a process called trilateration in order to pinpoint a physical location that is determined based on its distance from three different satellites in the GPS network.

The portable navigation system in your vehicle uses this same technology of trilateration. The big difference between a GPS tracking system and your car’s navigation system is that the system in your vehicle will provide you with driving directions, whereas a tracking system is capable of maintaining a record of all the driving habits you have recently used, and can also broadcast its current location.

Some GPS trackers which are installed in vehicles have the ability to broadcast their current location as well, and in those cases, it uses the same technology that smartphones do in order to connect to the Internet or to make telephone calls. That’s why it’s necessary to pay a monthly fee for some GPS car tracking systems.

Why is a Vehicle Tracking System Important?

Since they were first invented, GPS tracking systems have become extremely important to a number of businesses, and have provided essential value and functionality to them. One of the reasons this is especially true for a fleet management company is that every minute that vehicles are on the road, costs are being incurred. That means it’s absolutely essential that you monitor the progress and activities of each of these vehicles so that you have information upon which decisions can be made.

It will also help to keep your drivers in line with company policy, for instance by avoiding inappropriate stops along the way, or from incurring excessive idle time. Many companies also make use of GPS tracking systems in order to avoid mistakes, which might be costly to their reputation. It might take years for you to build up a solid reputation in your industry, but a few indiscretions right now could undo all those years of good work.

GPS vehicle tracking will also help you to meet deadlines with your customers regarding arrival times for deliveries. This is another way that your reputation can be enhanced or degraded, by either satisfying customers or leaving them frustrated. It’s also true that when your fleet of vehicles is more efficient on the roadways, you will be able to take on more business and have increased turnaround on a number of projects.

GPS tracking routinely leads to a reduction of the time necessary for vehicles to navigate from one place to another, and over any given time frame, those accumulated minutes add up. For any company whose business revolves around transportation, it really matters that you can have fast and efficient service that not only keeps customers happy but also allows you to squeeze in more business in the first place.


GPS tracking systems have come a long way since they were first invented, and they can now be used to help fleet management companies to keep their drivers and vehicles in compliance with all governmental regulations and can provide detailed monitoring of vehicle activities. With a GPS tracking system, you’ll always know where vehicles are located as well as where they have been in recent hours.

That can lead to a number of efficiency increases, as well as more business for your company. If you’re at the point where you’re ready to install GPS technology in your fleet of vehicles, contact GPS Technologies with any questions you might have about the technology, or if you’re ready to ask for a quote on installation.

About the author 

Imran Uddin

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