By this point in the 21st century, pretty much everyone knows what a GPS navigation system in your car does. But do you actually know HOW it works? Or how about all the functions GPS vehicle tracking systems offer besides showing you were the nearest Krispy Kreme is? Read on to learn how auto vehicle tracking systems work and all of their incredible capabilities.
As much as our society now relies on GPS to find our way around, most people don’t actually know how it works. There’s no little man inside your GPS furiously looking up directions on MapQuest; GPS actually works using a number of satellites rotating the earth as well as some mathematical equations.
The Global Positioning System or GPS network consists of 27 global positioning satellites orbiting around the earth (24 operational plus 3 backup satellites in case one fails). To ensure that the whole world is covered by the constellation of the GPS satellites, the satellites are arranged in a way that four satellites are always positioned in each of six orbital planes.
Each satellite transmits radio signals that are processed by the GPS receiver in your car. While just one satellite can’t help configure where you’re at, three or four can help determine your location, direction of travel, and travel speed. This is done using a mathematical principle called trilateration. In order to trilaterate, the GPS receiver must know that your location is to be traced by at least three satellites circling above. It also must know the distance between your location and each of those satellites. By comparing the locations of each satellite and your distance from each, and repeating this equation over and over, the GPS vehicle tracking system then configures your location, direction of travel, and travel speed.
The type of GPS tracking system you have dictates what happens next. If you have a passive GPS, it will store data until it is retrieved from the vehicle. If you have an active GPS, it will transmit the information to a central computer connected to the Internet or central computer, thereby providing real-time information on your vehicle’s activities.
Although all of that information about how auto vehicle tracking systems work might seem incredibly complex and confusing, it all happens in a fraction of a second, so you can have instant data on any vehicle. So the owner of a business might utilize GPS fleet tracking to monitor employees making deliveries to ensure they are staying on their pre-determined routes. GPS vehicle tracking can also be used to monitor ignition-based starts and stops (to make sure employees are working when they say they are), vehicle mileage, aggressive driving, excessive idling and much more. Some vehicle tracking systems also allow you to lock or unlock doors, disable or enable the starter, or even honk the horn.
Now that you know how auto vehicle tracking systems work, you can start using one for your business and reap the benefits. Get started with a GPS fleet tracking system today!