GPS vehicle tracking has been in existence for some time, at least since the late 1970’s. Many trade names have been associated with it such as Lojack and LoTrans. These were early applications created particularly for the inventory and tracking of service vehicles, fire and police department vehicles. They depended upon the World War II LORAN (Long-range Radio Aid Navigation) system. These earlier systems provided a centralized office with the geographic location of vehicle fleets and were a great deterrent to vehicular theft. They however provided no geographic intelligence to the driver of the vehicle.
The present day vehicle tracking is accomplished by using GPS, which is a popularized name for Global Navigation Satellite System. It provides the driver with a highly accurate map, portrayed on a small screen incorporated into the GPS receiver. Here the driver can monitor their present location, plan the best route and obtain an estimate of time to arrival. The Global Navigation Satellite System was developed by the United States and the Soviet Union created its GLONASS during the Cold War to accurately guide their extensive ICBM and SLBM inventories. Later it was used as a backup guidance system for both nations’ nuclear submarine fleets.
The current GPS tracking used in vehicles comes to us, in civilianized form courtesy of President Ronald Regan. It was after the tragedy of airline flight KAL 007 that President Regan made it available for civilian use. GPS vehicle tracking allows an uncorrected location accuracy of 3 square meters. The ability for civilian transponders to receive the p coded military GPS signal occurred after President Clinton authorized its’ release in 1996. Today you are able to know within feet and inches the location of your vehicle while on the move.
A GPS vehicle tracking device is composed of three parts; the space segment which is composed of 30 geosynchronous satellites orbiting along six (6) planes, the control segment which is composed of six (6) land based monitoring stations and the user segment which is a radio receiver capable of calculating its precise position from comparing multiple radio signals from the satellites. The satellite signal is the output of a satellite’s location in coded latitude and longitude and the time. By comparing the signals of many satellites and comparing the time of reception, the receiver can determine its exact location. This calculation is a result of a mathematical process called trilateration.
Today there are smart business applications for the use of GPS vehicle tracking device. One of its applications is in the taxi business. Two separate firms in the United States (Dallas, Texas and Atlanta, Georgia) and one in London, England have used it to improve on their dispatch capability. The dispatcher has a Geographic Information System workstation computer that includes a radio transceiver. This provides them with a map of the city and shows the active location of all taxis. It also shows the dispatcher which taxis are working and those that aren’t.
When a call is received, the dispatcher logs the client into the database or the system automatically locates the caller’s cell phone location or if the client calls using a wired phone system. This later feature prevents crank calls or dangerous situations in which the end aim is the robbery of the taxi driver. The dispatcher can manually assign an available driver or the system can automatically assign. This application of GPS vehicle tracking device has resulted in more than 50% increase in business, a significant reduction in waiting time for customers and a dramatic increase in profitability.