When GPS technology came into common use just after the turn of the century, it seemed mostly to be useful for telling drivers where to go; and for locating mountain climbers when they got lost. As the technology opened out, though, it rapidly became apparent that the ability of GPS to tell you where something was (a car, a person, a truck) could be reversed: so rather than allowing a driver to find his or her way, the technology was used as GPS vehicle tracking, to tell the vehicle’s owners where it was and where it was going.
The first use of this technology, and an application it still answers with great success, is in theft deterrence. Vehicle thieves have grown extremely wary of taking any vehicle that is marked as being part of a GPS tracking scheme because they know that, even with a re-spray, it will still be found and reclaimed.
This asset protection has extended to cover most of the normal operations of a fleet or work vehicle. Now that fleet and work vehicle owners are able to use GPS vehicle tracking to locate and follow their assets in real time, the misuse of those vehicles has become easy to detect and correct. Overall fleet productivity and efficiency goes up noticeably after a few months of using a GPS system.
Just as GPS technology itself has advanced, so (as we all know, and see every day) has computing technology. That has allowed companies that produce professional quality GPS tracking systems to incorporate ever slicker and more comprehensive reporting and observation suites in the user interfaces of their GPS vehicle tracking programmes.
This is where the GPS tracking system really comes into its own. With a good user front end, comprising plenty of versatile reporting and data compilation functions, a fleet manager or asset owner is able to develop an extremely accurate picture not just of the location, but also of the behavior, of his or her vehicles. That means increased efficiency in terms of fuel consumption; a better use of routes, which allows deliveries to happen on time more often; and a rapid response system to any unauthorized use of vehicles – either in terms of location or time of use.
Additionally, the owners of fleets or vehicles are able to use GPS vehicle tracking user interfaces to set necessary reminders – like a warning that an MOT is due, or a service or road fund payment. The user interface can also be used to track the working hours of drivers – both ensuring that all fleet employees obey the Working Time Directive; and being available for use as evidence that they are so doing.
The ability to locate and watch vehicles has been a boon to the fleet industries ever since the first GPS vehicle tracking system was installed. With this rise in the quality of user interface, that ability has now become a comprehensive capability to manage and develop all aspect of fleet behavior.
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