Tracking Based on GPS and the “Internet of Things”

Tracking Based on GPS and the “Internet of Things”

An article by Marc Kavinsky, Chief Editor at IoT Business News.

Since the turn of the millennium, one of the technical megatrends observed on the market is the replacement of isolated control units by intelligent (inter)connected devices, named today as the Internet of Things (IoT). Fundamentally, the IoT is considered as a network of physical objects with embedded sensors and communication capabilities allowing remote control or monitoring via an internet-like structure. Among the myriad of IoT devices available on the market today, GPS trackers are offering a wide scope of applications and benefits.

The use of GPS trackers may be a great help in various situations, as their satellite-controlled positioning function can help to find persons in need of protection such as children, patients suffering from alzheimer disease, elderly persons or even pets who ran away. Being able to locate and find our loved ones using easy-to-use tracker systems offer security and peace of mind. But GPS trackers can also be used to locate and protect various types of assets such as vehicles, cars, bicycles or any valuable (and moving) object. In a business environment, fleet management is one of the applications offering immediate benefits and quick ROI of using tracking devices.

Fleet tracking

Many applications and services can be offered using a combination of GNSS (“Global Navigation Satellite System”) and IoT technologies. In a GPS tracker, the positioning sensors can calculate at any time the exact position of a moving unit and send it to a central system. This is the case for fleet management solutions which can use trackers in various situations:

GPS trackers for OBD port
Fleet managers can use products like the MiniFinder® Zepto which is the world’s smallest GPS tracker for fast connection via the vehicle diagnostics socket, OBD port. Once connected to the on-board diagnostics socket, it allows the fleet manager to monitor the position of the vehicle in real-time. The device being “Plug & Play”, it can be installed and ready to run in less than a minute.

Setting alerts to monitor drivers’ behaviour
Several types of alerts can be configured with a GPS tracker designed for fleet monitoring: speed alert (to find out when a vehicle exceeds the preset speed), anti-sabotage alert (to detect unauthorised access and use of a vehicle) and geofencing alert (to be notified when the vehicle is located outside of the authorized perimeter).

Smart tachographs
Since mid-June 2019 and according to VO (EU) Nr. 165/2014, company fleets are legally bound to install a smart tachograph into newly registered vehicles. Therefore, it is necessary for fleet managers to embed fully automated tachographs accepted by the tax office in their vehicles. This is an opportunity to install a GPS tracker as well to collect the vehicle position data to find out the current location of the vehicle – in real-time. Thus, it becomes possible to get detailed reports on the driving times and rest periods of the driver over the entire route.

A GPS tracker is a very helpful tool for any fleet manager. Not only the manager can control the routes of the vehicles, but it can also help the driver optimize his driving behavior. Furthermore, it can be a valuable assistance for streamlining the routes, which leads to an ecological driving method and a significant CO2-reduction.

More transparency thanks to intelligent GPS tracking

Once their vehicles on the road, fleet managers often lack insights on the performance and utilization of their fleets. Using GPS tracking technology bring many benefits to fleet managers: more accurate billing, lower costs for fuel and maintenance, use of the vehicles (detection of private use for example)…

Doubtlessly, logistics and transportation is one of the application fields which can get immediate benefit of using IoT associated to GNSS. With such a technology combination, companies have the opportunity to efficiently organize and manage their fleets of vehicles without heavy investments.

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