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An Overview of Vehicle Tracking Systems

Vehicle Tracking System

A vehicle tracking system is a unique system based on advanced technology that is used to track vehicles under authorization. It is a system based on electronics that uses highly sophisticated technology to ensure that the results are not only accurate, but also proper authorised. It is essentially a software installed at every operational base to enable the owner or a third party to track the vehicle's location. Vehicle monitoring System allows a party to track, trace and monitor its vehicles in real time. Vehicle Tracking System allows a party to track, trace and monitor its vehicles in real time using GSM/GPRS technology.

Major components of the GPS technology used for tracking are:

GPS tracking device: This is a device that is fitted into the vehicle to store and send the location information of the vehicle to the central server at frequent intervals. Not only the location of the vehicle, but it also gives data like fuel cost, engine heat, emergency button status, height, engine RPM, reverse geo-coding, GSM area code/cell code decoded, door open/close, pressure, cut off fuel, ignition triggers, turn on headlight, computed odometer, turn on taillight, battery status, number of GPS satellites in view, glass open/close, fuel amount, and a heap of other information. Efficiency of these devices actually determines the final efficiency of the complete tracking system.

GPS tracking server: The GPS tracking server has following functions:

  1. It receives data from the GPS tracking unit and stores it, while ensuring the security of the data
  2. As soon as the user asks for some information, it serves the required information.

User interface: Accessing of information has to be determined, that is the 'Who and How' behind it. User Interface performs the required functions. The vehicle data is also viewed by the user interface.

Vehicle tracking device collects data in the process from the field and deliver it to the base of operation.

The automatic system of locating the vehicle only with the help of an electronic device and computer software detects the real-time location of a vehicle by using the conventional cell phone network and Internet. This system merges the installation of an electronic device in a vehicle with internet technology, terrestrial networks and GPS. The device sends the data via GSM/GPRS wireless network to the Vehicle Tracking Application. In case of absence of network signal, the data is stored locally and sends when the network is established. Advanced vehicle monitoring systems generally use GPS or GLONASS technology for locating the vehicle. Though one can also use other types of automatic vehicle location technology. Internet in blend with the maps and software can provide us with useful information on the vehicle. The GPS data sent by the device is stored in a secured database of Vehicle Tracking application. SMS, which is based on GSM, acts as a fall back in case of failure of transmission of data. Data can be stored and downloaded to a computer from the GPS unit. This data is later used for analysis.

There are two types of specifications when it comes to vehicle tracking devices. The GPS location is stored in Passive devices along with the speed and heading the functions or events like key on/off, door open/closed are also stored in these types of devices. Upon the return of vehicle to a decided location, we remove the device and download the data to the computer. The download procedure in Passive systems is auto-defined and data is transferred wirelessly. Active devices also collect the same information but usually transmit the data in real-time via cellular or satellite networks to a computer or data centre for evaluation.

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