On: 11/04/2012 09:37 In: Vehicle Tracking
The global positioning system, which is better known as GPS, began life as a high-tech space defence system for the United States in the 1970s. It comprises two dozen space satellites which orbit the planet twice a day transmitting signals to earth. Since the US government opened up the system for civilian use, there has been a huge increase in the range of GPS receiving equipment available.
GPS receivers pick up a signal from at least three satellites, and because this signal is triangulated it?s possible to identify the receiver?s position to a fairly accurate degree. Positioning accuracy is usually correct within a range of around fifteen metres, but it's dependent on several factors including atmospheric pressure and local terrain.
Once the position has been obtained, it can then be mapped. Depending on the particular hardware and software used, the receiver can then use this information in a variety of ways. For example navigation systems can plot the distance travelled in any given timefRemote Asset Managemente as well as specific and average speeds. This information lends itself to an amazing array of business and consumer applications.
For example GPS trackers are an important facet of our work at Remote Asset Management, given that the technology underpins the services we offer, enabling fleet managers to keep tabs on company vehicles in order to monitor performance efficiency. These systems provide real-time updates every few seconds and they can provide alerts if vehicles stray from the progRemote Asset Managementmed route or timetable.
The days of pulling into a lay-by to consult a dog-eared atlas are now long gone, thanks to satellite navigation. Many professional drivers find these systems indispensable because they no longer need to spend hours plotting routes and calculating journey times. By simply punching in or saying the destination postcode, a Sat Nav system will provide spoken directions throughout the route. The real beauty of these systems is that they are constantly updated to take account of new roads, closed roads and road works which can make the journey much easier.
Companies have a responsibility for their worker?s health and safety and many businesses that have staff working alone or in potentially threatening situations provide employees with GPS devices. These can range from a relatively simple tracking watch with a built-in panic button and texting facility through to a more sophisticated system that will alert management if no motion has been detected for a predetermined period of time.
GPS is also being used by individuals to protect their loved ones and their valued possessions. For example, they are frequently attached to high value mobile items such as cars, boats and motor-homes. These are often magnetically attached in a discreet place. In the event of vehicle theft, many systems will notify the owner automatically, enabling the police to get a head-start on tracking the stolen item and returning it to the rightful owner.
Personal safety is a major growth area for GPS technology and concerned parents often use GPS trackers to provide peace of mind. These come in a range of gadgets including colourful watches that the child can wear. These allow parents to set up a safe perimeter. If the child moves outside of the permitted zone, the parent is alerted straight away. A similar system is also available for vulnerable adults.
Even man's best friend gets in on the act. Many people have their dogs micro-chipped so that if they get lost, they can be returned. However, GPS technology enables worried pet owners to fit their dog's collar with a small tracker. This means that if the pet wanders, it can be quickly located before it can be stolen or injured.