The Impact of GPS Technology on Fleet Operations


In recent years, the evolution of technology in fleet management systems has made the processes a lot easier. With innovation, reputable experts now provide real-time monitoring of the fleet vehicles through various technologies.

Among all these, GPS real-time tracking of fleet vehicles remains the best management tool used today. Both managers and owners heavily use this technology to monitor the movement of the fleet and offer the necessary guidance. However, not all users clearly understand much about this technology. In this article, we will focus on highlighting important insights that every GPS user should know. Let’s get started.

What is a GPS Tracker?

Global positioning system or GPS takes advantage of satellite technology to map any location on earth using latitude and longitude. The technology is accurate in regard to time since it uses the Universal Time Coordinated or UTC. When used to track vehicles, real-time data from all the vehicles can be integrated into one system. This allows the managers and the owners to see the location of each vehicle from one dashboard as well as their movement.

GPS is the constellation of 24 satellites that orbit around the earth and make it possible for us to pinpoint our exact geographic location. However, its location accuracy ranges anywhere from 10 to 100 meters (for most equipment). The most accurate is the military-approved equipment that pinpoints to within one meter.

GPS equipment was much expensive some years ago but now it is widely used in science and has become so affordable that almost anyone can own a GPS, and many do in their smartphones, tablet, and many gadgets.

The police department, firefighters, large courier businesses and military personnel use GPS tracking and it is quite invaluable for them. A lot of these use the AVL (Automatic Vehicle Locator) systems that include a network of vehicles – all equipped with a GPS receiver, a mobile radio receiver, a GPS antenna, and a GPS modem. This network connects with a PC (that has a base radio) as well as a GPS receiver and interface. These systems are highly accurate and can be used to boost the efficiency of a company’s dispatching process through effective communication and tracking.

How Does a GPS Tracker Work?

The GPS tracking device installed in each vehicle uses power from the battery to send a signal with coordinates to the base. The global positioning system data has to travel to the satellite in space before it is transmitted to the base and back using the same route.

Even though the information is sent in code form, certain software is integrated into the system at the base to simplify the code through the extraction of the important data. However, the code logs are still available if the managers want to do further analysis. Some systems will show color-coded dots representing vehicles against a route map while others may have different display formats.

The operation of a GPS is based on a simple mathematical principle called trilateration. Trilateration falls in two categories; 2D trilateration and 3D trilateration. To make a simple calculation, the GPS receiver must have two things. First, the location of the place which is to be traced by at least three satellites above the place. Second, the distance between the place and each of those space vehicles. These radio waves travel in the speed of light, making it quick to get located easily.

GPS have different uses. From a commercial point of view, GPS equipment is generally used to record and track the position of vehicles as they make their journeys. Some systems store the data within the GPS tracking system itself, which is called passive tracking, while others send the information to a centralized database via a modem within a GPS tracking system, which is known as active tracking (2-Way GPS).

Passive Tracking

A passive GPS tracking system monitors and saves data based on the specific type of events. For instance, it may log data where the GPS-enabled vehicle has traveled in the past 12 or 24 hours. This data is usually stored in the internal memory or on a memory card. It can be downloaded to a computer at a later date for analysis. The data can also be requested for wireless download at specific points during the journey.

Active Tracking

Active tracking, also known as real-time tracking, automatically sends the data to a centralized tracking portal or system in real-time as it takes place. For commercial purposes such as fleet tracking or monitoring of people, this system is a much better option and preferred over passive tracking as it provides highly exact locations.

Benefits of Real-Time GPS Tracking

Just as the name suggests, this is real-time tracking that sends the coordinates to the base without stopping. Fleet managers feel like they are on the road with all the vehicles. It is now common that they can control the movement of delivery vehicles, especially those trying to maneuver through the cities. Another benefit is that they will know when the vehicles make suspicious stops and can contact the driver to understand the situation. If the vehicle is carjacked or breaks down, the managers will know something is wrong.

Using GPS with GSM

Well, things are even easier because owners and managers can still know the location of the vehicles even when the owners and managers are out of the office. They get this information through their mobile phones by receiving a text at a certain interval. This works pretty simply; the GPS module is integrated with the GSM module. When the GPS receiver gets the coordinates, then the GSM module will forward the coordinates to connected people’s phones via a text message. This way, they will stay updated even when they are on the move.

Other Uses

  • Track assets such as hardware, machinery, or packages
  • Coordinate fleets of vehicles
  • Tracking children or loved ones
  • Used in aviation to track flights and provide pilots and passengers real-time aircraft position
  • Used by boat captains to navigate through waters to reach their accurate destinations.
  • Used in surveying to map and measure various measures on the surface of earth and underwater
  • Used by banks to schedule and determine the local and international funds transfer
  • Used in smartphones to provide users with accurate location tracking.
  • Used is social activities such as hiking, skydiving, cross-country cycling, geotagging photographs, etc.
  • Securing expensive assets by attaching a small GPS device to them

Understanding Some Terminologies Related to GPS Technology


A-GPS stands for Assisted-Global Positioning System, which refers to a combination of both GPS satellite and wireless or cellular networks.

External GPS Antenna

An external GPS antenna is the most important and essential piece of hardware that is used to grab radio signals from GPS satellites. It is designed to be independent of the monitoring device but it allows GPS hardware to capture GPS signals.

Fleet Management

It is a process of managing and overseeing various mobile assets and vehicles of an organization in order to improve routing, customer service, tracking, driver safety, and overall efficiency. This allows companies to safeguard their equipment, track their employees and their routes more effectively. This reduces the costs as well that are associated with fuel consumption.


Geotagging is a common terminology that most, if not all, are aware of. It is a process of linking forms of digital media such as videos, photographs, web pages, and RSS feeds with geographical data that includes latitude and longitude positions obtained through GPS tracking.


RFID or Radio Frequency Identification is a term of technology used to utilize radio frequency tags that are connected or linked to objects. It transfers information or data to a receiver.

Looking for an affordable GPS tracker for vehicles? Vyncs GPS Tracker works great with real-time tracking and supports both 3G and 2G wireless networks. Just plug it into the OBD-II port of your vehicle and you are all set to track it.

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