Thursday, December 31, 2015

GPS Vehicle Tracking - Sorting the Systems

I have been getting several requests for information about automotive GPS tracking systems.  While we have an article by Steve Armstrong that talks about a couple older GPS Navigation Systems, in recent years Vehicle GPS Tracking gadgets have become popular, affordable, and plentiful.  But which ones are not junk and more importantly - what do they do?  They offer not only different features but there are some major differences in deployment and how they are used, ie. how you interact with them.

I'm going to tell you right here that this article is still in the works, I am still doing more research but I wanted to get this started and out for you.  So check back often for updates.  As long as this notice is still here this is a work in progress and changing.

The old classic GPS tracker system installs permanently in the vehicle or equipment and is accessed via satellite.  It requires a monthly fee to access the satellite data.  This is what companies will use to track their fleets or off road equipment with the ability to locate them if stolen.

While the prices of the trackers and the access fees have been rapidly dropping, many consumers today are not needing such a tracking system but still want data on vehicle location and speed.

It's now possible to have this without spending thousands of dollars or pounds.  Still, it comes at the cost of knowledge because the market has been flooded with these small portable GPS tracking devices.

Decisions Decisions

First, we need to consider how we plan on using a GPS Tracker.  Is it for personal occasional use?  Occasional vehicle tracking or permeant?  Pets, recreation, hobby, automotive, spying?

Pets - with pets you are likely looking for a permeant solution that will have to be water proof and battery powered.  Pets would be best with satellite tracking (with a fee) if you will ever need to find them if they run away or are stolen.  This will give you what the VET Chip implant will not do - find your pet without someone finding it for you.

Other GPS tracking uses could be:
    Auto, Pets, Children, Camping, luggage, ...
    and the obscure - Spying, package tracking, model aircraft, ...

Let’s Help Clear the Clutter

Once we realize what we want to keep track of we can narrow down what type of GPS tracking technology to use.

[to be continued]

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