Automobile GPS Tracking -
Know Where Your Car is at All Times
It seems like we went from folding maps to GPS units on every dashboard overnight. However, reliance upon GPS technology has gotten to the point that we demand even more of it than driving directions.
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With the amazing ability to determine a vehicle's exact location at any moment, automobile GPS tracking has spawned an entire market for new ways to protect ourselves, our businesses, and our property. Having a GPS in a vehicle gives the owner entirely new ways to prevent theft, recover stolen vehicles, monitor employee use of company vehicles, and accurately record mileage for business and legal purposes.
Although the typical mental image of a GPS is a large device with a color touchscreen sitting on the dashboard of an SUV, smaller, more discreet units are available which can connect to computers -- or directly to the Internet -- wirelessly or with a USB cable. Such devices allow owners to track their vehicle if it is stolen and report its location to the police. Some units can be remotely instructed to disable the ignition once the car is known to be stolen. Once the thieves turn off the engine, they won't be able to move your car.
See automobile GPS tracking in action
For owners of fleet vehicles such as limousines, taxis, snow plows, and delivery vehicles, GPS automobile tracking is a wonderful tool for reducing legal liability and protecting investments in expensive equipment. The devices can hold trip information for several days -- sometimes even longer.
When the vehicle is returned to the lot, the data can be transferred to a computer, letting the business track addresses where the vehicle stopped, how long the vehicle was left idling (and possibly wasting fuel), travel speeds, and unscheduled detours. Some units are even capable of tracking the activity of vehicle doors and PTOs (Power Takeoffs), such as the motors controlling snow plow blades or other machinery attached to the vehicle.
Once the data is offloaded to the computer, the routes can be viewed as "breadcrumb trails" on maps, and entire trips can be recreated by tracing the route and seeing vehicle speed, direction, and sometimes even weather conditions at any moment along the way.
Employees or teenagers who drive at unsafe speeds or take vehicles outside allowed areas can be tracked for their own safety and to protect the vehicle owners. However, it is important to check local laws concerning the use of GPS devices -- even in vehicles that you own -- if you will be using GPS automobile tracking to monitor anyone's driving other than your own.
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