GPS Vehicle Tracking System – How Does It Work?


Tracking one’s vehicles can be the result of the need to keep track of a fleet or even simply to keep track of one’s personal vehicle. In today’s world where vehicle thefts are rather common, a GPS vehicle tracking system can come in handy almost everywhere. So how does a GPS vehicle tracking system work? What kind of software and technology goes into the making of a GPS vehicle tracking system? Whether it is a large fleet or for individual cars or vehicles, a GPS vehicle tracking system can help the owner track and locate the whereabouts of a vehicle and even collect data pertaining to its movement.

How it works: GPS vehicle tracking system works with the installation of the electronic device in the car or the vehicle and the use of  specific software to keep track of this device’s movement. Thus leading to the control and management and location of the movement of the vehicle itself. GPS or global positioning system is a system that uses satellite navigation to locate and identify movements.  GPS vehicle tracking systems today also use something known as GLONASS technology to keep track of the vehicle movements. This technology was made famous by the Russian government and stands for Global Navigation Satellite System.

However, in places like Canada and USA, it is the GPS vehicle tracking system that works to locate the automobiles. In simple terms, such GPS vehicle tracking system works on the core principle of triangulation. Since the entire system of GPS works with the help of satellites, triangulation requires a minimum of three active satellites that work to locate the vehicles via a system or network of signals. Thus, the GPS tracking device that is fitted on the vehicle will have to receive signals from three GPS satellites and its position can be computed with the help of calculation of the time taken by a signal to reach the GPS device.

The orbiting satellites therefore provide a convenient way of locating each vehicle. This becomes a more reliable system of tracking of vehicles, especially when it goes out of cellular coverage, which incidentally is another system of tracking the vehicle. GPS is also a worldwide or global radio navigation system which works with an ecosystem of 24 satellites and respective ground stations. The US Department of Defense funds and manages the global positioning system. With the installation of a GPS device of the vehicle, an individual can track aspects like location, time and movement history or and velocity as well.

GPS vehicle tracking systems can also work on an active tracking or passive tracking system. The latter entails that the data about vehicle location and movements are stored within the GPS tracking system. Whereas active GPS vehicle tracking systems will entail that data about the vehicle’s location and movement is sent to a centralized base or system. This transmission of data occurs with the installation of a modem within the GPS tracking device on the vehicle. This active GPS tracking system is a real-time system since it constantly and automatically updates information.

James is a writer and blogger with 5 years experience.

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1 Comment

  1. Hello everyone
    I’m looking for a solution to monitor the location of containers. I’m in charge of the movement of goods at the port and I find that in many cases outgoing containers from the area defined for them. This can be problematic because each port area has its segment, and I do not want my container teams to invade the other teams.
    Has anyone experienced GPS-based equipment transmits warnings of abnormal behavior? Equipment for specifically for container tracking


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