GPS tracking technology is changing the way individuals and businesses manage their day-to-day activities. Some people use GPS tracking devices to track their pets, children, or personal mobile property such as boats and motorhomes. Others, such as fleet management companies, may use commercial GPS for business purposes to know where their equipment, vehicles, and other assets are at all times.
GPS tracking systems are forever evolving and improving. The very latest GPS tracking equipment works straight from the box, which saves you both time and the cost of professional fitting fees. It also can be used to track, monitor, and map locations of multiple GPS tracking devices simultaneously.
Here are the 8 latest innovations in GPS tracking technology and how they can benefit your organization:
1. Live View GPS Tracking
Live GPS vehicle tracking for fleet management increases your company’s profits by helping you more efficiently manage your vehicles. For municipal or government agencies, it offers greater transparency and accountability for how your organization spends taxpayer dollars. GPS tracking equipment also helps to protect your vehicles and other large equipment assets by providing documented information about the condition of the asset, as well as how it is being operated and by whom.
Rastrac’s StreetComplete live vehicle tracking tool provides real-time updates about vehicle locations. You can use the standard maps or have the option of uploading custom maps that provide coverage of specific areas. You’ll be able to monitor and receive reports on a variety of information, including:
- Vehicle speed
- Speed zone alerts
- Ignition status
- Engine idle times
- Vehicle hours of activity
- Direction of travel
- How recently any specific area has been serviced
- Who serviced the area
You also can set alerts for vehicle and equipment maintenance schedules. Preventative maintenance can help your fleet reduce or eliminate the need for expensive repairs.
2. Dash-Cam Video
Typically associated with public safety, dash-cam or in-cab video cameras are increasing in popularity across all industries. Today, they’re being used to provide valuable photographic evidence to protect fleets against insurance fraud or false claims in the event of an accident. Fleet managers are also using video to record driver’s habits on the road. This can present coaching opportunities if they discover driving despite fatigue or distracted driving. By identifying and correcting these behaviors early on, fleet management companies can reduce the chances of an accident that could cost in terms of legal fees, insurance expenses, vehicle repairs, damaged assets, higher worker’s compensation premiums, and most importantly, lives (distracted driving resulted in 2,841 vehicular fatalities in 2018 alone).
Combined with Rastrac GPS tracking, RastracVision – which can be mounted to the vehicle in a road or cab-facing position and can store up to 120 hours of footage – can do all this and more, including helping fleet managers curtail vehicle theft risks by providing video records on top of GPS location data—greatly increasing the chances of recovering lost or stolen assets.
3. Mobile Fleet Tracking
For a time, COVID-19 put all but essential employees into lockdown. Of course, fleet managers are used to their team being spread across the country, but remote work was still new to many of them. Today, many fleet management companies are realizing how cost-effective remote fleet management can be, especially with mobile tracking.
Fleet mobile tracking allows fleet managers who are not in front of a computer 24/7 to keep track of their fleet, vehicles, and drivers. Regardless of where they are or what they’re doing, a fleet tracking app can keep them on top of everything that's on the road or in the field.
Fleet managers and other operators of fleet GPS tracking equipment can keep up to date with mobile tracking via the mobile app PocketRastrac. Using your iOS or Android mobile device or tablet, you can locate a GPS tracking device in the field with ease while you’re on-the-go or are away from your computer.
4. Asset Tracking (Regardless of Size)
Commercial, private, and government organizations need to be able to track their valuable assets. RastracGo, Rastrac’s newest and smallest GPS tracking device, can meet the tracking needs of assets regardless of their sizes. With a lightweight, compact design that is no larger than the size of a credit card, RastracGo is conveniently sized and can be carried on a keychain, zip-tied to a large asset, or slipped inside of a small one, such as a package or envelope.
The device also is capable of tracking more than just location. This portable tracking solution also is capable of detecting sound, light, temperature, humidity, and travel speed, making it invaluable for the transportation of expensive and sensitive assets.
It’s easy to track and monitor the device via Rastrac’s easy-to-use asset tracking software interface. With access to automated, comprehensive reports, you have the data and information you need to manage your fleet and increase its efficiency. The kind of data you receive via the software helps you reduce — if not eliminate — hidden expenses that impact your bottom line.
5. Theft Protection
Modern GPS tracking equipment can prevent vehicle, trailer, equipment, and cargo theft as well as aid in their recovery. Using the geofencing tool, you can set up virtual boundaries that correspond to a real-world geographic location. The moment a vehicle or equipment leaves the geofence area, you will receive a notification via email or text message.
When a vehicle is stolen, it can be tracked with frequent updates on the GPS tracking software map that you can use to provide law enforcement with the most up-to-date information. Most police vehicles can follow a moving stolen car with a fitted tracking device until such time that it becomes parked. By using satellite triangulation, GPS can detect the whereabouts of a stolen vehicle virtually anywhere — even when it is stored in a warehouse or undercover.
6. Augmented Reality
Augmented reality (AR) is no longer just for gaming! The technology, which enhances a user's physical environment with digital content overlaid right on top of it (i.e., it augments the user’s real-world surroundings), is coming to fleet management! AR will be utilized to help drivers keep themselves and their vehicles on track and on schedule.
Through AR, heads-up displays on windshields can show vehicle diagnostics, fuel levels, speed, and more, improving safety by eliminating the need for drivers' to take their eyes of the road. Even more exciting, it can be used in routing. “Delivery vehicles with augmented windshields could display real-time traffic data, as well as other valuable information, such as cargo temperature and alerts, thereby minimizing driver distraction,” concludes a DHL report.
7. GPS Data Evaluation
Through remote diagnostics, modern GPS tracking equipment enables you to assess and evaluate engine performance and vehicle operation data. This allows fleet managers to address issues or schedule repairs before a major breakdown occurs, and optimized equipment lifecycles. That's not all. By tracking and addressing inefficiencies, fleet management companies can improve driver safety, productivity , and efficiency, while reducing fuel expenses, insurance premiums, and customer service complaints. Read more about these and other benefits in our blog, What Is Telematics and How Does It Work? (+16 Reasons You Need It).
8. Predictive Weather Tracking
Weather is probably one of the biggest factors impacting delivery times. We’re not talking about nuisance weather, like everyday rain or snow, but rather critical weather conditions like black ice, hail, tornados, and heavy rain. These events can cause complete chaos when it comes to fleet management.
The good news is that over the years, experts have been collecting weather data and creating formulas that can predict when these critical weather conditions may occur. These formulas have been proven to anticipate when and where black ice may be present, whether a hail storm is brewing, where a tornado may form, and so on. Armed with this data, fleet tracking software can now include anticipated critical weather events in their mapping, canceling trips or rerouting drivers as needed to keep employees, vehicles, and cargo safe.
No matter whether you have a single vehicle or a dozen vehicles, there is a GPS package or stand-alone solution that can meet your needs. As prices continue to decrease for tracking devices and new tracking technologies are created, tracking equipment is affordable even to small businesses.
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