There’s more to managing a fleet than just tracking vehicles from A to B – look at the bigger picture. Reliable vehicle tracking software can help you easily oversee a large group of vehicles, optimise management operations and drastically reduce fleet costs.
It’s time to make the overwhelming weight every fleet manager carries a whole lot lighter.
In this article:
Learn what vehicle tracking is, how it works and how it benefits businesses
See how vehicle tracking technology improves safety within your fleet
Discover how GPS technology works hand-in-hand with fleet managementsystems
Discover Cartrack’s industry-leading vehicle tracking technology and highly-rated fleet management services
Vehicle tracking systems explained
Vehicle tracking is the technology that keeps you informed of your vehicle’s whereabouts at all times, increasing its safety. Thanks to satellites, signals, and a tracking unit, you get a global GPS tracking system that can pinpoint the exact geolocation of your mobile assets at any time. Simply being able to view the live status and location of your vehicles in real time is a huge win.
Manually managing a large fleet of vehicles is often a daunting task. Luckily, with location-based technology, fleet managers can receive interactive and analytical reports in real-time and gain an advantage from using smart tracking solutions.
So, what is location-based technology? It’s GPS – aka a global positioning system. It’s used to track trucks, cars, and other mobile assets you own, like generators, trailers, and cement mixers, all via a tiny GPS tracking unit installed in a discrete location on the company asset.
A tracking unit offers a variety of advantages for fleet managers and their businesses, such as:
- Seeing the exact location of vehicles in their fleet
- Reducing the threat of vehicles being stolen
- Increasing the chances of stolen vehicle recovery
- Knowing exactly who is driving your vehicles and how they are driving them
- Assuring your fleet remains within authorised locations
- Increasing productivity through task management
More than locating your assets, GPS units ensure vehicles are used properly and are left in safe locations when not in use. In the event of vehicle theft, this GPS equipment often ensures its safe return.
So, how are vehicles tracked?
The GPS technology we just discussed above is a satellite-based radio navigation system that relies on ground stations, satellites and receivers to provide real-time data such as a vehicle’s:
- Live location
- Distance travelled
- Travelling speed
- Time and direction
The data is instantly transmitted using a cellular or wireless network.
This sort of technology is mainly used to increase the security of vehicles and is effective for the smooth functioning of fleet operations. It helps businesses save money and reduce dangerous driver behaviour like speeding or harsh braking.
Knowing the types of drivers in your business also helps, as employing safe drivers can lead to lower vehicle repair costs, which can in turn increase commercial profits and make your business run more efficiently, while reckless ones need further training or management and contribute to increased fleet running costs for your business.
Types of tracking methods
Looking to invest in tracking resources? It is important to first identify what type of GPS fleet tracking system is right for your business.
Here are the two ways you can track your assets:
- Active tracking, or two-way GPS: This is an on-the-go tracking system that automatically sends information into a central tracking system as it happens to allow for continuous monitoring and immediate action. This technology can be used to track employee behaviour by providing real-time updates and information on their whereabouts. Another example of active tracking is the GPS tracking used in ride-hailing apps like Uber and Zoomy, where the location of the driver and passenger is continuously transmitted to the app’s central system to show pick-up and drop-off.
- Passive tracking: This stores information within the device itself by gathering the data either internally or on a memory card, showing the exact location history of the device. This type of GPS fleet tracking is used in passive RFID tags on shipping containers or cargo and can provide businesses with the same valuable insights into their operations as above, such as identifying routes, but with the added safety measure of manually downloading the data or collecting the memory card rather than having a 3rd party platform analysing the data.
When deciding on what kind of tracking device will best aid your business needs, there are a few questions you can ask yourself. Do you prefer internally stored data that you can download whenever you want, or do you want to receive reports and live vehicle tracking directly on your device?
Regardless of the tracking systems you choose for your business or personal needs, GPS information is always accurate, no matter the situation.
Sought-after GPS fleet tracking benefits
Fleet operators can greatly benefit from sophisticated GPS vehicle tracking systems. Installing a GPS tracking device encourages the fleet to increase its productivity and delivery efficiency while staying ahead of its competition.
When evaluating tracking systems, keep the following must-have features in mind:
- Real-time tracking – First and foremost, GPS tracking systems should provide real-time tracking to monitor the vehicle’s position and activities. This feature is useful for helping customers locate their valuable cargo quickly, for reassurance. The data can also be used to recover stolen assets or vehicles.
- Driver behaviour monitoring – This feature tracks negative driving habits such as harsh braking, overspeeding and distracted driving behaviour. This data is then translated into driver scorecards, which fleet managers can use to educate employees on the correct way to drive and reward them for driving well.
- Alerts – Customers can monitor vehicle-related insights such as long idle times, fuel wastage, and vehicle maintenance. The alerts are used to notify managers of errors so they can resolve issues faster. This can effectively improve the fleet’s management and visibility, leading to better driver safety.
Why do businesses need a vehicle tracking system?
If you want to successfully manage your fleet operations, you need a vehicle tracking system. Tracking systems can improve factors such as route optimisation, operating cost management, fleet visibility, employee management and lower fuel expenses, among others.
Optimise resources – Monitor the daily utilisation of each resource and use them more efficiently in real-time with powerful reporting and analytics that track technology and telematics offerings.
Optimise routing – Access daily routes to see how much time employees spend on the road and use insights on live traffic and road conditions to offer alternative route options that ensure faster delivery and safer transit.
Improve customer service – Provide better customer service by offering real-time information on your business vehicles and cargo, soothing customers’ fears, and ultimately providing timely managed services.
Increase road safety – Use GPS tracking systems to replay routes, show speeding locations, empower employees to practise safe driving, and create a positive safety culture within the fleet.
Reduce operating costs – You can reduce operating costs, which may cut down on expenses such as unnecessary overtime, fuel overconsumption, road distractions, unauthorised business vehicle usage, and invoicing problems.
Improve performance evaluations for employees – Use data on driving behaviour to evaluate time spent on deviated routes and unauthorised stops and breaks to improve staff work ethic through further training or productivity bonuses.
Fleet management platform
Where do you find and manage all the information that GPS vehicle tracking technology gives you?
On a fleet platform of your choice.
A fleet management system is an all-in-one management solution to all your fleet problems. It’s a combination of connected software and hardware that fleet managers or transporters use to manage their vehicles and oversee tasks faster, allowing them to achieve their business’s objectives quickly.
The complete collection of data, from your vehicles to drivers, will all be available to you at the click of a button on a fleet management platform — the ultimate fleet management tool that gives you instant access to all the vital information you need regarding your fleet.
Think of it as a large cloud where you can store important business-related information, such as:
- Documentation on bought or leased vehicles
- Vehicle specs and their current conditions
- Maintenance schedules
- History of parts and services
- Insurance, licences, and tax documents
- Fuel transactions
- Vehicle and operation expenses
- In-cabin AI camera footage
How does a fleet management platform work for your business?
Apart from GPS tracking technology, two other vital elements make this platform tick:
- Fleet management system
This is a large database that stores all your fleet’s records, such as your vehicle tracking history, fuel consumption monitoring per trip, and vehicle diagnostics tracking, to ensure your vehicles are operating in tip-top shape.
Fleet managers use this interface to access all the vehicle data gathered and gain insights into how to best optimise their fleet’s performance. This allows them to recognise potential fleet problems earlier on and implement solutions quickly.
Fleet vehicles may be fitted with several camera systems: one, front-facing cameras that monitor how the vehicle is being driven as well as the movements of surrounding vehicles; and two, driver-facing cameras that monitor drivers’ behaviour and record their actions while driving.
Some fleets may also require the added safety measure of cameras that have a full view of the cargo being transported and the doors surrounding it. These can be standard cameras or an AI camera system that gives insight into any road-related incidents while ensuring your cargo arrives safe and sound.
Powerful tracking companies
Depending on what corner of the globe you live in, there are a slew of vehicle-tracking businesses to choose from. Since each country has its own safety and logistical challenges, compare vehicle tracking companies and choose the best one that suits your needs and offers the kind of services and benefits you are looking for.
If you’re in the southern hemisphere, specifically New Zealand, searching websites and looking for a highly trusted company, then Cartrack is the answer.
Cartrack is a global leader in connected vehicle technology and world-class fleet management solutions that put you in control. Situated in 23 countries across the world and loved by over 1.75 million subscribers – Cartrack is a company that dedicates its time to putting you in control so you can keep your vehicles:
Cartrack is constantly searching for innovative ways to help people and businesses excel. Their advanced software can equip big and small businesses with the tools to adapt to ever-changing market trends, like insurance advice, so they can remain competitive, earn money, and continue growing.