Large-fleet operators have been using GPS tracking devices to get real-time location information on their vehicles for years, and now the technology is trickling down to small-business applications and Personal cars. A cellular connection and smartphone interact with existing equipment on your personal vehicle to turn it into a company car in a snap.
The simplest units plug into the OBD-II (on-board diagnostics) port, which has been mandatory on every passenger vehicle sold since 1996 and the Complex units with extra functionality like vehicle Immobilization are wired directly to the Car’s electrical system. Once attached, the GPS tracking unit draws power from the car’s electrical system and sends its information via existing cell phone networks to the home company’s servers. The information is then routed to the users via the web or through an app on a mobile device.
Like many of the robust, customized telematics systems, this software tracks vehicle location, real-time movement and driver performance, Vehicle immobilization and sends out mechanical and service alerts .
“GPS tracking can help a small business and personal car owner essentially in the same way it helps a big business,” says a sales and marketing manager of the web-based GPS app TrackSolid. “A customer can call to set up a service at a specific time or in an emergency situation, and you can look at the tracking and know exactly where your vehicle is. You send the customer a text and route your driver where you need them to go. It doesn’t even matter whether your guy answers his phone.
“Drivers may not love the feeling of having a GPS tracker looking over their shoulders, but used judiciously, the units can work to the benefit of owners and customers alike. “Once your employees know that their vehicle is being tracked,” Cathy Wan says, “inefficiency and waste are eliminated.”