What modern GPS devices can track -- and a couple of ways to make use of that data.
GPS devices today are nifty little gadgets. Everyone knows they can report location. These days they can do far more than that, however -- they come equipped with inputs for various sensors, and can report that data back just as easily as location. So what kinds of data can that be, exactly?
Well, the following list is not exhaustive, because the simple fact of the matter is that modern GPS devices can track just about anything. But with that said, here is a good rundown of data that most modern GPS devices can collect:
9 Things You Didn't Know GPS Devices Can Monitor
- Speed and Direction
- Fuel level
- Doors opening
- Dome lights
- Engine idling
- PTO of machinery attachments
- Engine temperature
- Moisture levels
Speed is a very useful parameter to track. If a device's location is known, monitoring speed and direction not only gives you current data but also allows you to calculate things like ETA at a specific point.
Keep an eye on the fuel remaining in the fleet vehicles you've equipped with GPS devices and help prevent the potentially dangerous situations that can arise from running out of fuel.
Need to know when a vehicle was entered or exited? Keep tabs on when the door opens.
Another parameter that's potentially useful in determining when someone is in a vehicle.
After a certain number of minutes, excessive engine idling on a vehicle can shorten engine life and raise fuel costs. Modern GPS devices can keep track of the length of time an engine is idling and help fleet operators save money.
Power takeoff, or PTO, indicates when a vehicle's hydraulic systems have been engaged, allowing monitoring centers to know things like when a dump truck raised its bed, for example.
Keeping track of engine temperatures can also contribute to long engine life, and today's GPS hardware can do just that.
Low pressure in your systems can be indicative of many problems. Use your GPS equipment to keep an eye on pressure gauges and head off trouble before it occurs.
Some things just don't get along well with moisture. Monitoring moisture levels can help make sure that your equipment isn't being exposed to environments where it might suffer costly damage.
The above list is not all-inclusive; you can track almost anything via modern GPS devices that you could monitor if you were sitting in the vehicle. And all of that in real-time, if need-be!
What Can I Do With My GPS Device Data?
All of that data collection is great, and at any given moment lets you see exactly what's going on. But did you know that you can also create alerts that notify you when the data changes in some certain way? On the Position Logic platform, these alerts are completely customizable and modifiable. Want to know every time a lead-footed employee is going over 75mph? Easy. Or, using a geofence, get an alert when a truck is more than, say, 50 miles from the warehouse. Or if it moves on the weekend. Any threshold on any data can be set to trigger an alert.
But Position Logic's platform isn't only useful for real-time monitoring of GPS devices: You can also generate reports containing all of the detailed records for a given time period. For example, parents commonly use modern GPS devices and GPS software to monitor things like speed, acceleration, and location of vehicles controlled by their teenage children. There is also the ability to review a route, seeing how much time is spent in which location.
Families also frequently track their pets, to thwart escape attempts. Oddly, pet receivers often come with a microphone, so you can listen to your dog gnawing its chew toy or barking at neighborhood-terrorizing squirrels.
Companies with large fleets are GPS-tracking routes, scheduling maintenance reminders, managing fuel efficiency, and ensuring the equipment is not being used for unauthorized or personal purposes. Many devices are equipped with a two-way radio system where it's possible to easily communicate with a driver, or set waypoints on his in-vehicle map. In many cases the monitoring pays for itself over and over again with just one event like the recovery of a stolen vehicle, or in the ability to alter habits like excessive engine idling.
Law enforcement agencies and utility companies can not only monitor driving habits, but also time spent per stop and total number of stops. It's also much easier to locate the nearest available truck or vehicle and route it to a desired location--incredibly important for emergency response times.
All said, GPS monitoring is a really appealing, cost-effective solution for any company needing to track a fleet of vehicles, packages, or any type of valuable asset. They pay for themselves--if not in literal cash savings, it's made up for in peace-of-mind.
We hope you've found this article on things that modern GPS devices can track useful. Request a demo if you'd like to see even more features of modern GPS devices and the GPS tracking software used to track them.
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