The global positioning system is the world's most precise navigation resource. Not only does it provide anyone with a GPS tracker accurate directions from point A to point B, it also enables the exact location of GPS trackers to be known at all times.
Since GPS tracking devices have a known location, they can be attached to an asset and the asset can be monitored. Assets include any item of value, from cargo to people.
One of the most common uses for the global positioning system is GPS vehicle tracking.
To understand how GPS vehicle tracking works, one must understand the technology behind GPS.
A GPS tracker will receive a signal from a satellite in orbit above the Earth. This satellite, while moving, has a constantly know position. This is because its orbit is predictable. Since the satellite location is always known, it acts as a reference point. The GPS tracker can determine its location on Earth based on where it is located in relation to the satellite.
When the satellite sends its message to the GPS tracker, it also includes the time the message was sent. The GPS tracker compares the time the message was sent to the time it was received to figure out its distance from the satellite. By using messages from 3 satellites, the GPS tracker can determine its location on Earth, which is the point where all 3 satellite messages intersect. Because the messages are sent at the speed of light, a fourth satellite is used to compensate for the time discrepancy. The fourth will not intercept with the other 3. This discrepancy is detected and the GPS tracker adjusts its measurements to make up for it. This is what makes GPS vehicle tracking systems so accurate.
GPS vehicle tracking devices can be mounted to the outside of a vehicle, placed within a vehicle, or hard-wired into the vehicle's ignition system. Vehicle GPS tracking devices are typically data pushers. This means that the GPS vehicle tracking devices send their data to a dedicated server. The server analyzes their location and displays it on an aerial map.
The most advanced GPS vehicle tracking devices are backed by powerful servers that are able not only to display the current location of the vehicle, but also where it has been, how fast it is going and the direction it is traveling. By laying this data over a map, the vehicle tracking devices can show real-time movements.
The newest GPS vehicle tracking technology features the "locate now" ability. This enables a user to locate the vehicle even in absence of a clear GPS signal. The most accurate GPS vehicle tracking devices will display their location in intervals of less than one minute.