For the most part all web-based GPS (telematics) solutions work the same way. However, reliability of the solution can vary based on a variety of pieces. To understand which solutions will offer the very best reliability, you must first understand GPS tracking basics.
GPS Tracking Basics
To track a vehicle, a vehicle must first be equipped with what is often referred to as a “black box”. A black box is a piece of durable technology that connects to a vehicle’s OBD-II (On-board diagnostics II) port.
Once connected to the OBD-II port, the black box will begin collecting data about the vehicle’s location, status, speed, fuel economy, and much more. In order to read this data, the black box must be able to communicate to an external source to share the collected data. This process can be explained in three steps:
- Satellites pick up the signal from a vehicle
- Data from the vehicle is collected by cell networks and stored
- Servers report the collected data to GPS software that makes sense of the data
Picking a Reliable Telematics Solution
With the large variety of telematics solutions in the market it can be a daunting task to choose the right one for you. Here are few things to keep in mind when picking your solution.
Cell Coverage is Seldom an Issue
When considering implementing a telematics solution, some worry that data will be lost if the box does not have access to a cell tower. This is not the case. In the event that there is not enough coverage to process the data via cell network, the data stores until there is sufficient coverage and then transmits without the loss of any data. Even so, some telematics solutions providers offer a mixed cell network option, which allows the device to access transmit using multiple cell networks.
One of the most important aspects of a telematics solution is the device or “black box”. This device must be durable and have seamless functionality. Installing most GPS devices is not a very difficult process and it is getting easier every day. But, it does take a vehicle out of commission for as long as it takes to install the device, however long that may be. Having to replace a device would cause an even greater hit to productivity, so make sure to ensure the reliability of the device before picking a solution.
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