The History of Vehicle Tracker

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Change is the only constant. Not simply a philosophical phrase, this idiom holds a lot of weight in today’s times. Evolution has been an important part of who we are and what we have achieved. But one should also keep in mind that today, evolution is not regarded just from ape to man, it's our machines and technologies as well that have experienced a seismic transformation and evolution. 
 
This evolution also demands our attention. Comprehending technology can be tough, especially when it keeps developing so rapidly. Take into example past few decades. Who would have thought that one can get food delivered at their doorstep, can shop and make payments with just a click or can locate your car using GPS tracker with a phone? But eventually, as time progresses, we get used to concurrent changes and have eventually accepted this evolution as a part of our daily life.
What many people might find hard to believe is that the evolution in technology which we are witnessing now is not really rapid. It did not happen overnight. This evolution took a long time. The development eventually got better and it keeps getting better every single day. For instance, the GPS tracker which is so common today isn’t today's technology.
 
The Beginning
The initial purpose of the GPS Vehicle tracker was to serve in intelligence and military applications. The first design was developed at the peak of the cold war during the 1960s. It was the Soviet spacecraft Sputnik that inspired the concept of the global positioning system (GPS). 
 
It was finally in 1978 when the first experimental Block-I GPS satellite was launched in the space by the Rockwell International. They consisted of a network of satellites which would orbit the planet at a fixed point. Once getting in position, they were able to reflect and hence send signals down to anyone on Earth with a tracking device. 
 
Following the successful execution, 10 more satellites were launched within a span of just 10 years to further reinforce the concept of GPS. This took place in 1985. Even though the 10 launches were perfectly accomplished and the satellites were working, they were not enough to receive adequate data to complete the GPS network for the entire planet. 
 
It took another 9 years to finally finish the network with the final 24 satellites launched in space on 17 January 1994. And finally, GPS was ready to be used after a lot of hard work and development spanning more than 2 decades. 
 
An Asset to Public
 
 
As already mentioned above, the initial use of tracker was limited to serve the purpose of the armed forces only. In fact, there was very little knowledge among the public about the functioning and utility of GPS trackers.
 
It was not until in 1996 when President Bill Clinton realized that GPS technology can be equally useful for the common public. He then issued policy guidance to relevant authorities to develop systems with which the general public can utilize and benefit from GPS. Technologies such as fleet management that we so commonly use today, were the result of that policy.
 
Additional updates were made in the GPS technology and devices were further developed. And a decade later, in 2006, the final GPS was sent to orbit the earth, thus completing the GPS network to be at its best when used for the public benefit. 
 
Personal Computers and the Internet
 
 
Major credit for these widespread GPS facilities among the citizen is also due to the rise of personal computers and the internet. 
 
The combination of these two cleared the major limitation as previously, only the government was authorized to utilize GPS. But with the growth of the internet, this power was bestowed upon the citizens too.
 
The personal computers allowed proprietors to take control of their business and utilize GPS to its maximum potential. The reason being computers, unlike their predecessors, were not large and space consuming but was fast, small and rather adaptable.
 
The Internet spread like wildfire and so did the operating ways of fleet management. Soon, all the fleet management programs were updated to be web-based.
 
This had many advantages but the prominent was the free flow of data between the driver, manager and the owner of the fleet. From maintenance records, vehicle sales to vehicle ordering, every detail was now being uploaded online, reducing paperwork drastically, along with increased transparency.
 
GPS Navigation and Fleet
 
The fleet management industry received a big boom when the internet teamed up with GPS technology. The early technology was a huge change in the management but had many limitations. They were found to be quite expensive and not very dynamic in terms of portability. 
 
Even though the device worked properly, but these limitations made it tough for the users to reap the benefits. Due to the heavy expense, only the large and wealthy businesses could enjoy the technology.
 
After GPS navigation was incorporated within fleet management, the mapping technology became available to the commercial drivers as well. This increased driving efficiency and improved business operations.
 
It took approximately another decade for this technology to emerge as an efficient tracking system. The Internet of Things (IoT) was yet to take over the world, but its predecessor, M2M or Machine to Machine communication was responsible in the evolution of navigation technology into the tracking system.
 
Modern Technology
 
 
As time passed, M2M evolved into the IoT or Internet of Things. With the entry of sensor parameters and cloud-based technology, mapping accuracy increased significantly. 
 
The fundamentals of GPS tracker still remain the same. Today’s GPS tracking system is based on the GLONASS or the Global Navigation Satellite System network. It works as a combination of locator along with the software which updates you with your real-time location. 
 
The network combines a series of satellites that utilize microwave signals which are transferred to GPS devices. This provides data on location, time, vehicle speed and direction. The GPS system can work both ways as giving the live location as well as recording past movements.
 
Economy increased, trade increased and as a result, the freight industry surged. So, for large fleet the requirement for effective management also arose. This lead to the development of vehicle tracking systems to fulfill different tasks. 
 
The early versions of the GPS tracker could only give live update and past movements but had many limitations. The current versions have evolved and have the following advanced features -
 
Recovery of Stolen Vehicles – With continual increase in crime rates, rampant vehicle theft emerged.But with the help of GPS trackers for cars, stolen vehicles can now be recovered and tracked.
 
Asset Tracking - Valuable assets need to be tracked by companies for safety, customer satisfaction and insurance. It is the vehicle tracking system that assists them in doing so.
 
Field service management – Proper maintenance is what keeps a company enjoy profits, rather than spending an unnecessary fortune on regular and sudden replacements. The repair and maintenance of the vehicles can be planned with the GPS vehicle tracker.
 
Weather Updates - Advanced Vehicle Trackers which use the Fleet management software (FMS) give weather updates. This helps the driver to know beforehand if the route he is taking has manageable weather, to avoid unnecessary halts and delays. 
 
Fuel Management – GPS trackers for cars come with the ability to optimize the routes that your carrier needs to take. This enhances fuel management, as it presents the shortest route possible to the destination, taking the least amount of time. This allows business owners to save the copious amount of fuel on a yearly basis.

Engine Health - Engine is the heart of the vehicle. In order to maintain the vehicle’s efficiency, it’s very important for the company to look after the engine. It is through VTS that a detailed report about the engine can be obtained. 
 
 
This massive evolution also shows how far technology has come since its inception. Moreover, the incorporation of Telematics in fleet management is bound to expedite this progress. Only time can tell what the future will look like, but following such advanced growth, one thing is certain: the fleet industry is booming and there is no stopping it.

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