Having a mobile with GPS capabilities is a standard in today’s world. Every smart mobile device comes standard with GPS tracking capabilities. We use them for anything from tracking our lost devices to tracking our kids to tracking our friends, family, and even employees in an emergency.
What Is GPS Tracking?
GPS is short for Global Positioning System. The global positioning system allows for tracking via a group of satellites and ground stations that work together to pinpoint a device’s location. GPS was created by the military and has expanded to use by everyone. It has always been funded by the U.S. Department of Defense, though there are no restrictions on civilian use of the system.
GPS trackers, whether your cell phone, tablet, or a fleet management tracker in a vehicle, receive microwave and satellite signals and then complete calculations to triangulate where the GPS tracker is. It can also determine the speed at which the tracker is moving and the direction. This can tell you where the tracker has been and give an idea of where it is going – very useful information for fleet management.
Benefits and Drawbacks of GPS Tracking with Mobile Phones
GPS tracking capabilities are standard on most cell phones today. A mobile with GPS may not be sensitive enough to provide an exact location, though it can give a very close proximity location. This helps first responders locate you in case of an emergency. It can also be helpful when searching for a lost phone.
There are some drawbacks to having a mobile with GPS also. A mobile phone will provide an approximate location, so if an exact location is required, this may be a problem. Also, GPS can be turned on and off in a mobile phone. If the person you are tracking or the thief who stole your phone doesn’t want you to find them, they can simply turn off GPS tracking.
If you are tracking an employee’s movements, it is worth noting that they can turn the GPS off to keep you from knowing their actual location or where they are headed. Another potential issue with using a mobile phone for tracking is that it won't work if the employee forgets their phone at home.
Third-Party GPS Tracking for Mobile Phones
There are third-party GPS apps that fleets can purchase for mobile phones. This can provide an extra layer of protection for your phone in an emergency. They may also offer features that are helpful for fleet tracking beyond those options included with the phone’s initial build.
Why Some Fleets Choose Mobile GPS Tracking Over Fleet Management Tracking Devices
Many companies may find fleet management tracking cost-prohibitive when they are first starting. GPS tracking on mobile phones offers a less expensive alternative. Many also may think that their fleet is too small to warrant the cost of fleet management tracking.
Fleet management tracking devices require GPS hardware installed on each vehicle you wish to track. Fleets may assume that hardware installation will cause delays in getting vehicles on the road. Fortunately, GPS devices like Azuga’s take almost no time to install and offer software that is just as easy to use as any GPS app you might choose.
Many fleet management software options require a significant commitment that mobile GPS tracking does not. Contracts may last several years, and if you’re not absolutely certain about the company and the product, this can leave you feeling uncomfortable with choosing a fleet management GPS tracking company.
Why Fleet Management Tracking over Mobile GPS Tracking?
While Mobile GPS tracking can provide information about where your vehicle is and the direction it is heading. Fleet management tracking devices can provide additional information, such as driver behavior (speeding, hard braking) when the vehicle needs maintenance.
You won’t have to worry that the driver left their phone behind at home and can’t be tracked or that they found a way to disable the GPS tracker in their phone.
The reports provided by a fleet management tracking app can provide insights into how efficient your driver’s routes are and allow you to make changes to increase efficiency. You can reward positive driver behavior without trying to guess which drivers have the best performance. Instead, you can see it with the touch of a button.
Because fleet management tracking devices are typically connected to the vehicle’s engine, they can also offer diagnostic information and data related to engine health and efficiency. In the event of an accident, you’ll better understand what happened at the scene and how your driver was involved through the information obtained from fleet management tracking software. Mobile GPS tracking can’t offer you this insightful information.
With Azuga’s fleet management software, you can even add TimeCard, making it easy for drivers to track their time and submit timecards from their phones.
Know Everything About Your Fleet with Azuga
With Azuga’s fleet tracking system, you will know everything you need to about your fleet and have the most efficient operations possible. Run a driver safety rewards program, track your equipment (not just your vehicles), and be more sustainable. Schedule a demo to learn how Azuga can help you with all of your fleet management needs.