What’s Inside a Vehicle Tracking Device? - Fleetsmart
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What’s Inside a Vehicle Tracking Device?

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A vehicle tracking system is an excellent way for businesses to manage a large fleet of vehicles. While tracking technology may seem complicated, most trackers consist of less than just six different parts. The following guide explores not only how a vehicle tracking device works, but in-depth look at what parts it consists of and what each part does. 

What Parts are Inside a Vehicle Tracking Device?

A vehicle tracking system consists of five main components:

  • Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver
  • Small computer
  • Digital storage device
  • Cellular transmitter. 
  • In most cases, these components are integrated in a single box.

What Does Each Part Do?

GPS Receiver

A GPS receiver uses a network of space satellites to determine the latitude and longitude of a vehicle (the location points on an imaginary grid over the entire surface of Earth). In some cases, a GPS tracker will use different types of GPS technology to determine a vehicle’s location.

Several countries around the world operate their own GPS networks. For example, the United States Global Positioning System has been in use for almost 30 years. However, it has competition from several other countries, such as GLONASS, a GPS system operated by Russia. Whilst it doesn’t offer the same level of accuracy as the United States GPS system, it can still be a great tool for increased coverage.

In addition, Europe is currently building it’s Galileo positioning system which is the only navigation system managed by civil authorities as opposed to the military. While this system is still under construction, it will offer accuracy up to a few feet. China also has a GPS navigation system called BeiDou which has 35 satellites currently in orbit, four more than GPS and eleven more than GLONASS.

Some GPS receivers accept homing signals from a variety of networks. In urban canyons and other areas with poor GPS reception, this can be an excellent way to improve location accuracy. Additionally, it allows a GPS tracker to lock onto the position of a vehicle quickly and effectively. 

Computer, Transmitter and Storage Device

After determining the latitude and longitude of a vehicle, GPS vehicle trackers transmit location information to a specialised on-board computer. This computer will then store or transmit that data via a cellular signal and through a digital storage device. This will allow a fleet vehicle’s location to be monitored in real-time.

All of these components are stored inside a small box which is fitted inside the vehicle to keep them secure and prevent tampering. A look inside a vehicle tracking device helps you to understand the equipment you’re working with, and the accuracy of it. By using these clever devices, you can reduce accident risks, fuel costs and gain control of your fleet from wherever you are.

If you want to find out more about our vehicle and asset tracking, please do not hesitate to give Fleetsmart a call today on 01942 932442.