What Is A GPS Vehicle Tracking Device

We've put together everything you need to know surrounding vehicle tracking devices to help you understand them in more detail.

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Moving van on motorway

WHAT IS GPS VEHICLE TRACKING?

GPS tracking is the term for being able to locate a vehicle, as a result of GPS technology. Usually a hardware unit is installed to the vehicle's battery, which provides GPS coordinates that can be tracked using vehicle tracking software, through a live map. 

 

WHY IS VEHICLE TRACKING IMPORTANT?

Whether it is tracking of commercial vehicles or private vehicles, vehicle tracking devices are important in being able to locate a vehicle and its whereabouts. Its a sense of security, that if a vehicle is stolen, the owner of the vehicle will be able to see its location and aid the police in the recovery of the vehicle. You can also accurately inform a customer when their delivery is arriving as you are able to locate the delivery vehicle. As a result, customer's needs are met more effectively by giving precise timings.

HOW DO VEHICLE TRACKERS WORK?

The ABAX Triplog unit is a complete system for logging and reporting your vehicle's trips. The small and compact design in conjunction with the latest positioning technology, GSM communication and movement detection, ensures accurate logging and reliable position data collection.

WHAT DO GPS TRACKERS LOOK LIKE?

Depending on which supplier you buy your GPS vehicle trackers from, they will all look different. However, an ABAX vehicle tracker, is a small compact unit that measures 4.7 x 4.7 x 1.9 cm, and that looks like this:

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WHERE ARE VEHICLE TRACKERS FITTED?

The ABAX unit is self-installable, designed to be installed by a customer with minimal technical understanding and requires no specialist tools. A standard installation involves connecting the red cable to the positive vehicle battery terminal and the black cable to the negative vehicle battery terminal. To watch a video on how to install an ABAX unit, click here.

For best performance, ABAX recommends the unit be mounted on the outside of a vehicle at the bottom corner of the windshield. However, for aesthetic or security reasons, some customers request the unit is not visible. As with all GPS technology, the unit will only work effectively when concealed under non-metallic materials such as plastic or glass, so efforts must be made to ensure metallic surfaces do not cover or interfere with the unit and affect signal strength.

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ARE VEHICLE TRACKING DEVICES WORTH BUYING?

This question is asked regularly, however vehicle trackers are extremely worth the investment!

With ABAX Triplog, you will be able to see: 

  • 28-35% fuel spend reduction for cars and mileage claims
  • 22-25% fuel saving for commercial vans
  • 61% administration reduction for the office (save 45 mins per driver a month)
  • 100% accurate records
  • 98% administration reduction for the driver (save 2.4 hours a month)
  • 100% tax compliance
  • 100% privacy compliance
  • HMRC require 6 year records - we provide 10 years

WHAT IS THE LAW AROUND GPS VEHICLE TRACKING DEVICES?

Essentially, using GPS to monitor vehicles and staff at work is not generally an issue. However it depends on what the application is being used for. Private monitoring is a BIG NO though - I think we can all agree that monitoring staff outside of work crosses a line!

The Information Commissioners Office gives the best guidance and supplementary material for in-vehicle monitoring offered by a government body or independent regulatory body. The ICO is the UK's independent body set up to uphold information rights. Unite the Union back the ICO's findings. They summarise that employees must be made aware of what is being monitored and why this is the case. Installing a GPS vehicle tracking system is essentially about being prepared and clear on what the purposes are before effectively communicating this to employees.

HOW DO I INFORM MY EMPLOYEES ABOUT A TRACKING DEVICE IN THEIR VEHICLE?

There are no official government guidelines directly referencing privacy requirements for GPS telematics on vehicles used for business. However, the Human Rights Act (1998) indirectly mentions; that a business has the right to monitor data communications within the workplace as long as the employee is aware of the monitoring before it takes place, and, an employee has the right to see any information held about them. Additionally, the Independent Commissioners Office (ICO) released guidelines to aid workers and unions. The ICO recommend that any monitoring device must have an "on/off switch" (sometimes known as a privacy button) if private trips are allowed. This would allow the employee to have the system active for a business trip and then deactivated for a personal trip.