Thanks to technological advances, we now have access to information that our forefathers could only dream of. GPS, or Global Positioning System, is a major piece of technology that many of us use every day but sometimes overlook. Although it was developed for military purposes, the technology has since spread into the civilian world and has been used for non-military purposes for many years. Fleet managers and operators can do so much more to improve the efficiency and visibility of their assets thanks to GPS.
With the click of a mouse or the touch of a mobile device, a wealth of information is now available. While we all understand the uses and benefits of GPS, we frequently overlook some common issues that arise for everyone when using GPS on a device. This article is an attempt to explain some of the more general problems that people are currently experiencing when using GPS.
Disadvantages of GPS Vehicle Tracking System
Here are some of the most prominent negatives associated with the use of GPS
Location Inaccuracy & Drifting
GPS receivers rely on signals from at least four satellites. If they only connect with three, the positioning is not entirely accurate. When obstacles such as walls, buildings, skyscrapers, and trees obstruct a signal, problems can arise.
Geomagnetic storms and other extreme atmospheric conditions can also cause problems. Furthermore, the mapping technology used in conjunction with the GPS may be inaccurate or out of date, resulting in navigational errors.
Poor Signal & Battery Life Concerns
Relying solely on GPS can be problematic if there is a signal failure or you are using a battery-powered device that runs out of power (GPS devices are almost always power-hungry). Unless you have a backup plan, such as hard copy maps, you could easily get lost and have no idea which way to go.
Another issue is that the position can be significantly off at times, especially when the number of satellites is limited. Satellites use atomic clocks, which are very precise, but there are sometimes discrepancies and thus time measurement errors. The satellites must preserve their predefined orbital positions, but gravitational pulls (from the earth, moon, and sun) do occur.
One of the disadvantages of a GPS vehicle tracking system is that while many employees will understand the need for fleet management software or a vehicle tracking system, others may find it difficult to work with. Why? They may believe that their privacy is being infringed upon. But, in the workplace, keeping track of all events is beneficial in the long run, right?
That is precisely what some employees find difficult to believe and, as a result, resist using the GPS tracker. Although it is uncommon, they may perceive the devices as an incursion of their privacy or autonomy.
GPS devices are, by definition, distracting. In theory, they will relay audio instructions to you, and all you have to do is glance over at the map from time to time. In practice, however, you may end up fiddling with your smartphone or other devices while driving, attempting to change the destination, enter data, or change other settings. It’s a recipe for disaster.
Privacy & Data Concerns
Without their knowledge, GPS devices can be used to track people. A device, for example, can be installed in a car to track the victim’s location at all times. This method can also be used to aid in nefarious and criminal activities such as stalking, breaking and entering kidnapping, and even murder.
When travelling, local knowledge is extremely valuable. If you rely solely on GPS technology, you may miss out on information that could be useful for your journey. For example, whether a stretch of road is prone to flooding or other hazards at certain times of day, whether there are any scenic views, or whether the road is closed for any reason, such as drawing bridges or railway crossings.
How to Troubleshoot Vehicle Tracker Connectivity Issues?
Here are some ways to troubleshoot common vehicle tracker connectivity issues:
- Accuracy issues are usually caused by a location error, which occurs when your antenna has difficulty picking up or maintaining a satellite signal. This indicates that it is not properly positioned. You must relocate your antenna or GPS tracking device to a location with a clear view of the sky, such as the trunk of a car.
- For specific information on interfacing with a GPS receiver, consult the program’s user manual or the support section of the vendor’s Web site. If your GPS receiver isn’t communicating with your computer and you have a PDA, first turn off the PDA synchronisation programme. PDA synchronisation software that is running in the background is a common source of GPS receiver interface issues.
- Always make certain that the cable is securely connected to both the GPS receiver and the computer. Check that the GPS receiver is turned on while you’re at it.
- Check that the baud rate and protocol in both the GPS receiver and the interface programme are the same. If you still can’t connect, double-check your settings.
Key Takeaways for GPS Tracking Device Longevity
These should all go without saying, but just in case they aren’t obvious enough for some, here are some precautionary measures to take when dealing with GPS trackers.
- Keep the tracker away from direct sunlight and extreme temperatures.
- GPS trackers are highly sensitive electronic devices. They must be handled with caution. Don’t even try to shake them violently.
- Keep dust and liquids away from the tracker.
Why is my GPS tracker offline?
When the GPS tracker is in a signal-blind zone, such as an underground parking lot, a remote suburb, or a tunnel, for example, the GPS tracker will automatically activate the offline alarm.
Why is my tracker not updating?
Because your tracker transmits its location via a cellular network, you must have adequate cell service. If your tracker hasn’t updated in a while, it’s most likely in a cellular dead zone and will update as soon as it moves out of it.
Can a GPS tracker cause electrical problems?
The electronic system of a car is unlikely to be harmed by GPS trackers. GPS trackers are frequently blamed by mechanics because extracting the tracker from the OBD II port may (at least temporarily) resolve the problem.
How to Improve your GPS Accuracy?
- To get the best results, make sure your device is positioned in such a way that it can capture the GPS signal
- Try keeping the device high and in open areas – near windows if you’re in a car or building.
- To the best of your ability, avoid areas with a high likelihood of poor GPS reception (natural or city-created valleys and canyons, dense forests, walls, etc.)
- While running GPS applications, keep your device charged.
What are the impacts of poor installation on vehicle trackers?
Poor installation is the leading cause of GPS tracking implementation failure. Issues that occur during device installations can cause major headaches, whether they are installed incorrectly or your fleet experiences more downtime than expected.
How often should you replace GPS?
Satellites have a lifespan of about 10-15 years. Blocks (so the type of satellite) are updated less frequently, but this depends on what you consider blocks.