Vehicle Tracking System: Technologies and benefits

Vehicle Tracking System: Technologies and benefits


Abstract Srinivas Manda
InfoTech Enterprises Ltd., Plot 11, Madhapur, Hyderabad 500033
Tel: +91-040-3100855
Email: [email protected]

Monitoring and managing the mobile assets are the core functionalities of any company dealing with the services, delivery or transport vehicles. Technologies help in supporting these functionalities from remote locations and update the managers with the latest information of their mobile assets. For optimal utilization of the mobile assets, it is required to collect and analyze the information of the assets. The information might need to be collected simultaneously as the vehicle is operational.

The proposed paper aims at describing various technologies involved in a vehicle tracking system and its benefits. Vehicle tracking can be active or passive depending upon the application. Some of the technologies used for both active and passive are common. The technologies are grouped conceptually as explained below:

  1. Data capture: Data in a vehicle tracking system is captured through a unit called automated vehicle unit. This unit is installed in the vehicle and contains interfaces to various data sources. This paper considers the location data capture along with data from various sensors like fuel, vehicle diagnostic sensors etc. As positional data plays crucial role in tracking the vehicle this paper describes various ground based and satellite based positioning technologies. This includes technologies like Cell-id, TDOA, AOA, E-OTD, smart card and GPS. Paper also details about fuel sensors and their accuracy.
  2. Data storage: It is required to store the captured data by the vehicle unit. This is more of necessity in case of passive vehicle tracking where the data is captured and downloaded in the later part of time. In case of active system also it is sometimes necessary to store the data at times when the communication network becomes inaccessible. This paper describes the storage units and their capacities and also the selection criteria.
  3. Data transfer: Captured or Stored data has to be communicated to a central control station for analysis. Network technology used for communication depends upon the mode of tracking the vehicle. The data can either be transmitted instantaneously after capturing as in active mode, or may later be downloaded as in passive mode. This paper discusses the various data communication and download technologies.
  4. Data analysis technologies: Data stored at the control center can be analyzed through a software application. A GIS mapping component is developed with features for tracking the application. The application can be installed by any one of the following models:
    • Standalone
    • Client-server
    • Web based

This paper describes the basic architecture for the above specified models and suitability of each model.

This paper brings out comparison of various technological options for selection of a vehicle tracking system. Comparison of the technologies is made based on operational methodology and cost effectiveness to bring out the suitability. Overall benefits of the tracking system are also discussed. This helps the user in selection of the appropriate technology..