How does the Fleet Tracking System work?

SatelliteThe Fleet Tracking System consists of four main parts. The first is a comprehensive software package (including a user-friendly, cloud-based, web interface) to capture and analyze data. The software can provide vehicle position information in both “real-time“ and historic perspectives. The second part is a GPS locator which communicates with the software via the third part of the system – the cellular (cell phone) network. Positioned in the vehicle, the locator also acts as a receiver which connects with the fourth part of the system, the USA NAVSTAR GPS (Global Positioning System). Maintained by the U.S. Air Force, the national GPS system “consists of three segments: the space segment, the control segment, and the user segment.”

In the case of the fleet, the user segment connects the locator in the vehicle with the orbiting satellites in the space segment. These satellites transmit navigational messages on a continuous basis.

These messages are composed of the satellite’s exact orbital position and the transmission time of the message. Vehicle locators capture these messages along with other data. Using a precise mathematical algorithm, the vehicle locator calculates the vehicle’s speed and the time at that moment. The locator transmits this information back to the software periodically via the cellular network. In cases where transmission is not possible, the locator will store its information until transmission is once again restored.

The national GPS network was originally designed by the U.S. military for their own use. In large part due to its military applications, the GPS network is in a constant state of renewal. The GPS III phase, scheduled to begin launching in 2016, has a “15- year design lifespan” providing improvements such as “enhanced signal reliability, accuracy, and integrity.“

GPS is wholly-owned by the U.S. government which does not plan to privatize this system.

For these reasons, it can be assumed that civil GPS will be a reliable network for the foreseeable future making the Fleet Tracking System the optimum short and long-term solution for fleet managers.

At any given time, the Fleet Tracking System can accurately show where a vehicle is, whether it is stationary or moving, and if in motion, how fast it is going and in which direction. In short, it is the ultimate vehicle-tracking tool. The applications of this seemingly-narrow stream of data are varied and wide-reaching.


From our white paper “Managing Your Fleet in Today’s Marketplace: Why the Fleet Tracking System Makes Sense”. Click here to download this free document.