Where did vehicle tracking start?

How did Vehicle tracking start and become a fleet management product

As it is said in the Wiki page, a vehicle tracking system combines the use of automatic vehicle location in individual vehicles with software that collects these fleet data for a comprehensive picture of vehicle locations. Modern vehicle tracking systems commonly use GPS or GLONASS technology for locating the vehicle, but other types of automatic vehicle location technology can also be used. Vehicle information can be viewed on electronic maps via the Internet or specialized software. Urban public transit authorities are an increasingly common user of vehicle tracking systems, particularly in large cities. But where dit this tracking phenomenon start.

Long before the days of Digit fleet management and vehicle tracking services the history of vehicle tracking dates to the beginning of GPS technology in 1978, when the experimental Block-I GPS satellite was launched into space. Manufactured by Rockwell International, this system was a successful test; and by the end of 1985, 10 more Block-I satellites were launched to further validate the concept. In the early years, the technology was not yet operational, due to an insufficient number of satellites orbiting the earth. On Jan. 17, 1994, after years of gradual growth in the GPS satellites, the final of the first 24 satellites was launched, and the GPS tracking system was considered fully operational. Today, fleet tracking taps into this same technology, even connects to some of those very first satellites.

Early GPS technology was designed primarily for use by the military. And to safeguard their technology an algorithm was implemented to offset the positioning so that it could only be used by the USA military to pin point attacks and find vehicles locations. The uses for the military were clear in the 1980s and 1990s, but public interest in GPS tracking technology was minimal back then. In 1996, President Bill Clinton determined that the system would be an asset to civilians as well as the military, and issued a policy directive that would require the creation of a dual-use system benefiting the everyday user. This policy change made GPS technology available to the average individual, including fleet managers, who could see the benefit of using the technology to keep tabs on their vehicles. In the 1990s, further modifications were made to GPS tracking technology. These included policy and accessibility changes. In 2006, the last GPS satellite was launched.

GPS and Fleet Management

In the early days of fleet tracking, in order to properly track a fleet, each vehicle had to be enabled with a costly GPS device. The company was required to pay a typically high monthly fee to use the satellite tracking system. While helpful, these early systems were difficult to implement, costly to use and sometimes inconvenient for drivers and fleet management alike, Internet was not a thing you found in every office and if it was available online maps and live routing software was none existing, everything had to be an offline process and maps had to be manually loaded to each pc. Thus it took several years for the concept to catch on. In the earliest days, only large, wealthy fleets took advantage of the technology.

The basic concept of fleet tracking has not changed since its inception. A GPS tracking system uses the Global Navigation Satellite System network. This network incorporates a range of satellites that use microwave signals that are transmitted to GPS devices to give information on location, vehicle speed, time and direction. Essentially, a GPS tracking system can potentially give both real-time and historic navigation data on any equipped vehicle. GPS provides special satellite signals, which are processed by a receiver. These GPS receivers not only track the exact location but can also compute velocity and time. Fleet tracking has been embraced by both fleet managers and the drivers they hire. This technology provides accountability and protection to both parties, helping drivers do their jobs better and providing fleet managers with accurate information about fleet vehicles. This business has flourished due to the growth in smartphone technology, giving access to cheaper cellphone communication and better internet interaction.