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Vehicle Tracking Device: What You Need To Know Before Buying One

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Vehicle Tracking Device: What You Need To Know Before Buying One

Alvin Toh
March 28, 2007

Vehicle tracking devices utilize GPS, global positioning system, to electronically track the location of a vehicle. GPS satellites transmit signal information to earth. GPS receivers pick up and store this information. The receivers work best with an unobstructed view of the sky so they are best used outdoors and not in highly forested areas or near tall buildings. GPS systems use an accurate time reference, which is provided by an atomic clock on board the satellite.

Vehicle tracking devices have many uses. They are often used by companies to keep track of business mileage and job performance. As an anti-theft device, vehicle trackers are used to enable police to locate a stolen vehicle quickly and easily. Many auto insurance companies offer a special discount to those who have a tracking device installed in their vehicles. They are also useful for navigation. A vehicle tracker can be hooked up to an on-board laptop computer to provide the driver with location and direction of travel. Vehicle tracking devices can also be used to keep track of family members, especially teenagers who are only allowed minimal vehicle access. Certain types of GPS systems are linked to special services such calling 911 in emergency situations and reporting your location so that emergency responders can find you.

There are 2 types of vehicle tracking devices: real-time and passive. The real time tracking system allows you to locate a vehicle live on the website. Special computer software is loaded onto the computer that will be used to access the information. When connected to the internet, you can view real-time information on the location, speed and direction of travel of a vehicle. Before buying a real time tracking device, make sure that your computer systems are compatible to the requirements of the tracking software.

Vehicle tracking devices that use real-time technology require a monthly subscription to a GPS service. This price varies from company to company but is generally under $20 per month. The subscription is typically purchased along with the tracking device.

Passive GPS tracking system isn't as sophisticated as real-time system, but is less expensive. The tracking device is placed inside a vehicle and information stored can be easily downloaded to your computer at a later time. This allows you to view where the vehicle has been, often recorded at 15-minute intervals.

Many new companies are springing up all the time, so be sure to buy your vehicle tracking device from a reputable company. You can easily locate a good dealer on the internet. There are some well-known companies that are adept at providing high-quality tracking service. If you are not computer savvy most companies offer to help you get started and can assist on an ongoing basis if problems occur.

GPS tracking systems are becoming very popular in providing vehicle tracking solutions to personal and business needs. Vehicle tracking devices can help you save time and money. There are gps tracking systems to suit every budget and needs. Check out our top resources on the latest gps systems at www.gpstrackingsys.com

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