A new study of satellite tracking technology estimates that US companies are tracking 3.6 million vehicles, a number that's due to rise to 6.5 million by 2012. The study of tracking system use was carried out by CJ Driscoll and involved interviews with over a hundred industry executives about how they are using tracking now, and …
No problem with voluntary tracking
If you pay to have a GPS device installed in your car, and you have access to the data, and you can turn it off at will, I can't see a problem with that. Being able to find your car if it's nicked is always nice. It's the compulsory tracking by a 3rd party I'd be worried about.
According to El Reg...
If the predicted GPS failure of 2010 materialises then the tracking will not materialise and that will be one investment down the drain...
Am I the only one...
...who immediately thought of caterpillar tracks?
not the only one at all
So? I don't get the point in the artical, other than fishing for "OMG. Teh gov trk people!!! BADBAD!!!".
90% of these will be logistics companys traking lorries for oporational reasons, not to track the driver. The other 10% will probably be security vans.
@Am I the only one...
At least two of us. I was looking forward to running around town in a Stormer 30
Nope. My first thought upon seeing the headline was, "Really? That doesn't seem very efficient..."
And @Michael... "Hairy" Potter? I don't think we're talking about the same films here...
Removes all worries about being tracked!!
What, my company vehicle dissapeared off your snoop-scope for a few hours??
Must have been a technnology failure. These things will happen.
Not only caterpillar tracks, but I imagined 6.5 meter commercial vehicles with treads and rubber ducky antennae.
Damn confusing, but hey, 'tis friday.
Not many types of tracked vehicles
[QUOTE]Well the lines between company vehicle and private vehicle can be blurred.[/QUOTE]
Not really. If the company owns the vehicle, it's a company vehicle. If not, it's not. If some company expects me to use my own vehicle for company business, I won't be having them track me to make sure I don't go through the drive-through for lunch on the way.
Anyway, though, Paul's hit it on the head. The vehicles tracked in the US are:
1) Semis (those are lorries for you). Somewhat just for the "here's where your deliver is" aspect, and somewhat to prevent drivers going off-route to visit girlfriends, relatives, etc.
2) Some other delivery vehicles (UPS for sure.. UPS is a package delivery company.)
3) Taxis, it's easier for dispatch to dispatch a taxi if they know where it is.
In all three cases they are tracked by 1) Delivery company that the semi-drivers work for. 2) UPS 3) The Taxi dispatchers. They aren't fed into some centralized thing, the gov't, etc.
So, whatever you do, don't take this as some for of "well, it's ok to track vehicles then, they do it a lot in the US". We really don't much overall. And these were in fact fought tooth-and-nail... especially the semis, there's still delivery companies that specifically DON'T use GPS because the drivers won't stand for it. (Basically, on the theory that if they get the delivery on time, who cares if they go a few miles off course to spend the night?)
I'm very surprised they do not use some cellular data based system for this -- coverage is getting very good, and location updates shouldn't use much data. "Normal" data plans are $60/month for 5GB, but for business use a business can buy 5GB/month (for instance) and split it up between as many data devices as they want; I expect 5GB would be enough for tracking rather a lot of vehicles. I'd be tempted to use SMS personally, then the phone chip can take care of "store and forwarding" a few messages rather than the device queueing up data for when a data connection opens back up.. plus they may be able to use "unlimited text" plans then.
The vast majority of verhicles being tracked actively are delivery and service vehicles. When you are paid by the hour to make deliveries, stopping for a while or going out of your way can cause a company to lose money. Most companies don't worry about the occassional anomaly, but an employee who regularly pulls over for an hour in the middle of the day (still on the clock), or drives well out of his way for something (still on the clock) is an abuse of the company's resources.