Vehicle Telematics

Alternative Positioning Systems that are being used for Fleet Monitoring

Your ability to manage the fleet of your trucks can make or break your trucking business.

A big part of managing your fleet of trucks is remotely monitoring driving patterns. Technologies these days allow you to track the routes taken by your drivers, how carefully they drive your vehicle, how often they accelerate or suddenly hit the brakes, how many times they stop on their way to the destination, and for how long, and many more insights.

With the hard, indisputable data you can reduce chances of accidents and challans, cut down or eliminate pilferage, bring down fuel consumption costs, ensure better and timely deliveries, improve the safety records of your drivers, and increase the longevity of your fleet of trucks.

Fleet management technologies also help you logistically. Over a period of time, you have enough data to find out how much time your fleet takes to move from position A to position B within the safe speed limits and at which touchpoints a particular truck is going to be along the route, at what times. This gives you better predictions, helps you set up maintenance schedules, and prepare efficient estimates for your customers.

Multiple technological options are available to you if you want to implement an efficient fleet monitoring system. Two prominent alternatives are

  1. GPS-based fleet management system
  2. SIM-based fleet management system.

Both have their pros and cons and it all depends on the objectives and goals of your operations on how you make the right decision for your trucking business.

GPS-based Fleet Management System

GPS stands for Global Positioning System which is basically a satellite-based navigation system. One of the greatest benefits of using a GPS system is that it works in any weather, anywhere in the world, anytime and usually, without a subscription fee or a setup charge.

If you use Google Maps or other map applications you prefer, it uses GPS technology in the absence of an Internet connection. This means, whether there is Internet connectivity or not, for your directions you can always depend on GPS technology.

A caveat is, the accuracy of your GPS system depends on how many satellites it can connect to. For example, to transmit latitude and longitude coupled with track movement, your GPS receiver must be locked onto the signal of at least 3 satellites. In GPS lingo, this is called 2D positioning.

For 3D positioning – latitude, longitude, and altitude – your GPS receiver needs to link with at least 4 satellites or more.

SIM-based Fleet Management System

Alternatively there are other technologies used for monitoring fleet management, like the SIM card instead of the GPS connection.

Instead of directly connecting with the satellite, your device, whether it is a mobile phone or a tablet or a standalone device bearing the SIM card, sends the data to the central computers via a cellular network.

A typical device used in telematics comes with built-in technologies such as an accelerometer, gyroscope, and light sensors. These technologies can be combined to gather data such as acceleration, sudden halt, movement and stillness, and direction and speed. It also captures the traditional GPS data and then beams everything to the cloud, or the server supposed to store and process the information.

Even if there is no connection with a cellular service, the data is temporarily stored on the device until a connection is established.

Benefits of SIM-based fleet management technology compared to the GPS technology

The immediate benefit of implementing telematics or SIM-based fleet management systems for your trucking business is a fast implementation, aside from the fact that comparatively, it is way cheaper than installing GPS-enabled devices in all your trucks.

Every truck driver these days has a mobile phone. Every standard mobile phone comes with all the technologies needed to gather the data that you need to manage your fleet of trucks. Every mobile phone has a SIM card. The SIM card is already connected to one or another cellular network.

All you need to do is, install the mobile app connected with your fleet management system, get the mobile phone number registered with your SaaS setup and the tracking is initiated. Every movement is tracked. Every peculiarity is registered. As long as your driver has his phone with him, you don’t need to bother with any other device.

Another benefit of using the mobile phone or the tablet (bearing the SIM card) is that your driver can also capture additional data such as manually inputting information or capturing documents like invoices and receipts with a phone camera and immediately transferring the images to your central server.

On the other hand, the GPS technology is better suited for finding a destination while your driver is driving the truck. The data, even if it is limited to just a few parameters, is not as accurate as the data provided by the telematics technology. Whereas GPS technology caters more towards the driver, the sim based technology caters more towards your fleet management system.

How Bigtruck Technologies and Fleet Intelligence are Revolutionizing Fleet Management

Bigtruck Technologies has carved out a name for itself for providing end-to-end IT-based services to road transportation businesses. Whether you are a trucking company or a business requiring the services of a trucking company, our SIM card-enabled fleet management system allows you to track the precise movement of your fleet or consignments, helping you manage your resources more efficiently and economically.

Being at the forefront of fleet management IT solutions, Bigtruck Technologies has made significant advancements in the field of SIM-based fleet tracking solutions that give our customers real-time actionable insights and data. Our team in Bigtruck Labs are constantly doing their research in the advanced alternative positioning systems that will enable scores of trucking businesses to bring down their operational costs, mitigate risks, and improve their bottom line by accurate tracking and big data analysis.

Bigtruck is also working on launching better products and solutions in the market that will leverage the telematics technology for more accurate data gathering, sturdiness, and reliability.

We strongly believe that every fleet management system is as good as the data it is able to gather. Telematics, benefits of GPS technology and the inherent features of an average mobile phone can create a singular and powerful fleet management solution for precise data gathering and accurate analysis.

Author:

Sunayana Senapati

Bigtruck Technologies Pvt Ltd

Vice President – Corporate Brand and Communications

Self directed and driven Vice President of a technology logistics company for their internal and external communications with comprehensive accomplishments leading public and media relations, multi channel media management, product adoption and training cross functional teams to ensure success and achieve goals.

Published in Telematics Wire

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