Real Time vs Report Vehicle Tracking

When you are looking for a vehicle tracking system to manage your business’ fleet, you have the choice between a system that relays information back to the receiver in real-time, or one that does not relay live information but instead generates reports after the matter. Vehicle tracking systems allow you to monitor the location of any moving vehicle via GPS.

If you are wondering why you should invest in this equipment in the first place, in short: vehicle tracking is something that can hugely improve your efficiency, delivery times and can save you money on fuel and wear-and-tear of vehicles. It is a wise investment to make if you have any vehicles in your business fleet, because there could be a lot of money being put towards fuel, repairs and maintenance needlessly. A further benefit of having a vehicle tracking system in place is that if any of your vehicles are stolen, you can trace them with ease and recover them.

There are two main types of ways that vehicle tracking systems relay information about the vehicles they are calibrated with:

Real-Time Vehicle Tracking

If you want live data in real-time about the location, direction of travel and speed of your moving vehicles, then you will want a system offering to relay this information in actual time. Vehicle tracking works through communication between the tracking module, which determines the vehicle’s location by triangulating signals from GPS satellites. This information is then transmitted to the receiver, typically a cellular system.

The user can access the cellular system and receive the data and co-ordinates from the tracker immediately. The display type varies from tracker to tracker, but generally you can see a map with your vehicles marked on it, not dissimilar to the displays seen in dashboard or handheld GPS sat-navs. This type of real-time tracking is also referred to as “active tracking”, because the information is actively sent to the receiver.

Report-Based No Relay Vehicle Tracking

In contrast to active tracking, these “no relay” tracking systems store the data that they record in their internal memory, to be accessed later. This is known as “passive tracking”. Usually the same data is recorded as with an active tracker, but the only difference is whether it comes through as a live feed or if you need to wait for the vehicle to arrive at a predetermined point to receive the information.

Modern Vehicle Tracking Systems

Increasingly, modern vehicle tracking devices offer a combination of active and passive tracking features. For instance, they may use active tracking by default, but automatically switch to passive tracking if they lose connection to a cellular network. Any data recorded passively can be accessed later. Your choice on whether to invest in an active vehicle tracking system, a passive vehicle tracking system or a hybridisation of the two can be dependant on: your business’ size, budget, the number of vehicles, the reason you require vehicle tracking, and so on.

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