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THE origins of GPS go back to 1957 when Soviet Russia got the upper hand in the technology race by launching a satellite into orbit called Sputnik before the USA.

It was a clear win for Russians or it seemed so until the scientists at MIT noticed the odd behaviour of radio signals emitted from the small Russian satellite. The signals strength fluctuated based on the distance of the satellite which is also called the Doppler Effect.

Further analysis of Sputnik’s signals gave the scientists the founding principle of GPS; satellites could be tracked from the ground by using receivers that can calculate their distance from the satellites in orbit.

Later on, the US military developed and launched a series of satellites that formed the GPS satellite system we use today.

GPS has come a long way since its invention; the navigation system was solely developed to assist the US army to help with their military operations but today GPS is used in every business industry and by individuals via various devices.

Tracking devices

The most common use of GPS tracking devices is also the principle behind its creation; locating objects and tracking their movements in real-time.

However, the gap in technological advancement over the decades is like day and light as the current GPS tracking devices can locate objects with a margin error of less than 1 metre while first-generation receivers such as Magellan NAV 1000 had an accuracy of 30 metres.

The difference is monumental when you compare the precision of today’s GPS tracking devices to older generation devices.

Tech companies have been developing GPS-based devices and applications for decades now that are being used in every aspect of our lives. From mobile devices to aeroplanes, there are countless machines and devices around the world that benefit from this groundbreaking technology.

Basic functions

The basic function of GPS technology; the ability to locate objects on-demand with maximum precision and keep track of their movements allowed business managers to enhance their business operations.

For individual use, vehicle tracking devices can be used to keep an eye on teenage drivers, family members or set boundaries for dangerous neighbourhoods around town. Route history is another prominent tool that is vital in planning for more efficient routes in the future and optimising fuel usage.

Better overall mileage from your vehicles also means they will experience less wear and tear which will end up lowering the maintenance expenses significantly.

Benefits of GPS tracking devices for personal use

State-of-the-art receivers and tracking systems use GPS chips to detect and broadcast their location. Popular smartphone applications are widely known for their ability to utilise GPS location data for a variety of purposes such as informing family members and friends about their daily activities.

Concerned parents can observe how their teenage children behave when they are behind the wheel and help them become experienced drivers by encouraging safer driving habits which will also lower the chances of them being involved in an accident. For security purposes, vehicle tracking systems are one of the best systems on the market to prevent theft and tampering.

Authorities report that 120.000 vehicles were stolen from the streets of the UK in 2017/2018 which is a drastic increase from 75.000 in 2013/2014. Given that 50% of the stolen vehicles are never recovered and a vehicle is stolen every 5 minutes in the UK, it is almost a necessity to install a hidden GPS tracker to have a recovery option should the worst happen.

How GPS tracking technology has revolutionised business

We make use of countless technologies every day without even noticing most of the time. Global Positioning System or -GPS as we know it- is an essential part of our lives; our smartphones, computers, vehicles and many other smart devices use GPS technology to locate their position and perform various actions such as broadcasting our location to our friends and family.

Internet of Things – IoT is another milestone in technology that has a profound effect on our knowledge about connectivity and connected devices. With its ability to link devices at a greater capacity and enhance their capabilities, IoT systems have the potential to reshape how individuals and businesses use their vehicles on a daily basis.

IoT-enabled fleet management systems allow for more complex business operations to be carried out. Among these complicated processes, cold chain transportation presents a greater challenge than other logistics operations as these shipments require highly regulated temperature-controlled environments to be transported over long distances.

Cold chain monitoring

Cold chain monitoring is made available via the use of wireless Bluetooth sensors and GPS tracking devices to detect and transmit even the slightest changes in the cargo hold of a vehicle. By gaining access to real-time temperature data, field managers can make sure their temperature-sensitive assets and cargos arrive at their destination in perfect condition.

SMEs struggle to survive their first year as a study from Company House indicates that roughly 80% of UK companies fail within their first year of business. Office of National Statistics also reports that only 44% of businesses in the UK survive for five years or more.

These statistics may look grim but they also prove that businesses need all the help they can get and GPS tracking systems are the best management tools on the market when it comes to resource management and lowering operational costs.

GPS tracking devices may be useful for individuals but for businesses, these sophisticated management systems are nothing short of a miracle. For every business industry, there is a specific solution that GPS systems can offer to enhance their business operations which will guarantee a ROI in a short amount of time.