Home: GPS Tracking Benefits: Telematics Glossary: What is GPS Fleet Tracking?

What is GPS Fleet Tracking?

Fleet Tracking

Today’s satellite global positioning system, or GPS, is the basis for a technology popular with fleet operators and in asset management — which can include vehicles, equipment and personnel.

Fleet tracking allows fleet management professionals to make the best use of these assets, to reduce costs and improve productivity.

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Adopted worldwide in multiple applications, global positioning is exceptionally useful in the transportation, service and construction industries, with GPS tracking becoming an integral part of building safer and more efficient vehicle fleets.

The Technology

Determining an object’s physical location has been essential in overland exploration and maritime navigation for at least 3,000 years. The current GPS network, which relies on signal telemetry beamed from space satellites, has been operational since the 1970s. [1]

GPS operates by sending transmissions between these satellites and a receiver that determines, from the signal distance, where the receiver unit is located. Fleet tracking makes use of this simple, reliable technology to fix the position of vehicles and replay via telecommunications and web based software solutions.

GPS fleet tracking benefit commercial vehicle operators in a number of ways.


To get the most efficient, productive use out of the vehicles in a fleet, it helps to know exactly where they are at all times. How far is a vehicle from its destination? Is it currently enroute, or stopped? Is there heavy traffic impeding its progress? With Fleet tracking, a dispatcher or fleet manager can find out immediately where a vehicle is. With this information the dispatcher can estimate time of arrival, and share more precise information with those expecting a delivery or service call.

Precise location tracking gives a fleets more flexibility — it can serve last-minute or unplanned requests from customers, locating the closest vehicle for response in the shortest possible time.

Fleet tracking also allows the dispatcher or fleet manager to plot changes in route at any part of the trip, and communicate this seamlessly to the driver. This enables vehicles in your fleet to avoid traffic jams, roadblocks or bad weather. Improved routing leads to shorter drive times and increased deliveries.

Learn how location tracking improves routing efficiency »

Fuel Efficiency and Maintenance Costs

Fleet tracking doesn't only increase fuel efficiency through routing, business also make savings by decreasing engine idling and wasted fuel.

The capability to revise routing based on real-time information can reduce unnecessary mileage, helping businesses cut maintenance costs by avoiding excessive wear and tear. This can extend the useful life of vehicles and the time between service intervals, and lessen the chances of unforeseen breakdowns.

Learn to increase fuel efficiency and lower maintenance cost »

Driver Monitoring

Fleet tracking may include data on driver events such as speeding, harsh braking, rapid acceleration and sudden cornering. This information can be used to evaluate driver performance and develop individualised training to improve driver skills. Real-world experience shows that GPS data analysis can promote safer driving habits in personal use and in fleet operations.

The benefits of this are twofold: it can lower the risk of accidents, violations and other incidents that impose a financial penalty on a fleet operator, and it helps drivers maintain good practices to protect their own career standing.

Explore how driver monitoring improves driver performance »

Safety and Security

The geolocating capability of fleet tracking can protect drivers against harm. A driver who requires assistance can summon help and expect it to arrive more quickly without the delay caused by trying to find a vehicle or driver when only an estimated position is available. A recovery vehicle, repair truck, or emergency medical assistance can respond more immediately.

In remote locations, this may compensate for limited visual reference points. Because GPS relies on electronic data, darkness, poor visibility or lack of familiarity with the area does not affect its efficiency.

Discover how to keep your fleet safer and more secure »

Asset Monitoring

Part of managing a business fleet is maintaining control of significant assets: the vehicles and other equipment and the load being transported. For asset management, fleet tracking can provide a constantly updated position for every item, at any time of day. Because fleet tracking can also reveal when a stationary object is placed in motion, a fleet manager can detect theft immediately and act to avert the loss.

This same capability means that fleet managers can be aware of after-hours or unapproved use of fleet vehicles or equipment by employees or contractors as well as unauthorised persons.

The value of GPS fleet tracking in protecting these assets is demonstrated by the fact that many insurance providers are encouraging the use of  this technology to improve fleet claims histories

Learn the value of asset monitoring »

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