No More Lost Luggage?
Did you know that an average of 4 pieces of luggage are lost on every Boeing 747 flight? That’s a lot of suitcases and it adds up to billions of dollars every year. The Daily Mail Reports that Airbus has developed new smart luggage which includes a built-in satellite GPS tracker and a barcode display to both locate the luggage if lost, and identify the owners. The system works with a smart phone app, which involves passengers sending their flight information to the airline, and the airline responding with a unique bar code for every piece of luggage–which then shows on the bar code display.
Cemetery Robber Caught on Video
After visitors began complaining to a Sandusky, Ohio cemetery about items such as flowers, vases, and plants missing from graves, the Sandusky Police set a trap for the thieves by placing a GPS tracking device in a potted tree. After about a week of surveillance, the thief was spotted on video stealing the tree. Using the tracker and GPS tracking software, police were led to a home where multiple items such as urns, vases, and plants were found.
Here Kitty, Kitty
Ever wonder what your cat is up to when you’re away? The BBC recently requested a study using GPS tracking collars and cameras to track the movements of 50 cats. Results from the one week project showed that cats can be pretty sneaky, including one cat who entered his neighbor’s home through the cat door to steal cat food.
In the US alone, ground transportation represents a multi-billion dollar industry largely responsible for connecting consumers with the food, clothing, and goods Americans use every day. In an industry where efficiency can mean the difference between success and failure, transportation providers depend on GPS tracking systems for effective fleet management. Below, we’ve outlined some of the ways tracking devices and GPS tracking software help transportation providers remain on the move.
Perhaps one of the most costly components of the transportation industry, accidents and increasing insurance costs can take a big bite out of profits for any provider. Fleet management with GPS tracking software allows dispatchers to monitor drivers for exhaustion and excessive speed. In addition to protecting drivers, GPS trackers help transportation providers minimize accidents and, as a result, unnecessary insurance claims.
In a digital world, customers expect on-demand updates in just about every area of their lives from work to play. With GPS tracking software, transportation providers are able to provide to- the-minute updates for their customers, including estimated arrival times, possible delays, and more.
For a transportation providers, rising fuel costs represent a serious threat to profitability, and minimizing fuel consumption is paramount to success. Tracking devices, and GPS tracking software give transportation providers the edge they need to get ahead of fuel costs, including monitoring driving habits and idle time, and establishing more efficient routes of travel.
Here are our favorite GPS tracking news stories for Friday, June 7, 2013:
GPS Inventor Says Self-Driving Cars to Come
Brad Parkinson, former United States Air Force colonel credited with the invention of GPS, says that the future of GPS tracking technology is self-driving cars. Due to the advancement of GPS tracking technology, Parkinson said self driving cars could be just a few years away–especially since companies like Google are already testing them. Parkinson is now a professor at Stanford.
GPS Technology for Tsunami Warning Systems
The BBC recently reported that GPS tracking technology may soon be used to increase early warning time in the event of tsunamis caused by earthquakes. According to the report, GPS will be used to measure even the slightest changes in the geography of the coastlines in countries most likely to be affected by tsunamis to provide faster warnings than current tsunami warning systems which use seismic activity data.
NASA Working On GPS for Navigating Space
Popular Science reports that NASA is developing an “intergalactic” GPS system aimed at facilitating space travel anywhere in the universe. Navigation for space travel currently relies on radio signals sent from Earth, but those signals weaken with distance. The GPS project is designed to rely on light beams produced by neutron stars known as pulsars which spin rapidly and emit steady beams of light.
In today’s very competitive marketplace, the ability to operate efficiently can make a significant difference in any business’s ability to be successful. As one of the most effective business tools available, GPS tracking software provides business owners added efficiency in a number ways.
Their Time Equals Your Money
The more your business can achieve in fewer hours, the more profitable and competitive it will be. With GPS tracking software, dispatchers can easily save time and dollars by having the ability to see where every vehicle in your fleet is at any time—speeding up response times, and optimizing travel routes. Especially for service providers, the ability to make more calls in less time can greatly improve the productivity level of every work day.
Reporting Made Easy
GPS tracking software offers automated reporting options to both speed the pace of business and help you analyze where your money is going. These reporting options include mileage tracking, monitoring idle time, and route playback.
As mentioned in our previous post on GPS tracking for loss prevention, GPS tracking devices can greatly improve the chances of recovering stolen property without damage. The devices, used with GPS tracking software, allow business owners to see the location of their assets, and notify authorities.
Unmanaged loss prevention can take a big bite out of your business profits. One of the most effective tools business owners are using today to prevent loss and deter thieves is GPS tracking systems. Along with GPS tracking software, these devices can help you get a grasp on the profits you could be missing out on.
Prevent Theft with a GPS Tracking System
GPS tracking systems provide a powerful deterrent for both theft and the misuse of company assets and time. When staff members are aware of GPS trackers deployed on your vehicles or heavy equipment it greatly reduces temptation. For example, an employee who knows that his routes of travel are being tracked is far less likely to use a company vehicle for personal travel.
Recover Stolen Assets
If you happen to be the victim of theft, GPS tracking devices installed on your corporate assets can assist authorities in recovering the stolen asset and avoiding a loss. With GPS tracking software, the location of the stolen item will be pinpointed, allowing authorities to reach it faster, and reducing the likelihood of damage.
Manage Payroll Costs
Payroll can be one of the most daunting costs for any business. If your business needs to trim the fat from overtime or other hourly wages, a GPS tracker and GPS tracking software may be just the tool you need. For example, staff members who are aware that there time and movements are tracked using GPS tracking software, are less likely to claim time that wasn’t actually worked. Plus, GPS tracking systems can reduce your overall payroll costs by helping you find more efficient ways of doing business, such as using less fuel, correcting inefficiencies in routes of travel and dispatching.
In a world where cutting business costs is necessary to remain afloat, the last thing any business needs is lost profits through inflated payroll costs, or the theft or misuse of company assets. Consider GPS tracking for business to manage loss prevention.
In addition to providing helpful information for business operations, GPS tracking systems are also used for personal safety. Here, we’ve outlined some of the best safety features today’s GPS trackers have to offer.
The Panic Button
Perhaps the most important feature of a GPS tracker for personal safety is the panic button. With the press of a single button, a GPS user in an emergency situation can immediately alert others. The panic button feature on most GPS tracking systems activates a rapid fire sequence of location alerts, followed by automated cell phone alerts via GPS tracking software.
The ability to communicate with another human being in the event of an emergency can mean the difference between life and death. If you’re selecting a GPS tracking system for personal safety, TrackingTheWorld recommends a tracking device with two-way voice capabilities.
Extreme Weather Durability
For personal safety, a GPS tracker with all-weather durability is important, particularly if you are an outdoor enthusiast. In situations such as mountain biking or snow skiing, your safety may depend on the ability of your GPS tracker to reliably function in less than desirable temperatures. Be sure to ask a GPS dealer for specifics.
Long Battery Life
Another of the most important safety features for GPS trackers is the ability of the tracker to operate for as long a period as possible without a charge. Depending on locate update intervals (how often you want the tracker to report your location), today’s GPS trackers can go as long as a month or more between charges. With this capability, or something similar, you can rest assured your GPS tracking system will function even if you forget to charge it once in a while.
While almost everyone has heard of GPS tracking systems, some may be wondering how the units are actually used. Ranging from wilderness hiking to improved customer service, here are five of the most popular ways people are using GPS tracking systems today.
GPS tracking devices are often utilized as an added measure of security for enjoying outdoor sports. Not only do the units allow family members to track excursions using GPS tracking software, they also provide invaluable location information in case of an emergency situation. Some GPS tracking devices feature panic buttons which activate a rapid series of location updates and automatically alert specified cell phone numbers.
Improved Customer Service
Ask anyone in the service industry, and they’ll tell you that today’s digital age consumers expect instant and reliable access to the information they want. From real time tracking of shipments and deliveries, to knowing if public transportation is running late, GPS tracking allows management to deliver in-demand information on a silver platter.
Oh, the parental worries that seem to arrive hand-in-hand with every child’s teenage years! Any teen driving a car, dating, and having the freedom to come and go is enough to make any reasonable parent nervous. As a result, parents are now using tracking devices and GPS tracking software to monitor teens’ driving habits, including speed and idle time.
Construction contractors, business owners and individuals use GPS tracking to protect valuable assets such as heavy equipment, tractors, lawn mowers, vehicles and central air conditioning units. In addition to allowing for speedy recovery of stolen items, GPS tracking may also qualify users for an insurance discount depending on the provider.
One of the most painful and hidden costs of doing business is waste caused by unscrupulous employees. Administrators are now using GPS trackers and software to determine if employees are effectively managing their time, obeying the rules of the road, or abusing the use of company vehicles. GPS tracking software quickly provides the answers employers need to operate their businesses as efficiently as possible.
From tracking teenage drivers to identifying sources of financial waste in business, the use of GPS trackers has increased exponentially over the last decade. And, as technology continues to advance, we can only expect that GPS tracking will be used in an ever-increasing number of ways. How could you use GPS in your business or home life?
One of the many ways GPS tracking devices are used for fleet tracking is city bus tracking. Over the last decade, communities have found that the utilization of GPS tracking systems not only improves efficiency in public transportation operations, but also encourages citizens to take advantage of the transportation resources available to them. Here are the top four reasons why GPS tracking improves public bus systems:
Location and Schedule Monitoring
Transportation dispatchers using GPS for fleet tracking are easily able to monitor the location of each bus in real time through the use of GPS tracking software. If a particular route or driver is causing delays within the transportation system, the problem is easily isolated and fixed in a manner that saves time, financial resources, and maintains satisfaction for the public.
Simply stated, every public transportation system wants more commuters. Some community bus systems have found that GPS tracking systems which allow patrons to monitor the location and estimated arrival time of their bus via a smartphone application actually increase the overall ridership within the system. For example, if rushed commuters can verify their bus is running on time, or know it is running late, they are much more likely to align their schedules with bus arrival times, resulting in more riders overall.
Fuel Dollars Saved
With fuel costs rising, bus system administrators are becoming increasingly aware of this threat to their bottom lines. As an industry dramatically affected by fuel costs, public bus systems possibly have the most to gain from the use of GPS tracking systems allowing them to identify and remap the most inefficient routes within the system.
GPS tracking provides an effective tool for maintaining a city-wide bus system that is hassle free and reliable for patrons, resulting in satisfied, returning public transportation customers.
Today’s business owners are utilizing GPS tracking systems as an effective business management tool for cutting costs and operating more efficiently. If you currently use GPS trackers, or you are interested in purchasing them for your daily business operations, here are a few suggestions for helping you get the most from this technology investment.
Extended Life Battery Packs
Understanding the benefits of GPS tracking battery packs will allow you to benefit more from your GPS tracking investment. Many trackers now come with the option of purchasing an extended life battery pack, which typically consists of a self-contained, magnetic case containing a larger battery and space for housing the tracking unit. By connecting your tracker with this supplemental power source, you will dramatically increase the amount of time your GPS tracker can operate without a charge.
For those using GPS for covert tracking, such as private investigations or law enforcement operations, battery packs for GPS tracking systems provide a compact and discreet method of powering trackers, entirely unattended for days or even weeks at a time. This extended “up time” conserves financial resources by requiring less manpower and reduces the likelihood of an investigation being compromised.
GPS Tracking Software
Understanding what GPS tracking software can do for your business is an important factor in getting the most from your GPS tracking systems. From generating reports on the location of each vehicle within your fleet to automated mileage reporting, GPS tracking software can change the way you do business. Understanding features such as historical data archiving, reporting options, and geo-fencing can help you determine how to best utilize GPS tracking devices.
Selecting GPS Trackers
To get the most benefits from GPS tracking systems, it’s key to understand how you plan to use them. For example, it is important to know whether or not you need a tracker that can be used in extreme temperatures, if you need a waterproof tracker, how often you expect to receive position updates, how accurate you need the tracker to be, and if accessories such as extended life battery packs are available.
GPS trackers are an excellent investment for many businesses. By understanding their features, tracking software, and determining how you plan to use GPS before you purchase, you can assure that you will make the right choice for your business.
Austin, Texas police were recently able to recover thousands of dollars in stolen electronics and other items thanks to GPS trackingsoftware installed on an iPad which was also stolen. After activating and using the GPS tracking software on the iPad to find its exact location, police conducted a surveillance operation on the home. The home’s occupant was later stopped and arrested. Upon entering the home,authorities discovered a cache of electronics and musical instruments related to other alleged crimes.
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