There are three basic types of GPS vehicle tracking systems. These are:
1, Cellular based tracking systems: A cellular based tracking system transmits the whereabouts of a vehicle every five minutes over a terrestrial network. The initial cost of setting up the system is about $500 while the monthly cost is about $35. This system is especially useful as a safeguard against theft. 2. Wireless passive tracking: These systems simply store information like location, speed and heading. The data needs to be downloaded to a computer at the end of the journey and then evaluated. The disadvantage of such a system is that there is no real time information available and therefore it is not really tracking in the intended sense of the word. You can know where the vehicle had been, not where it is, and that too when it returns to base. Therefore in scenarios like mishaps or thefts, having a wireless passive tracking system is of no use. No one will know where the car is.
However, many systems are now attaching wireless modems into their passive tracking devices. With this, the tracking information can be viewed on a computer live. The tracker can learn the vehicle speed, stops or location. This type of tracking system has a one time cost, which is the cost of the system. There are no monthly fees or recurring costs.
3. Satellite based real-time tracking: A satellite based tracking system is a good, no nonsense vehicle tracking solution for shipping and trucking companies. It provides less detailed information but works across the nation. The average cost for setting up the system is about $700. The monthly fees starts from about five dollars and can go up to one hundred dollars, based on how detailed the company wants the reports to be.
In the near future GPS based tracking systems will provide customers with other benefits too. Some companies already have a provision where the customer can sign and run credit cards onsite through the unit. Some others are trying to create methods by which directions from a central unit can be sent directly to the drivers’ GPS unit, helping him to re-route if needed.
Some GPS systems will have internet access so that in case of a breakdown a driver or mechanic can use the GPS unit as an instruction manual complete to fix the vehicle.