Over the last few decades, there has been a massive reduction in vehicle theft resulting from increased law enforcement efforts and built-in anti-theft measures. However, the number of stolen vehicles increased sharply in 2016, worsened by a spree of tech-savvy thieves exploiting keyless entry systems. Unfortunately, criminals will continue to develop high-tech methods to bypass onboard security systems, so vehicle owners have to find alternative solutions to ensure the security of their cars.
This is where GPS and telematics systems enter the fray. These invaluable security systems provide outstanding security and recovery options to help bring vehicle theft to an end. As well as real-time location tracking, telematics systems employ advanced sensors that gather vast amounts of information on vehicle ignition status, speed, driving angle and engine error codes. This information can be used to improve driving habits, lower fuel expenses and increase the safety of your loved ones behind the wheel.
Let’s look in more detail at how vehicle trackers can improve our lives and the problems associated with them.
Advantages of Vehicle Tracking Systems
Road accidents are the highest cause of death among teenagers aged 16–19, and a major cause of death among adults, regardless of their driving experience. Personal safety can be greatly improved by installing a vehicle tracker. Parents can set speed limits and alerts for risky driving behaviour, which can help protect teenage children or other family members from driving irresponsibly.
Vehicle owners can protect their cars against determined criminals by utilising prominent safeguards such as geofence zones, advanced sensors and important event alerts. Geofence zones, or safe zones as they are also called, are virtual perimeters that can be drawn around any specific location. This feature acts as an early warning system in the case of theft, as it alerts car owners whenever their vehicle enters or leaves one of these pre-set locations. By reporting any unauthorised movements to the police, they can respond to the theft attempt without delay.
Real-time tracking offers a unique advantage in recovering a stolen vehicle. If a criminal gets away with a tracked car, it can be located within seconds simply using a smartphone or a computer. Providing the police with the exact location of the car can facilitate a quick recovery. Considering that over 40% of stolen vehicles are typically never seen again, having the means to retrieve them is invaluable.
Disadvantages of Vehicle Tracking Systems
Vehicle tracking devices require a power source to function. However, both battery powered and hardwired devices have their disadvantages. Battery-powered trackers should be kept charged at all times to avoid the possibility of being stranded in an emergency with no way to call for help if it runs out of power. Hardwired vehicle trackers draw power from the car battery and can deplete it if the wires aren’t connected properly.
Vehicle tracking devices can come with a hefty price tag, but thorough research before buying one can help car owners find a device that matches their needs at a significantly reduced cost.
People are naturally concerned about their movements being monitored and recorded on an external server. Before installing a GPS tracker in a vehicle used by anyone other than yourself – whether your spouse, child or employee – take care to alleviate any privacy concerns they may have by explaining why you want to install a tracker and what you will use the information for.
Unfortunately, GPS signals can be jammed by devices that disrupt the signals broadcast by GPS satellites. The only way to protect against this is to buy a telematics system that will detect and report signal jamming.
For many, the advantages of vehicle trackers greatly outweigh the disadvantages. Of the different options to protect cars from thieves, including steering locks, kill switches and car alarms, none offer the same peace of mind or advanced security features as vehicle trackers. Not only do these small gadgets improve vehicle security, they also reveal a huge amount of information – on everything from driving habits to engine diagnostic reports – that can enhance the driving experience and help lower fuel and maintenance costs. The use of vehicle trackers will continue to grow, as they are a proven recovery tool for stolen vehicles and help protect loved ones by promoting safer driving habits.
Ekim Saribardak is a highly motivated IT professional who possesses a never-ending love and passion for web application and software projects. He is experienced with technical knowledge in all areas of telecommunications, GPS technology, web applications, digital marketing and product management, with an aptitude for problem-solving and decision-making with the ability to influence others in complex and pressurized circumstances. He has been a technology geek since 1990, starting from the moment he first had his hands on a computer. Since then, he has been researching and studying anything related to computers, fascinated with the way computers are changing everyday life. He has worked in both hardware and software fields for different businesses for over two decades. You may reach him at his Linked In profile or at his blog.