How To Use A GPS Tracker For Cars And Other Vehicles
There are several reasons you should know how to use a GPS tracker for cars, motorcycles, and other vehicles. The most obvious reason to install a GPS tracker in your vehicles is to know where they are. Knowing a car's location will help track down the car in case of theft. What's more, GPS trackers will help monitor a driver's driving habits and skills.
High-end GPS trackers can send real-time speed and location data, while cheaper options will only store the information for latter use. What’s more, high-end GPS trackers can be programmed to send alerts if the driver of the vehicle deviates from a pre-programmed route or goes above the speed limit.
How Does GPS Tracking Work?
GPS stands for Global Positioning System, and this is what devices use to track cars and other vehicles. Simply put, a device uses a satellite network to pinpoint the location of GPS devices. The process used by these devices is called trilateration, wherein the physical location of the device along with the car is calculated based on its distance from three particular satellites. It is the same basic technology that is used by a car’s navigation system.
If you're curious about how to use a GPS tracker and how it is different from a car navigation system, it is that GPS trackers provide information on the car's location and driving habit. In contrast, the navigation system helps you by giving you directions from one location to another.
If your GPS tracker is broadcasting the car’s location, it uses the same technology that cellphones use to make calls: by using cell towers to triangulate the exact location of the car and send that location in real-time. If this option is available for your GPS, it typically has a monthly subscription fee for the service.
Other Benefits of Using GPS for Cars
If you are a private car owner, you typically use your GPS tracker to prevent car theft and keep track of friends and family who are using your vehicle. However, GPS trackers also have a wide range of uses for business owners, first responders, and emergency services.
For business owners who own large fleets of cars or other vehicles, GPS trackers can help streamline daily operations by coordinating the vehicles' locations and movements. It also gives valuable feedback on mileage tracking so that the owners can better utilize their fuel consumption. It also gives the owners information for fuel reimbursement and bookkeeping.
GPS trackers are invaluable for services such as emergency medical teams or car rentals. Ambulances need to be able to coordinate their location and speed with hospitals in real-time, and a GPS tracker will give exact information that can save lives. Car rental services, on the other hand, use GPS trackers to monitor the location of their vehicles.
How to Use a GPS Tracker for Cars
The process of installing a GPS tracker in your car may vary slightly from one device to the next, but in general, most GPS trackers on the market are designed to be user-friendly. The biggest difference between products is the power source, so you should read the manual thoroughly before installing any GPS device.
Low-end GPS trackers are usually plug-and-play devices. You need to plug in the device to your car's cigarette lighter socket. While this makes them easy to install and use, some devices will continue drawing power from your car's battery even if the vehicle is not in use. If that is the case, you will need to unplug the device to prevent your battery from becoming depleted.
High-end GPS trackers are usually designed to integrate with your car's onboard diagnostics connector, which is located in the dashboard in the driver's area. It is more difficult to install this type of GPS tracker, and you might need to hire a mechanic to install the device for you. However, the main benefit is that the GPS device will draw power from the diagnostic device so that you will be sparing your car's battery.
Are GPS Trackers for Cars Legal?
If you want to know how to use a GPS tracker for cars properly, you need to know the laws covering the use of such devices. In general, you can use GPS trackers legally for any vehicles that you own. Even if the people using the vehicle are not aware of a GPS tracker in the car, you will not get into any legal trouble if you track the car without their consent if you are the owner.
However, if you do not own a car, it is usually illegal to install a GPS tracker. While there are some exceptions for law enforcement, it is generally considered illegal under any circumstances to place a GPS tracker in a vehicle that you do not own. For example, if you are a parent and you want to keep track of your child's driving habits, you will not be legally allowed to place a GPS tracker in your child's vehicle if you do not own it! You can even be charged with cyberstalking or illegal monitoring if caught using a GPS tracker in a car that you do not own! If in doubt, check with a lawyer before installing a GPS tracker in any car.
Knowing how to use a GPS tracker for cars certainly gives you security and peace of mind. However, as the old saying goes, "with great power comes great responsibility.” If you plan to place GPS trackers in your family vehicles, you should inform your family members beforehand. While it is not illegal to place a GPS tracker in your private vehicle without your family’s consent, it might send a message that you do not trust them to drive the vehicle on their own.
July 16, 2020
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