GPS tracking for cars works just like any other method of GPS tracking. It makes use of the 24 Global Positioning Satellites that fly in geosynchronous orbit around this little blue spec in the cosmos. These satellites were put in place by the United States Department of Defense in order to get a better understanding of the location of their massive fleets and other military assets, and has been for some time.
These satellites and the information that they broadcast was made available to the public in the Reagan era after the tragic destruction of a passenger airliner over Soviet airspace. Since then, GPS technology has become extremely widespread - trickling into hundreds of consumer electronics. Some of these device have been extremely complex, pushing the limit of present day technology, while others have been simple, straightforward, and unimaginative.
One of the more interesting uses of GPS has been the integration of GPS tracking into cars. It has many immediate and interesting applications in addition to some future applications that are downright intriguing.
Let's start with the immediate applications: car navigation and car tracking.
GPS Tracking for Car Navigation
These are obviously the most prevalent and ubiquitous form of GPS on the consumer market today. Everybody has heard of the brand names in this industry: Garmin, TomTom, Magellan. But have you ever stopped to think what goes on inside these small, compact GPS tracking devices?
Well, they sit on your dashboard where they have access to the sky. The sky is where the GPS satellites transmit their signal from and it is often the case that a GPS receiver (your Garmin, TomTom, or Magellan has a GPS receiver in it) needs to have a line of sight to the sky in order to receive that signal. Once it gets the signal from 3 or more satellites, it does some math (a process know as trilateration) to determine the exact location of the receiver.
Once it has its location, it cross references that with the mapping software that is has loaded on its hard drive. It then displays the your location to you and keeps track of where you have been and where you are going. Because it know where you have been and where you are going your GPS tracking device is able to give you all sorts of cool information like your speed, expected arrival time, distance traveled, etc. This is a form of GPS tracking that is important for us to remember. It may not be the type of GPS tracking for cars that most people think about when they use that phrase, but it is GPS tracking nonetheless.
GPS Tracking for Car Tracking
When most people think of GPS tracking for cars they usually get a picture of the police attaching a magnetized gadget to the bottom of a car that makes a little red dot flash on a computer screen in some room where a geeky guy sits at a computer drinking a Coke and staring at a computer screen. They are tracking the car because they want to know if someone is engaged in criminal activity or because they want to find the location of a hideout or hidden stash of money. This is certainly one application of GPS tracking for cars, but not the only one.
Spies could use it too, or private investigators, or jealous or suspicious spouses. But all these people would be performing the same essential activity as the law enforcement people. They would be tracking a car with GPS for the sake of finding a person or telling where they have been.
One different use of this type of tracking for cars would be its use in recovering stolen property. Cars can cost lots of money, thousands upon thousands of dollars in fact. Many people are not able to afford a car outright and must take out a loan in order make the purchase. What happens when a car gets stolen? Does your loan magically go away? Nope, you still have to pay off the old car and you are going to need a new automobile too, right?
Enter a GPS tracking device stowed secretly in your car. You wake up one morning to find you car gone. It has been stolen. To recover it, all you need to to is activate the GPS tracking device you installed and presto! you have your car back in a matter of hours and the criminal who stole your car gets thrown behind bars.
Another useful current application of GPS tracking for cars is to use it as a way to assist parents in developing safe driving habits in their teens. Too many teens die each year from stupid car accidents that could have easily been avoided if only they had been driving appropriately. While a GPS tracking device is no substitute for good parenting, these devices can be extremely useful in helping parents enforce the family guidelines for safe driving.
It might look a little bit like this: The parent lets the teen know that they are going to install a GPS tracking unit into the car that they drive. The parent instructs the teen by example and through rigorous driver training exercises how to drive in a safe and defensive manner. Aggressive driving and other risky behaviors are avoided by parent and teen alike. Then, the parent and teen come to some sort of consensus on what the consequences should be for the teen if they do not abide by the family guidelines concerning safe driving.
GPS tracking for cars doesn't make your teen a safe driver, it simply helps you better enforce the rules so that you can make them a safe driver.
Future Applications of GPS Tracking For Cars
Have you ever seen iRobot? In that movie Will Smith's character was able to drive and get to his destination with even having to be awake. The car drove itself! This is the future of GPS tracking for cars. We are already making the necessary improvement to our ability to keep track of time, improving even on the current atomic clock that has been around for decades. The new method of keeping time is significantly more precise and allows for much greater precision in GPS technology.
Imagine a world where everything worked efficiently. Rush hour would no longer exists as everyone's route too and from work would be optimized and seamless integrated with every other commuter's route home. There would be no accidents and no stress - you could even take a little nap on the way home because your car could drive itself.
This is closer to reality than many of us realize. Planes essentially fly themselves these days - pilots being there mostly for show and in the case of some disaster where human intervention will save human lives. But what is the system that makes this type of automation possible? GPS tracking.
GPS tracking for cars has several current applications that provide real benefit to is users, but the real power of this technology has yet to be realized. This technology has the potential to completely revolutionize the way that people travel in their world and only time will tell just how quickly this is going to happen. Maybe within the next century all of humanity will have access to GPS tracking for cars.
Finding appropriate methods to use GPS tracking for cars is not that difficult. There are tons and tons of ways for