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  • Writer's pictureRicha Shetty

What is Car Tracking Device? How does it Work?

Updated: Nov 2, 2020

A GPS tracking unit or Geo-tracking unit or Car Tracking Device is a navigation device normally carried by a moving vehicle or person or animal that uses the Global Positioning System (GPS) to track the device's movements and determine its geographic position (geo-tracking).

  • Especially for the vehicle industry, GPS tracking systems have been a groundbreaking development. Today, tracking devices are being used for many purposes; mainly to monitor the movements of people, vehicles, and assets. Explore why vehicle tracking is used in a wide range of industries?

  • Features such as real-time tracking, route history, geofence zones, and event alerts allow users to provide personal safety measures for family members and enhance vehicle security.

  • Fleet companies use the data provided by GPS and telematics devices to reduce operational costs and enforce better driving habits.

  • The ability to track the location of a person in real-time and receive instant notifications of important events make Car tracking devices one of the best safety systems for a safe driving experience. Read further about How Useful are GPS Devices in Fleet Management?

What is Car Tracking Device? How does it Work?

How does Car Tracking Device Work?

Car tracking devices mainly work via GPS satellite navigation, although in some cases a radio frequency or cellular network can be used if GPS coverage is poor.

The actual setup is really very simple; each vehicle transmits a signal to orbiting satellites that relay this information back to a specified computer. The vehicle information is then displayed on maps, allowing you to monitor speed and exact whereabouts. Here GPS works by providing information on the exact location. It can also track the movement of a vehicle or person.

So, for example, a GPS tracking system can be used by a company to monitor the route and progress of a delivery truck, and by parents to check on the location of their child, or even to monitor high-valued assets in transit. Tracking devices for vehicles can be either active or passive (although often a combination of both methods will be used). What is the Difference Between Activating your Fleet GPS Trackers Automatically and Manually?

  • A passive vehicle tracking device starts relaying journey information once the vehicle is turned on or the door is opened. GPS data, speed, and heading are then recorded. Once the vehicle is returned to a set base, this information is downloaded.

  • With an active car tracking device, the same information is transmitted in real-time without the need for docking. So vehicles can be constantly tracked, even when tracking devices are turned off. If a connection is poor and data can’t be transmitted, many car tracking devices will revert to a passive system, to complete data transfer when the connection is better. Read also How Does a GPS Vehicle Tracking Device Work?

Difference Between GPS Tracker and Car Tracking Device:

The difference between a GPS tracker and a car navigation system is that the navigation system provides you with your location and driving directions, while a tracker either keeps a record of your driving habits or broadcasts its location in real-time. When a GPS tracker for a car is capable of broadcasting its location, it typically uses the exact same technology that your cell phone does to make calls or connect to the internet. This is why some GPS car trackers require a monthly subscription fee. Here are the Top 5 Benefits of GPS Fleet Tracking for the Transportation Industry

Contact us for a quick demo of our Traxroot Vehicle Tracking System to understand how our software using GPS System can assist you with details like distance traveled, live speed, driving patterns, generates fuel-saving reports, nighttime driving, acceleration, fuel pilferage, and many other exciting features. Visit our FAQ page for some frequently asked questions on fleet management.


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