Many commercial vehicles are at work across Canada today, from freight trucks to snow plows to rescue helicopters. These vehicles are expensive and valuable assets for their owners, so business owners may choose to invest in GPS tracing technology for a fleet of owned vehicles. Fleet management logistics can be made much easier when GPS tracking reveals the location of every vehicle owned, and a fleet camera system can make this work even easier. Other vehicles may also have GPS tracking systems in them, such as company cars or other trucks, as an emergency measure in case of trouble. How can GPS tracking help boost vehicle fleet efficiency in modern work, and what other emergencies might arise?
Snow Plow Management
A number of Canadian companies today own fleets of snow plows, and during winter, these vehicles will have plenty of work to do. They are essential for clearing roads for traffic, and the more efficiently a fleet moves, the better. Montreal alone uses some 172 different vehicles to clear its roads, and 188 are used to clear the sidewalks of snow. This city has reported that if fewer than seven inches of snow falls, it can all be removed within just five days, often fewer. If 12 inches of snow fall, around five days are needed to clear it.
What is the problem here? If snow plows are not coordinating their movements and locations, this can result in overlap in the trucks’ routes, and some trucks may cross paths or end up having no more work to do. No company wants a bunch of idling snow plows out there; they are wasting gas and taking up room, and this can increase pollution. In fact, the reduction of commercial vehicle idling is the law in many states and government jurisdictions. Incidents of vehicles idling for too long may result in fines, but GPS tracking technology can help prevent this.
If all of the snow plows in a fleet have GPS tracking systems in them, then spatial data experts can set up efficient and practical routes for each vehicle to take in an urban area. This way, no vehicle is left idling because it didn’t get enough work to do, and the vehicles can stay out of each other’s way. The more vehicles in a company’s fleet, the more important this sort of work will be. Spatial data management is growing in North America, not just for vehicles but also for tracking people by means of the electronic items that they carry. The Internet of Things refers to the many Internet-capable items such as smart phones and laptops that people carry, and this creates spatial data for marketers to analyze. This, and GPS tracking, comprises the larger field of geospatial data, and it should be noted that this field is growing fast. Many more jobs related to this field may appear within the coming years.
Other Uses for GPS Tracking
It is clear, then, that GPS tracking is an excellent tool for vehicle fleet management. But what else can GPS tracking offer? This can act as anti-theft technology as well. It is unfortunately common for commercial or private vehicles to be stolen, and these vehicles often still have the keys in them. Ordinarily, a stolen vehicle may be difficult to track down, but with GPS systems, the vehicle’s owner can quickly locate it with geospatial data, no matter where the thieves moved it. In this way, recovery of the vehicle is possible, and this can be a real relief for companies who would suffer huge losses from having to replace lost vehicles. The NICB reported that from 2012 to 2014, around 126,000 different vehicles were reported missing with the keys still inside them. Geospatial tracking can help bring those vehicles back to their owners.
These GPS trackers can also save lives. If a vehicle is stranded somewhere, especially in dangerous weather or other conditions, the people inside are in urgent need of rescue. Locating them can be much easier when GPS trackers are giving off the vehicle’s location, and search and rescue teams can home in on that location to rescue everyone there. The vehicle itself, such as a car or a truck, may also be recovered if possible.