There is no right or wrong answer to this question. Confused? Let us explain. Fleet management software works in many different ways. Some might require a mobile device but there are also ways to avoid the use of these gadgets.
Choosing a system for a fleet business has a lot to do with a fleet business’ requirements. This is why it is important to have a complete understanding of the different methods of tracking their fleet. Before we understand how the fleet management system can operate without the use of a phone, let us look into various ways in which a fleet management system can work.
Types of Tracking Methods With Fleet Management Software
Fleet management systems can generally be categorised into two types. Both these types usually vary from one another not just because of the device they work with, but also because of their features. They serve different purposes which might target a specific kind of fleet business. Let us find out how in great detail:
- GPS Tracking: This form of vehicle tracking uses GPS satellites to communicate with the fleet management software and provide it with data. But not just location tracing, the system also gets the fleet businesses information on the things like their on-road activities. This allows managers to approach their fleets with a better management perspective.
- SIM-based Tracking: This method of fleet tracking has more to do with the cellular network of the drivers. Though very quick and efficient, this system is restricted to simple location tracking for fleets. It functions on a prepaid model and can be cheaper than investing in a complete fleet management software.
Can Fleet Management Systems Work Without Phones?
So now the question arises, can you track your drivers/vehicles without the use of a mobile phone? This too has two separate perspectives. Let us look into both of them separately:
GPS tracking is done via a GPS device that is integrated directly with the vehicle. This device connects to 3-4 satellites at the same time. The fleet management system takes the vehicle’s coordinates from these satellites and is able to pinpoint the exact location of the vehicle. At no point is a mobile device engaged in this process.
So to answer this question, yes, fleet management software can function without the use of a mobile phone. It can communicate directly with the GPS system that will provide it with the system.
In a similar sense, the system also connects with sensors. For example, a fleet uses door sensors with its operations. So whenever the door of the vehicle is opened, the manager will receive a notification and they can investigate the reason behind it. Thus, it has no use of a mobile phone.
When we come to SIM-based tracking it becomes apparent that it will require a phone for operations. This is because the system receives information of the nearest cellular tower the phone is connected to. This process happens via the mobile itself.
Due to this reason. There is no way for managers to track their vehicles other than their driver’s phone. If there is no such gadget involved, tracking won’t be executed.
How Does GPS Device Tracking Work?
GPS tracking, as the name suggests, is carried through a GPS tracking device. But these devices can also be segregated into two parts. First being the GPS device attached to a vehicle. But the other one is mobile tracking that uses the GPS chip preexisting in the mobile phone. While there is no major change in the way they communicate with the system, it is their operations that differ.
It is obvious that mobile tracking cannot be conducted without the use of a mobile device. But GPS device tracking has nothing to do with a mobile phone. It takes information directly from the satellites, processes it into data packers and shoots them to the server. Fleet management system thus shows this data in output for the managers.
The information that a GPS device collects focuses on many things beyond location tracking. It includes route planning, driver behaviour monitoring, fuel monitoring, video telematics and asset tracking. These features make it a more holistics management system than a vehicle tracking software.
Working of SIM-based Tracking
SIM-tracking replaces the satellite with a cellular tower. It works without the internet, simply collecting and transmitting information from the SIM’s cellular network. Here is an overview of how it works:
- Step 1: Phone number is registered and driver grants tracking permission. This kickstarts the process.
- Step 2: As the vehicle keeps moving, the SIM connects to a series of cellular towers. This connectivity information is saved.
- Step 3: Every time a manager requests information, the coordinates of the closest cellular tower to the vehicle are sent back. Thus, the managers know what area their vehicle is passing through.
- Step 4: Putting this information together, managers can form a vague route that the vehicle takes.
Can GPS Tracking Work Through a Phone?
As we mentioned above, mobile tracking also uses the GPS tracking system but the difference is that here the GPS device is a phone. It collects the precise location of the vehicle and creates a map of the vehicle’s route. While more accurate than SIM-based tracking, mobile tracking is not as useful as GPS device tracking.
While the GPS tracker attached to the vehicle can also track other aspects of the fleets, presenting more detailed insights on their operations.
Hopefully the different ways in which the fleet management system tracks its vehicles is clearer now. While all of them come with their own set of advantages, it is up to the fleet businesses to judge which one suits them best.
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