A Comprehensive Guide to:
Fleet Tracking Systems

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Chapter 9

Active versus Passive Fleet Tracking Systems

When choosing fleet tracking systems, you would undoubtedly come across active and passive fleet tracking systems. Depending on your needs, what is the best reporting systems for you?

Passive tracking systems

Passive tracking systems are able to store GPS location, vehicle speed and headings. The device is kept in the vehicle that is being tracked during the entire trip and you would be able to download and access the data when the vehicle comes back to the office.

The device gathers all the data you want to track and stores it in its memory. When the vehicle reaches your office, you can then remove the device and connect it to your computer to view all the data it has gathered, both for the most recent trip and for past trips as well.

Obviously, a passive tracking systems is ideal for businesses that do not require real-time tracking data for their vehicles. Or for those businesses that would only want to track their mileage and other information.

Active tracking systems

Active tracking systems differ from passive tracking systems in that these devices do not need you to manually download and access the data. Instead, active tracking systems make use of cellular networks or satellite systems to send the data to your computer. You no longer have to wait until the vehicle is within premises and manually remove the tracking device to access the data. Instead, all the data is sent over wireless networks.

This is the reason why active tracking systems are able to provide you with real-time location data and vehicle information. You can know where your vehicle is anytime you want or need to know. You can see the locations on a map and even see how your vehicle is moving.

As such, active tracking systems are great for those businesses that need to know where their vehicles are in real-time, especially those that are in the public transit systems or those that are trying to make their deliveries more efficient. An active tracking systems is also ideal for those businesses that want to set up a geofence. A geofence is a predetermined area or location that you set up. If the vehicle enters or exits the geofenced area you have configured, you will be alerted. Active tracking systems also give you the capability to track your vehicle in the event that it is stolen, which is impossible to do with passive tracking systems.

As it is, active tracking devices may cost higher than passive tracking devices because on top of buying the tracking device, you will also need to pay for the networks on which it sends the data. The bottom line is, if you need to know where a particular vehicle is at any given time, then there really is no question, you would have to get an active tracking systems. But if that is not so important to your operations and you only need the data to improve your fleet, then you might be able to save money with a passive tracking systems.


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The Dilemma: Should you rent or buy Fleet Tracking Systems?

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Architectures of Fleet Tracking Systems


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