Posts Tagged ‘vehicle tracking’

Cops Test Cannon That Fires Sticky GPS Beacons at Fleeing Cars

Friday, May 16th, 2008

police gps cannonDriving a getaway car just got a little tougher. As if high-speed patrol cars, helicopters, and tire spikes weren’t enough, soon the fuzz might come armed with a laser-sighted, double-barreled homing-device launcher. The gizmo, called the StarChase Pursuit Management System, fires sticky GPS transmitters from compressed-air cannons mounted in the front grill of a police cruiser. A backlit control panel allows officers to arm the capsule and launch it at their target; once the projectile is attached to the fleeing vehicle, it starts feeding real-time location data to police HQ over a cellular network. This lets cops fall back and tail the suspect covertly, avoiding dangerous chases. “It has real James Bond appeal,” says sergeant Dan Gomez with the LAPD’s Tactical Technology Unit. The system is still in the testing phase, but the LAPD says it will be on the streets by early 2008. It could spell the end of high-speed pursuits — and put a lot of news helicopter pilots out of work.


Source: Wired

CAPTOR: Success Stories of Car-Theft Recovery

Sunday, May 11th, 2008

captor logo

CAPTOR is a leading Malaysia company in car-theft recovery business. View some of the success stories about this company:

Losing Your Car While Technically Not Lost Your Car

Friday, May 9th, 2008

Vehicle Tracking System that rely 100% on GPRS sometimes will have this problem. The tracking device is functioning with GPS module exactly calculate the location. It keep on reporting to the central server for every single minute. The owner of the car or vehicle simply can watch their car moving on the web-based map on his or her PC. Suddenly, his or her car simply disappears on the map. Is the car just vanished into the air? He/She call the provider, regarding the lost. The operator pick up the call, and check the status of the car using SMS directly to the tracking device. He got text-based reply with car location and engine status.

The car maybe still drove by authorized driver on have been carjacked. How to solve this mystery?

tracked car lost in the map

The answer is: poor GPRS coverage. Hahahaha. Let’s the telco step forward to be blamed. The owner still not satisfying about this. So, he/she decides to stop subscribing the service. Again, the telco frees without blames and upgrading their system. The AVL provider is always lose. Maybe, we should do something about this.

Some Windshields Result to Poor GPS Signal Receptions

Wednesday, May 7th, 2008

One of our products is AVLS, Automatic Vehicle Locating System that make use of GPS and GPRS technologies as the main methods to locate and gather data into our main server before displays it as a dot in a web-based map that can be accessed by our customers anyway thru the internet. A part of our customers will use it as a Fleet Management tool. We also experiences some poor data gathering which is sometimes maybe result by poor GPRS coverage, invalid GPS data & also by bad vehicle wirings.

I’ve a short conversation this morning regarding to invalid GPS data or poor data retrieval from units that have been installed into VIP cars. I didn’t get a clear picture about type of car or the maker. Our field technicians told that it’s because of tinted-windshield. Sounds reasonable to me anyway.

The VIP cars, for sure should be a luxury car, got it windshields tinted and some of it have embedded radio antenna built into it.

Let’s talk just a little bit about how GPS works. Think of your GPS receiver as a little FM radio. The GPS satellites send signals that your GPS receiver can listen to. In fact, the frequency that GPS signals are broadcast over are on a frequency simlar to that of FM radio (1200 MHz and 1500 MHz areas). Anything that might disturb good reception over FM radio can also cause signal issues for GPS receivers.

It turns out that both of our readers were in vehicles where the FM antenna was built into the windshield. In one case the car was new to the reader and thus they didn’t notice that the poor reception had started when they started driving the newer vehicle. In the other case the driver was finding that the GPS could only pickup a good signal when on either side of the dashboard; when it was in the middle it was under the FM antenna and they had a difficult time getting a solid GPS signal.

I’ve also heard sporadic reports that certain tinted windshields can interfere with GPS reception although I haven’t been able to see this happening with my own eyes. So the type of car you drive (or more specifically the type of windshield you have) can interfere with the GPS signal. If your vehicle has a windshield with an integrated FM antenna you might need to locate the GPS receiver away from where the FM antenna is located to get good reception. I even heard from one reader who said their FM radio would no longer work when they turned on the GPS.

LoJack Tracking a Stolen Vehicle, Theft Recovery Seems so Easy

Friday, May 2nd, 2008

LoJack Stolen Vehicle Recovery System is an aftermarket vehicle tracking system that allows vehicles to be tracked by police after being stolen. The manufacturer claims a 90% recovery rate. The name “LoJack” was coined to be the “antithesis of hijack”, meaning the theft of a vehicle through force. Today, LoJack’s core business comprises the tracking and recovery of cars, trucks, construction equipment, commercial vehicles and motorcycles. Additionally, LoJack is expanding into newer, emerging markets through licensing agreements and investments in areas such as cargo security. LoJack Corporation claims that over 200,000 vehicles have been recovered worldwide since the product was introduced more than two decades ago.

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The hijack-proof truck

Sunday, April 27th, 2008



Two entrepreneurs have hit anti-terrorism pay dirt with a tiny black box that shuts down vehicles at the first sign of trouble.

You can’t go far wrong in a truck equipped with an Astrata box. The device, half the size of a cigarette pack, can be wired into anything that moves – truck, car, shipping container – to head off nearly every conceivable type of disaster.

It can be programmed to stop a drunk or unauthorized driver from starting a vehicle, for example, or detect and shut down a truck that has been hijacked, locking the thief inside and alerting its owners.

truck chart

The Astrata-GLP (global location platform) is part Big Brother, part James Bond – except that it already exists, and corporations and governments are paying close attention.

Powered by GPS tracking, wireless communication, and a Linux-based operating system, Astrata is the brainchild of Martin Euler and Tony Harrison, a British accountant and an Irish technology executive, respectively, who bet that the need for tracking and security devices would grow exponentially after 9/11.

Their client list now includes Shell Oil (Charts), Nestlé, and the government of Singapore.

Course correction

Astrata can detect a gasoline tanker that veers one block off its route, thwarting attempts to use it as a bomb. Security giant Group 4 Securicor puts it in armored cars in Indonesia.

Driver ID system

Astrata can be programmed to start only after the driver passes a breathalyzer test and presses a thumb for identification. A video camera can record the driver’s activities. Singapore’s Civil Defense Force is using the camera and thumb ID system in its hazmat trucks.

Speed tracker

Once Astrata detects a stolen (or speeding) vehicle, it can slow it to 5 mph or stop it completely. One commercial client uses the device to monitor how fast its truck drivers are going and how aggressively they drive. The box also tracks when the trucks are moving, so drivers can’t pad overtime claims or moonlight with company property.

Instant holding cell

Doors and windows can be locked remotely, trapping would-be terrorists, thieves, or reckless drivers inside. The device can also be programmed to flash hazard lights, blare the horn, notify headquarters, and summon police.

Source: Business 2.0

Practical applications of vehicle telematics

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008

When used in a commercial environment vehicle telematics can potentially be a powerful and valuable tool to improve the efficiency of an organisation. Some practical applications of vehicle telematics include;

Vehicle tracking

Vehicle tracking is a way of monitoring the location, movements, status and behaviour of a vehicle or fleet of vehicles. This is achieved through a combination of a GPS(GNSS) receiver and an electronic device (usually comprising a GSM GPRS modem or SMS sender) installed in each vehicle, communicating with the user (dispatching, emergency or co-ordinating unit) and PC- or web-based software. The data are turned into information by management reporting tools in conjunction with a visual display on computerised mapping software. Advanced vehicle localisation system for public transport may employ odometry instead of GPS/GNSS.

Trailer tracking

Trailer tracking is the technology of tracking the movements and position of an articulated vehicle’s trailer unit, through the use of a location unit fitted to the trailer and a method of returning the position data via mobile communication network or geostationary satellite communications, for use through either PC- or web-based software.

Cold store freight logistics

Cold store freight trailers that are used to deliver fresh or frozen foods are increasingly incorporating telematics to gather time-series data on the temperature inside the cargo container, both to trigger alarms and record an audit trail for business purposes. An increasingly sophisticated array of sensors, many incorporating RFID technology, are being used to ensure that temperature throughout the cargo remains within food-safety parameters.

Fleet management

Fleet management is the management of a company’s vehicle fleet. Fleet management includes the management of ships and or motor vehicles such as cars, vans and trucks. Fleet (vehicle) Management can include a range of Fleet Management functions, such as vehicle financing, vehicle maintenance, vehicle telematics (tracking and diagnostics), driver management, fuel management and health & safety management. Fleet Management is a function which allows companies which rely on transportation in their business to remove or minimize the risks associated with vehicle investment, improving efficiency, productivity and reducing their overall transportation costs, providing 100% compliancy with government legislation and Duty of Care obligations. These functions can either be dealt with by and in-house Fleet Management department or an outsourced Fleet Management provider.

Satellite navigation

Satellite navigation in the context of vehicle telematics is the technology of using a GPS and electronic mapping tool to enable the driver of a vehicle to locate a position, then route plan and navigate a journey.

Mobile data and mobile television

Mobile data is use of wireless data communications using radio waves to send and receive real time computer data to, from and between devices used by field based personnel. These devices can be fitted solely for use while in the vehicle (Fixed Data Terminal) or for use in and out of the vehicle (Mobile Data Terminal).

Mobile data can be used to receive TV channels and programs, in a similar way to mobile phones, but using LCD TV devices.

Wireless vehicle safety communications

Wireless vehicle safety communications telematics aid in car safety and road safety. It is an electronic sub-system in a car or other vehicle for the purpose of exchanging safety information, about such things as road hazards and the locations and speeds of vehicles, over short range radio links. This may involve temporary ad hoc wireless local area networks.

Wireless units will be installed in vehicles and probably also in fixed locations such as near traffic signals and emergency call boxes along the road. Sensors in the cars and at the fixed locations, as well as possible connections to wider networks, will provide the information, which will be displayed to the drivers in some way. The range of the radio links can be extended by forwarding messages along multi-hop paths. Even without fixed units, information about fixed hazards can be maintained by moving vehicles by passing it backwards. It also seems possible for traffic lights, which one can expect to become smarter, to use this information to reduce the chance of collisions.

Farther in the future, it may connect directly to the adaptive cruise control or other vehicle control aids. Cars and trucks with the wireless system connected to their brakes may move in convoys, to save fuel and space on the roads. When any column member slows down, all those behind it will automatically slow also. There are also possibilities that need less engineering effort. A radio beacon could be connected to the brake light, for example.

Emergency warning system for vehicles

Telematics technologies are self-orientating open network architecture structure of variable programmable intelligent beacons developed for application in the development of intelligent vehicles — with target intent to accord (blend, or mesh) warning information with surrounding vehicles in the vicinity of travel, intra-vehicle, and infrastructure. Emergency warning system for vehicles telematics particularly developed for international harmonisation and standardisation of vehicle-to-vehicle — infrastructure-to-vehicle — and vehicle-to-infrastructure real-time Dedicated Short Range Communication (DSRC) systems.

Telematics most commonly relate to computerised systems that update information at the same rate as they receive data, enabling them to direct or control a process such as an instantaneous autonomous warning notification in a remote machine or group of machines. By use of telematics as applied to intelligent vehicle technologies, instantaneous direction travel cognizance of a vehicle may be transmitted in real-time to surrounding vehicles traveling in the local area of vehicles equipped (with EWSV) to receive said warning signals of danger.

Intelligent vehicle technologies

Telematics comprise electronic, electromechanical, and electromagnetic devices — usually silicon micromachined components operating in conjunction with computer controlled devices and radio transceivers to provide precision repeatability functions (such as in robotics artificial intelligence systems) emergency warning validation performance reconstruction.

Intelligent vehicle technologies commonly apply to car safety systems and self-contained autonomous electromechanical sensors generating warnings that can be transmitted within a specified targeted area of interest, say within 100 meters of the emergency warning system for vehicles transceiver. In ground applications, intelligent vehicle technologies are utilized for safety and commercial communications between vehicles or between a vehicle and a sensor along the road.

Car clubs

Telematics technology has allowed car clubs to emerge, such as City Car Club in the UK. Telematics-enabled computers allow organisers to track members usage and bill them on a pay-as-you-drive basis.




Auto insurance

The basic idea of telematic auto insurance is that a driver’s behavior is monitored directly while the person drives and this information is transmitted to an insurance company. The insurance company then assesses the risk of that driver having an accident and charges insurance premiums accordingly. A driver who drives long distance at high speed, for example, will be charged a higher rate than a driver who drives short distances at slower speeds.

Telematic auto insurance was independently invented and patented by a major U.S. auto insurance company, Progressive Auto Insurance U.S. Patent 5,797,134 and a Spanish independent inventor, Salvador Minguijon Perez (European Patent EP0700009B1). The Progressive patents cover the use of a cell phone and GPS to track movements of a car. The Perez patents cover monitoring the car’s engine control computer to determine distance driven, speed, time of day, braking force, etc. Ironically, Progressive is developing the Perez technology in the US and European auto insurer Norwich Union is developing the Progressive technology for Europe.

Trials conducted by Norwich Union in 2005 have found that young drivers (18 to 23 year olds) signing up for telematic auto insurance have had a 20% lower accident rate than average.

Recent theoretical economic research on the social welfare effects of Progressive’s telematics technology business process patents have questioned whether the business process patents are pareto efficient for society. Preliminary results suggest that it is not, but more work is needed.