Dominant Trends in Vehicle Tracking Technology

Wednesday October 11, 2017


When you analyse carefully, you will understand that the growth of vehicle tracking system business is quite inspiring and obvious all over the world. It’s all thanks to advent in the vehicle tracking technology.

Most vehicles in North America and Europe have started using the system and furthermore you can witness a remarkable growth in Asian markets as well.

According to a recent market study, it was found that there is an estimated growth of $30.45 billion by 2018, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 22.8%.

Key driving forces for adopting vehicle tracking technology to the business –

1. Apparent downsizing of tracking units and antenna enabling clandestine mounting and installation in smaller regions

2. Enhanced security due to the theft detection facility and real-time tracking of shipping goods

3. Reduce logistics costs by improved routing, optimized stock utilization and advanced monitoring of business operations

4. Support insurance claims for accident reconstruction using direction, docked position, speed, and acceleration data

5. Provide superior and instant service based on the reports from previous location

6. Facilitate quick recovery of goods, vehicle, or asset

7. Restraint fuel theft

8. Government approval for installing tracking devices in brand new vehicles

9. Subsiding cost and size, and boost the performance of satellite positioning receivers and cellular modems

10. Efficient driver management by careful monitoring of driving behavior (idling times, speeding, etc.)

11. Extended battery life and operation of solar powered devices, exclusively for vehicle tracking devices that do not require any connection to the vehicle power supply.

There are certain hardware issues that should be considered while addressing the above scenarios, and overcoming these issues will be the prime goal in the future:

Agreeability with Multiple Global Navigation Satellite Systems

The time has flown away, where GPS is not the only satellite system available today.

Moreover, there is the Russian GLONASS that is in a fully operating stage, the Chinese BeiDou Navigation Satellite System and Japanese Quasi-Zenith Satellite System is partially operational, and Galileo (European Union’s Global Navigation System) will be available by the year 2019.

And the compatibility of these systems, however, compliance differs from an individual system to multiple system. One of the key issues is the location where the tracking application is used and when it is operating in the weak signal area, there will be an interruption in parallel GNSS operation.

Another consideration is the Government authorization, for example, in Russia, the ERA-GLONASS vehicle emergency call system needs GLONASS compatibility and hence, it should be scrutinized as well.

Management of Poor Satellite Reception

It is possible for GPS/GNSS satellites to transfer a power of about 30 watts from an extension of 20 thousand kilometers and it will be locked onto 4 satellites.

Hence, it will be difficult to trace achievement and certainty in urban canyons, especially, when it is in indoors or the receiver is within the metal containers.

These issues can be resolved using the following techniques:

1. Unified Dead Estimating

GNSS receivers can be improved with sensor data, which helps to report distance and heading changes using the last known position.

This kind of receivers when installed in automotive navigation systems will facilitate smooth navigation within tunnels. In addition to this, accelerometer readings can also be augmented by careful consideration of vertical displacement.

2. Compound Positioning Procedure

In this procedure, you can add a parallel system that speculate based on Wi-Fi cells or visible mobile cells whenever the visibility of GNSS satellite is blocked.

Therefore, you will be able to obtain information about a few kilometers distance and it is better than obtaining no positional information at all, especially, in the case of useful shipments and vehicles.

Agreeability with Multiple Cellular Standards

 GSM/GPRS is unsuccessful to the next generation 3G standards such as HSPA, CDMA2000, and LTE. Also, there are alternatives of 3G and 4G standards that function over different frequency bands.

Here, arises the need for cellular modems, that conform to different standards while maintaining footprint compatibility on the same PCB layout.

This lowers the hardware costs as the tracking system is designed with regional variants or upgraded with the next generation tracking technology.

Automotive Grade Components

 There is a need for automotive grade components for all vehicle tracking applications. Automotive grade components bear extreme temperature ranges, voltage modulations, inappropriate safety designs, etc.

These components with “automotive grade” should be qualified according to AEC-Q100, fabricated in ISO/TS 16949 certified sites, and undergoes full system testing at the factory.

Meanwhile, all qualification tests should be performed under ISO16750 standard. Vehicle tracking system is a fundamental requirement of every business, that is, dependent on vehicles.

Final Thoughts

Today, vehicle tracking systems are designed in a manner that allure regional satellite and cellular compatibility, capable to withstand the regions where the satellite visibility is poor, support hardware variants and upgrade and is able to adapt automotive quality requirements.

No doubt, vehicle tracking system is designed with long life and the most important thing is to design the system in a manner that suites the current technology with a consideration for future developments.