Global Positioning Systems, more commonly shortened to GPS, have been used for many years, but it is only in the past few years that the public have been able to take advantage of this useful tracking service for themselves. Local councils are also looking into the use of GPS to monitor their fleet. Is this a good thing, or is it an invasion of privacy?
What is GPS?
GPS works by receiving signals from satellites located in space that pinpoint a specific location. It is commonly used to help direct air traffic and navigate ships, butr it become known more recently for use in vehicles. The tracking system is now built into vehicles to allow for real-time updates on their whereabouts.
Fermanagh and Omagh District Council recently presented a proposal to the local Environmental Services Committee to announce their intention of rolling out GPS to all of their fleet. The council already have seven vehicles tracked by GPS and have been approved for a five-year contract by the Council Funding and Investment Unit.
The report outlines the hope that customers will benefit greatly from the expansion of the tracking equipment, with service delivery being vastly improved. With all vehicles being monitored, it says that the technology will create a more efficient and cost-effective service that will provide significant benefits. This includes improving vehicle security, driver performance, reduction of accidents and effective route planning.
The use of GPS as a security feature is one of the biggest benefits as users are able to track their belongings. Companies can track their stock, which can minimise the risk of loss, and it can also be used in other situations. It has been reported to help in the case of dementia patients who may often get lost by providing reassurance to relatives.
Tracking devices have also been used to find lost pets, phones, luggage, cars or help in emergency situations where their position can quickly be located. If you feel that you could benefit from your own GPS vehicle tracker, they are readily available online at sites such as http://www.vehicle-accessories.net/Driver-Recording-Systems.
With GPS being used predominantly as a tracking and security measure, it should be only a matter of time before every car is fitted with one.