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Vehicle Locators

Automatic Vehicle Locator (AVL) technology has been around for about 20 years, but recently it has become very affordable. AVL can be used by police, truck fleets or anyone wanting to pinpoint the location of their vehicles on a street-level map.

AVL uses a GPS (Global Positioning System) receiver in the vehicle to calculate the location based on receiving a signal from satellites in space. The GPS unit conveys location (latitude and longitude), heading, speed and elevation. A mobile transmitter sends that data to a central location that tracks the vehicles. The mobile transmitter can use cellular or radio networks to accomplish this.

Today, there are internet sites which provide AVL tracking services. Before you choose one, you should compare:

  • the initial and monthly fee for the service and the in-car tracking unit
  • coverage area
  • vehicle monitoring capabilities - in addition to pinpointing location, some services will alert you if your vehicle(s) exceeds limits that you set, such as geographic boundaries and maximum speed. Also, you may want a service that provides monitoring of the vehicle's operating condition (battery level, for example) and remote assistance (such as unlocking the doors).
  • access to information - look for these features:
    • password protected, internet access
    • easy to read display of location information

    • notification by pager, e-mail, or cell phone if you are using a system that can alert you when certain limits are exceeded
    • historical information

As a service to you, we are experimenting with providing additional product information:
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