GPS fleet tracking applications have gone from expected to downright creative. These devices have commonly been installed in company vehicles related to service and transportation industries. Some examples of the more common installations are companies that make deliveries or transport goods. In order to have a healthy bottom line and not be liable in risky driving incidents, a typical practice is for the delivery van or truck drivers to know they’re being monitored. This causes drivers to be more cautious, have fewer accidents and curtails their unauthorized personal errands and excursions. This tracking can reduce gasoline costs and encourage on-the-clock driving time to be more productive. But some more innovative uses for these monitoring devices have been showing up:
- Hospitality industry: In order to improve customer service at hotels, their vans, shuttles and limousines are being tracked as guests are transported in from the airport in order to alert desk clerks and staff to be ready to welcome them.
- Car rental agencies: When a car is rented from the local auto rental agency, it may have a tracking device on it so that the company can keep track of their fleet of vehicles. Previously, mileage was checked but not driving habits and unsafe conditions. This keeps the rental cars in better shape and insurance rates lower for the agency.
- Cell phone/bus tracking: Some metropolitan areas have set up systems so that customers as well as management can figure out when the next bus will arrive. A program called OneBusAway was developed by grad students at the University of Washington. It includes a website where riders can get the general bus stop info as well as gather real-time data. Riders simply need to punch a specific number into their phone and a recording gives them scheduled arrival information. This allows the riders to know if a bus will be late or arriving shortly and can keep tardiness at the job and other snafus down to a minimum.
- Private detectives tracking philandering spouses: How many spouses over the ages have wondered if their partner is indeed working late at the office again? With GPS monitoring devices, they may be able to find out. There are some systems that can be easily placed magnetically on the underneath portion of a car by a detective and then tracked without the drivers’ knowledge. Reports are mixed about whether this is legal or not but some sources say that it’s okay as long as there is no damage done to the vehicle. The relationship, if the spouse is not at the office, may be damaged beyond repair, however.
- Teenagers in the family car: Another relatively new phenomenon is parents tracking their teens’ driving habits, speed and location. GPS which usually stands for Global Positioning System may morph to “grounded permanently, Son.”
GPS fleet tracking systems aren’t just for checking up on employee driving behavior. They can also be a way to improve customer service, monitor rental cars, catch a bus, and end an untrustworthy relationship