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How IoT empowers GPS tracking technology

IoT is truly a ground-breaking innovation that affects everything in our lives — from kitchen appliances to major business operations. Things like GPS trackers, sensors and even everyday objects can all be embedded with electronics and internet connectivity to make them smart. These smart objects can connect to the cloud, be remotely controlled and communicate with each other. IoT paved the way for tech companies to create tailor-made solutions for business operations and daily challenges. The radical changes in sophisticated mobile devices, computers and advanced machinery were somewhat expected because of the speed of their development in recent years, but controlling the temperature of your coffee cup via your smartphone was a pleasant surprise for everyone. The ability to create vast networks of connected devices has already deeply affected every industry in the world, leading to IoT being widely considered a new milestone in technological history.

Connected Vehicles

Source: Shutterstock

What the IoT Means for the Future of GPS

Although GPS technology has been around for decades, the emergence of IoT has reshaped the way we use GPS-based applications and devices. IoT technology enhances GPS devices to transmit data remotely and connect to other systems and sensors. Modern-day tracking devices can collect and transmit comprehensive vehicle data, including fuel monitoring, remote temperature monitoring and driver identification.

Take a look at some examples of how IoT connectivity can enhance the capabilities of GPS tracking technology:

Improving logistics and transport operations: The biggest challenge in the transport and logistics industry is the tracking of vehicles and where they are headed. Managing a fleet operation can be a logistical nightmare. With hundreds of moving assets and employees scattered across cities or even countries, it becomes almost impossible to keep track of their movements and plan efficient routes and provide customers with accurate ETAs. The introduction of IoT-enabled tracking devices completely changed the way fleet companies handle their business operations. Field managers now have access to actionable real-time information about their vehicles, giving them total control over their assets to optimize the performance of their workforce. Organizations can use real-time location tracking to make immediate changes to routes in the event of road closures or traffic and ensures they can respond promptly when customers require urgent services.

Providing solutions for people with disabilities: IoT has promising implications for the lives of people with disabilities. It can be frustrating to depend on other people to travel or take care of your daily needs. New innovations are developing rapidly to empower people with disabilities with the help of advanced sensors and IoT technology. Once a seemingly far-fetched idea, self-driving vehicles will soon be available to those unable to drive themselves. Personal GPS tracking devices offer a myriad of tools to assist people and ensure their safety, such as a panic button, event alerts and live tracking. GPS trackers with IoT-enabled sensors provide the necessary navigation tools when moving around and can scan the surroundings of people with visual impairments to direct their movements and keep them safe. Tracking devices also provide additional safeguards in the form of personal locators.

Geofence Zone

Source: Shutterstock

Tracking devices for parents: Losing a child is every parent’s worst nightmare, and parents have every right to be worried. The statistics on missing and abducted children show that our kids are very vulnerable to the outside world. IoT-enabled tracking devices are the best way to give parents peace of mind without restricting a child’s freedom. These devices create a protective barrier around children to keep an eye on them at all times. By drawing virtual fences around specific locations, such as home and school, parents can know their children are where they should be without having to actively watch the tracker. Tools, such as instant event alerts and an SOS button, can be lifesavers in emergency situations, giving parents the chance to rush to their child’s aid.

Safer driving with IoT sensors: Vehicle tracking devices reveal a surprising amount of information about our driving habits. IoT technology greatly improves a driver’s monitoring capabilities, with instant updates about their behavior behind the wheel. With sensors onboard, tracking devices detect and help prevent the driver from speeding, idling, harsh braking and other risky driving practices. For businesses with a fleet of vehicles, fleet management systems integrated with IoT and GPS technologies have unprecedented benefits when it comes to safety and security. With the driver performance reports provided by the management system, unruly drivers can be identified and encouraged to adopt safer driving habits through training schemes, warnings or rewards for safe driving. In emergency situations, managers can locate vehicles and drivers on demand to dispatch emergency services to the scene, potentially prevent serious injuries and reduce vehicle downtime drastically.

Asset Temperature Monitoring

Source: Shutterstock

Superior asset monitoring: Transporting sensitive equipment and cargo is an extremely demanding undertaking. Perishable goods such as vegetables, baked goods and meat products must be kept in a carefully controlled environment when transported over long distances, which means they must be monitored around the clock. Traditionally, drivers had to complete this laborious process manually by inspecting the cargo at regular intervals. These days, field managers use GPS tracking devices containing IoT-enabled sensors installed into each vehicle at relatively low cost to monitor every vehicle and cargo hold simultaneously. Advanced sensors can detect any changes in the condition of the cargo hold and effortlessly transfer the data to the cloud. Field managers can check the state of their goods remotely — from anywhere in the world — and make necessary changes, such as adjusting the temperature and humidity settings or informing the driver about a malfunction.

IoT technology is spreading like wildfire throughout the world. It’s already had a huge effect on many aspects of our lives, and it’s still evolving. GPS-based devices and tracking systems have been considerably enhanced by the emergence of IoT-enabled systems and connected sensors. With IoT’s superior connectivity and the vast network of connected devices, technological marvels like self-driving vehicles, smart homes and even smart cities have become possible.

All IoT Agenda network contributors are responsible for the content and accuracy of their posts. Opinions are of the writers and do not necessarily convey the thoughts of IoT Agenda.

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