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What Is a Commercial GPS Tracker and How Does It Operate?

Commercial GPS Tracking System

GPS Technology: A Ubiquitous Force in Modern Life

GPS technology has seamlessly woven into our daily routines, often overlooked but ever-present. Yet, do you truly comprehend its workings and how to utilize GPS tracking to optimize your fleet’s operational efficiency?

Fleet managers regularly utilize GPS technology to oversee their fleets and assets, utilizing critical data to tackle issues such as compliance, efficiency, and safety. However, have you ever pondered the intricacies of this process? What precisely is GPS tracking, and how does it operate?”


Let’s start with the acronym GPS, which stands for Global Positioning System. This system encompasses a constellation of satellites orbiting the Earth and devices capable of pinpointing object locations or tracking loved ones. 

Initially conceived for military applications in the 1960s, GPS technology became accessible to the public in 1983. Over the decades, advancements and diverse applications have significantly expanded. Today, GPS serves a multitude of purposes, from aiding global military operations to ensuring driver safety through precise directions.

What Functions Does a GPS Tracker Serve?

To utilize GPS tracking, a device is installed in a vehicle, on an asset, or even worn by an individual. This device then furnishes precise location data and subsequent movements, enabling real-time tracking. Fleet managers, for instance, employ this to pinpoint a truck or asset’s location on its designated route, report on traffic conditions, and monitor each vehicle’s duration at job sites. Discover more.

Understanding the Fundamentals of GPS Tracking Systems

GPS systems operate by leveraging the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) network. This network comprises satellites that communicate with GPS devices, providing vital data regarding the tracked vehicle’s current location, direction, time, and speed.
Fundamentals of GPS Tracking System

Unveiling the Mechanism of a Vehicle Tracking Device

GPS tracking involves the transmission of specialized satellite signals, which are then processed by a receiver. These GPS receivers precisely track the GPS device’s location, calculating their time and velocity. Additionally, these positions can be represented in three-dimensional views utilizing four types of GPS satellite signals. GPS systems are composed of three key segments: space, control, and user.

The 3 Segments of GPS Tracking System

  • THE SPACE SEGMENT: The Global Positioning System comprises a constellation of 27 satellites orbiting the Earth. Among these, 24 are actively operational, with three serving as backup satellites in case any of the primary 24 encounters issues. These satellites complete orbits around the Earth approximately every 12 hours, transmitting signals that GPS receivers intercept.
  • THE CONTROL SEGMENT: The operation of the Positioning System is overseen by various tracking stations dispersed across the globe. These stations capture microwave carrier signals emanating from the satellites, and the data derived from these signals, including velocity, time, and position, is then converted by GPS receivers.
  • THE USER/RECEIVERS SEGMENT: GPS receivers intercept the signals transmitted by GPS satellites and employ them to calculate the user’s precise position in both space and time.”

Two Types of GPS Systems

GPS systems offer multiple operational modes. Commercial GPS devices are commonly employed to record vehicle locations during journeys. Some systems store data within the GPS device itself, known as passive tracking. Others regularly transmit data to a centralized database via a modem, referred to as active tracking or 2-way GPS.

Passive GPS Tracking: This method monitors locations and records trip data based on specific events. It can log data on device locations over the past 12 hours, storing it internally or on a memory card. The data can be downloaded to a computer for later analysis, with some systems offering automatic downloads at predefined intervals during the journey.

Active GPS Tracking: This real-time tracking system sends information directly to a central tracking portal as it occurs. It is commonly used for applications like monitoring children or the elderly, ensuring caregivers are aware of their whereabouts. It is also employed for monitoring employee driving behavior and optimizing fleet operations.

What Is GPS Tracking Used For?

While most people are familiar with GPS for navigation and tracking loved ones, its applications extend far beyond that. GPS technology plays a pivotal role in various military, commercial, and personal uses, including:

  • Vehicle Tracking: GPS tracking is extensively used to monitor and manage fleets of vehicles. It helps businesses optimize routes, improve fuel efficiency, monitor driver behavior, and ensure the safety and security of their vehicles.

  • Asset Tracking: GPS tracking is employed to monitor valuable assets such as construction equipment, trailers, and containers. This helps in preventing theft, optimizing asset utilization, and ensuring equipment maintenance.

  • Personal Safety: GPS tracking is used in personal safety applications, such as tracking the whereabouts of children, elderly family members, or individuals with special needs. It provides peace of mind for caregivers and loved ones.

  • Navigation: GPS navigation systems are common in cars, smartphones, and other devices, providing turn-by-turn directions to users. They are used for everyday travel, hiking, and outdoor activities.

  • Fitness Tracking: GPS technology is integrated into fitness devices and apps to track activities like running, cycling, and hiking. It helps users monitor their performance, distance, speed, and routes.

  • Emergency Response: GPS tracking plays a crucial role in emergency response services. It helps locate and dispatch first responders to accident or emergency scenes quickly and accurately.

  • Wildlife and Environmental Research: Researchers use GPS tracking to study wildlife movements, migration patterns, and behavior. It is also used in environmental research to track weather patterns, study climate change, and monitor natural disasters.

  • Geofencing: Geofencing is a location-based service that uses GPS to create virtual boundaries. It is employed in various applications, including security, marketing, and logistics, to trigger actions when a device enters or exits a specific area.

  • Aviation: GPS technology is essential in aviation for navigation, tracking aircraft, and ensuring safe and efficient air travel.

  • Maritime Navigation: GPS is used in maritime navigation for ship tracking, route planning, and improving safety at sea.

  • Agriculture: Precision agriculture relies on GPS tracking to optimize planting, harvesting, and irrigation, resulting in increased crop yields and reduced resource usage.

  • Surveying and Mapping: GPS technology is widely used in land surveying, cartography, and mapping applications to create accurate maps and topographical data.

  • Construction: GPS tracking is utilized in the construction industry for site monitoring, equipment tracking, and ensuring accurate grading and excavation.

  • Courier and Delivery Services: Delivery companies use GPS tracking to optimize delivery routes, provide real-time package tracking to customers, and improve overall delivery efficiency.

  • Security and Anti-Theft: GPS tracking is employed in security systems and anti-theft devices to locate stolen property or vehicles and aid in their recovery.

These are just a few examples of how GPS tracking technology is used in various sectors and applications to improve efficiency, safety, and convenience. Its versatility and accuracy make it a valuable tool in many industries.


Privacy concerns have prompted legislation regulating GPS tracker usage. While it is legal to install GPS devices on assets or vehicles you own, using them on a person or in someone else’s vehicle requires adherence to federal, state, and local laws, which may change over time. It is crucial to stay updated on these laws to ensure compliance. Key points include:

  • Ownership and Consent: In most jurisdictions, it is generally legal to use GPS trackers on vehicles or assets that you own. However, it’s important to obtain consent if you plan to use a GPS tracker on someone else’s property or vehicle, especially if it involves tracking a person’s movements.

  • Employer-Employee Relationship: In the context of employment, employers may legally use GPS trackers on company-owned vehicles to monitor employee activities while on the job. However, it’s essential to inform employees that they are being monitored, and tracking should typically be limited to work-related activities.

  • Privacy Laws: Many countries and states have privacy laws that regulate the use of GPS tracking devices, particularly when it comes to tracking individuals. These laws may require informed consent from the person being tracked or restrict tracking in certain situations.

  • Use in Divorce or Family Law Cases: GPS tracking in family law cases, such as divorce or child custody disputes, can be subject to legal restrictions. Courts may have specific rules and requirements for the use of GPS trackers in these situations.

  • Criminal Law: In some jurisdictions, using a GPS tracker to track someone without their consent can potentially lead to criminal charges, such as stalking or harassment. Laws regarding this can vary widely, so it’s important to be aware of local statutes.

  • Commercial Use: Commercial use of GPS tracking for fleet management and asset tracking is generally legal, but businesses should be aware of privacy regulations and inform employees when tracking company-owned vehicles.

  • Geofencing: Some laws may apply specifically to geofencing, which involves using GPS to create virtual boundaries. Companies should be aware of any legal requirements related to geofencing in their area.

  • Data Privacy: Data collected through GPS tracking should be handled in compliance with data privacy regulations, including safeguarding sensitive information and ensuring data security.

  • Consult Legal Counsel: It’s advisable to consult with legal counsel or seek legal advice when considering the use of GPS tracking devices, especially in sensitive or potentially legally complex situations.

The legal landscape regarding GPS trackers is continually evolving, and regulations may differ significantly from one jurisdiction to another. Therefore, it’s essential to research and understand the specific laws and regulations that apply to your use of GPS tracking devices in your area. Additionally, obtaining informed consent and maintaining transparency when using GPS trackers is generally a good practice to avoid legal issues.

GPS Tracking Mart (GTM) and GPS Tracking: A Unified System

GTM and GPS devices operate in tandem, offering valuable insights into fleet operations. Rather than competing systems, they are integral components of a complementary system. At the core of a GTM system is a tracking device that captures real-time data on a vehicle’s location and status.

GTM devices such as GPS Ankle Tracker Bracelet receive GPS data, relaying it to a central server, where it is processed and transformed into accessible updates through fleet management software.

Additional Benefits of GPS Tracking and GTM

Optimize Routes

GTM’s GPS tracking enables efficient route optimization. Our fleet managers can easily locate drivers and select the closest one for a specific job, rerouting other vehicles if necessary. This not only saves time and money but also enhances customer satisfaction.

Reduce Fuel Use and Costs

GPS technology helps monitor and reduce fuel wastage due to behaviors like over-speeding and excessive idling. By coaching drivers and promoting better driving habits, companies can save on fuel expenses.

Reduce Operating Costs

 Out GPS tracking devices like GL320MG 4G Tracker aid in cost reduction by optimizing routes, minimizing fuel consumption, and enabling informed dispatch decisions. They provide valuable data for strategic decision-making, ultimately benefiting a company’s bottom line.

Improve Security

 Installing GPS vehicle trackers like GV75MG enhances fleet security. In the event of theft or loss, a GPS tracker facilitates a quicker recovery. Geofencing can be utilized to receive alerts when vehicles or assets leave designated areas or are used outside regular hours.

Reduce Overtime and Timesheet Fraud

Effective journey management and electronic time logs reduce overtime throughout the fleet. Real-time updates enable better resource allocation, preventing unnecessary long trips. GPS tracking also curbs timesheet fraud by ensuring accurate payroll and billing. Our GPS tracking subscription services ensure 24-hour real-time updates and help to reduce overtime issues.

Improve Asset Utilization

GPS tracking provides insights into arrival and departure times, stop durations, and driver activities. This data reveals job completion efficiency, delays, detours, and underutilized resources. It aids in optimizing fleet utilization.

Validation of Completed Work

 GPS tracking provides records of driver locations, validating billed hours and job attendance. This electronic proof builds trust with customers, enhances loyalty, and improves customer service.

Asset Tracking

GPS tracking extends to all assets, not just vehicles. Mobile equipment, such as generators and trailers, can be monitored to ensure they are in use where needed and secure. Geofencing can be applied to monitor movements at specific worksites. For this, we have exclusive trackers like GV500MA Dongle Tracker Which can monitor your assets in real-time.

Improve Fleet Safety

GPS fleet tracking solutions offer real-time alerts for speeding, unscheduled stops, harsh braking, and abrupt acceleration. Monitoring these events promotes safer driving habits, reducing fuel costs and enhancing safety.

Happier Customers

 GPS tracking enables more efficient vehicle dispatching, providing customers with accurate estimated arrival times. Whether delivering products or participating in a complex supply chain, this technology enhances customer satisfaction through improved service and convenience.

Experience the Benefits of a Fully Implemented MiX GTM Solution

 Our comprehensive MiX GTM solution not only enhances driver safety but also significantly reduces accident rates, mitigating risk, liability, and overall costs.

Rabius Sany
Author: Rabius Sany

Rabius sany, "The founder of Holistic eCommerce", a versatile professional with a passion for the digital realm. As a blog writer, he crafts engaging content that informs and inspires. His expertise extends to web design, where he turns ideas into visually appealing online experiences. Additionally, he excels as an ecommerce manager, optimizing online businesses for success. With a knack for creativity and a commitment to excellence, he brings your digital dreams to life.

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