How IoT Empowers Vehicle Tracking Systems

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How IoT Empowers Vehicle Tracking Systems

Given the array of connected data transmission technologies at our fingertips, such as RFID, BLE, GPS, etc., upgrading fleet management tech is an obvious choice.

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“The Internet of Things (IoT) is a system of interrelated computing devices, mechanical and digital machines, objects, animals or people that are provided with unique identifiers and the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction.” –Wikipedia

These are among the many technologies enable IoT app development:

  • RFID
  • Bluetooth low energy
  • Low-energy wireless IP networks
  • ZigBee
  • Z-wave
  • LTE advanced
  • Wi-Fi direct

One of the biggest problems the logistics industry faces is the tracking of a fleet. With vehicle tracking solutions powered by IoT devices, a vehicle tracking system (VTS) is not only implementable, but also economical.

IoT, in the frame of VTSs, currently works on three main technologies:

  • Radio-frequency identification, or RFID: RFID helps control and track products.
  • Global Positioning System, or GPS: GPS tracking solutions obtain real-time information on routes.
  • On-board diagnostics, or OBD II: OBD II obtains information on vehicle maintenance and driving conditions.  

GPS has been around long before IoT devices came out. And now, GPS data is transmitted to a host over a mobile data connection fast enough to track the movement of a vehicle in real time. IoT essentially makes VTSs a lot more efficient, economical, automated, and reliable.

How a Typical IoT-Based Fleet Tracking System Works

  • Location data collected by on-vehicle sensors, including GPS and OBD II sensors.
  • Data from all sensors is periodically sent to the local gateway over a mobile data connection as the vehicle moves.
  • The gateway sends information to a network server, where speed, location, direction, and other variables are collected and sent to a secure application server in the cloud.
  • The application server sends reports and alerts on movement and safety of the vehicle to the driver’s or supervisor’s mobile.

IoT devices, also known as connected devices, are regular household and commercial appliances and gadgets, except you can connect and control them over a network: a personal network or the Internet.

Yes, you can switch on your air conditioner with your smartphone from anywhere if both are connected to the Internet. But that’s only a smaller part of what connected devices can achieve.

Imagine how easy it would be to track things if everything could connect to the network. We can only anticipate the way it will revolutionize different industries.

Consumers are already the biggest beneficiary of this era of connected devices, while businesses are still traversing how this technology breakthrough will improve their bottom line.

Growth is already significant in the IoT Sector. In 2015, DHL & Cisco conducted a study to understand the implications of Internet of Thing (IoT) Devices on logistics sector.

As per the study, there were 15 billion connected devices in 2015 and they will rise to 50 billion by 2020 — a staggering rise of 333% since 2012 in the number of IoT devices.

The report further indicates that the logistics industry would be the biggest beneficiary of IoT.

Benefits of IoT in Fleet Management

  • IoT offers many new tools, like in-vehicle streaming cameras, driver mobile apps, etc. making communication easier and more rapid.
  • Scheduling, freight management, chauffeur and truck tracking, and effective routing are some advantages of the Internet of Things.
  • IoT supports third-party APIs for traffic reporting, park-assist, average speed, driving etiquettes monitoring etc.
  • Logistic companies can move to the cloud for their daily operations and track fleets anywhere, anytime, and on any device.
  • Collective data from IoT devices assist fleet management companies in getting valuable insights into chauffeur behaviour, acts of law-breaking by the driver, speeding, etc.
  • Proper application of IoT shrinks total costs by optimal use of resources and enhanced performance.
  • Gathering, sharing, and acting on real-time info helps a firm make rapid decisions and prompt improvements.


The technology is still evolving, and as VTS providers find many use cases, IoT will turn out to be the lifeline of the fleet management industry.

An IoT-based fleet tracking system is way lot efficient than a traditional vehicle tracking system is. If you’re in the logistics industry, you should definitely think about upgrading your systems.

connected devices, gps, iot, iot data, logistics

Published at DZone with permission of Noman Shaikh , DZone MVB. See the original article here.

Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.

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