Do It Yourself GPS Vehicle Tracking

Do It Yourself GPS Vehicle Tracking

Generic GPS Trackers

Asset Tracker FLT-TLW1-4A

Do It Yourself GPS Vehicle Tracking

Custom GPS Vehicle Tracking System

Some people may ask this question thinking how hard can it be to create a do it yourself GPS vehicle tracking system. There is a website, GPS trackers on Amazon, and SIM cards are available at your local gas station. What could go wrong?

At Fleetistics our mission is to help customers get the right solution for the lowest investment. If this means providing a customer an IoT data-only solution, we have that. In fact, Fleetistics already has customers using an IoT-only service.

One of the most technically challenging aspects of creating a GPS tracking system is collecting the data from a network provider such as AT&T, routing it to the right destination, and getting it into a database. Since Fleetistics has accomplished this for multiple GPS trackers and protocols, customers can pay a significantly lower fee to connect to our APIs for the data routing. Fleetistics will supply the GPS tracking device, data service, and API service. Once the GPS data is in a database on your network, the rest is up to you. Fleetistics will maintain the data processor and API in the event changes are made to the process.

If you want to compare the various platforms and GPS tracking services click here.

 

Is A DIY GPS Tracking System A Good Idea

There is a lot of risk in trying to do this yourself. You risk time, money, and sales opportunities during the development process. If you get to the end and it does not meet expectations, you experience a significant loss.

If your organization is mapping intensive already, displaying GPS data on the map is not a far reach. Industries such as shipping, cargo, and trucking which have national or global operations may be interested in  Fleetistics IoT service as a method to reduce the cost of a do it yourself GPS tracking system which can combine and normalize tracking data from multiple GPS trackers.

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Autonomous Driving Vehicles – Are We Ready?

Are we ready for autonomous driving technology?

Autonomous driving using AI and robotics has received a lot of press lately.  Investors are funneling capital into new companies competing for the next big breakthrough.  Some say as early as next year we could be sharing the roads with trucks employing this high tech!  Put simply, having large trucks that drive themselves in the lane next to your small car or truck is a bit unsettling, but we have never had the option of holding back progress.

Plus’s Self-Driving Truck Completes Industry’s First Cross-Country Commercial Freight Run Posted 12/10/2019

Autonomous driving vehicles are already successfully being used for the more repetitive tasks in shipping yards.

What could possibly go wrong?

First, and one of the biggest concerns noted by experts in the field of AI, is that the push is on for too much too fast.  Will safety be sacrificed by the ones that get there first?  The challenges are highly complex.  For example, things that a human driver can easily compensate for such as a road sign with graffiti, mud, or snow on it, are more difficult for AI to interpret.  With the potential for the limitless “one-off” situations that drivers routinely encounter, the task is huge to develop AI that can “learn” quickly enough to adapt to new situations presented to it.

Another concern of note is related to the laser technology used in many of the autonomous driving systems currently under development.  It is commonly known as Lidar.  Lidar employs laser beams to “see” the vehicle’s surroundings.  The wavelengths used are already restricted in the US to prevent potential human eye damage.  Additionally, they can cause damage to some types of camera sensors.  As we pack more electronics onto more vehicles, there is the potential for the tech on one vehicle to damage or disable the tech on another.

Finally, there are concerns about what the future will be for professional truckers.  For at least the short term, the consensus is that a “driver” to observe and intervene if necessary would still be needed in autonomous vehicles.  This is making the field more attractive to women and may actually have a positive impact on current driver shortages.  Ultimately, the point of autonomous vehicles is to remove the driver entirely.  How drivers use their resources and experience in the cab working alongside AI may well determine their future in the industry.

Where does that leave us?

At this point, we still have more questions than answers and many legitimate concerns.  Still, sharing the road with autonomous driving vehicles is closer than we might have imagined.  It is prudent for all of us human drivers to be defensive drivers, rather than being the ones to test the limits of this new technology and finding its flaws the hard way.

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Sleeper Cabs and the Reality of Living on the Road

Sleeper Cabs – What are they like?

After reading a recent post on American Trucker about the growing popularity of comfort and convenience in sleeper cabs we decided to dig a little deeper into what today’s sleeper cabs look like.  What we found was enough to make us all ready for a road trip.  Thinking back to the sleeper cabs of yesteryear we were not expecting much, but found today’s high end sleeper cabs more like what we would expect in a luxury motor coach.

Just check out these luxury interiors displayed on Core77.com.

While the majority of sleeper cabs are not quite that luxurious, they are quite comfortable and designed with driver safety in mind.  Ultimately, choosing a career as a long haul trucker has its perks.  With a modern home on 18 wheels to live and work in, an owner operator can comfortably see the country while earning a good living.  As a result, the growing level of comfort and convenience may attract more young drivers to a career on the road. Hopefully, more commercial transport companies will invest in well-appointed sleeper cabs for their long haul drivers.   

Life on the Road

All of this led us to take a closer look at what life is like for today’s drivers. We  found it interesting to hear their stories and see how they live and work in small spaces on the road.  Here is just a sampling of the very cool sleeper cabs we found, along with drivers and some sales professionals we “met”.  We thank them for allowing us to take a peek into their homes.

Standard Sleeper Cabs

Cinnamon Shows us Her 2019 Cascadia

TracyB’s Home on 18 Wheels

The Trucking Couple Inside 120″ Sleeper Cab

Bigger and Better Extended Cabs

Jerome and Barb Silvers 2017 Peterbilt 220”

2020 Western Star 5700XE Extended Sleeper

On the Spot with Peterbilt 579 UltraLoft

2020 Volvo VNL with 180″ ARI Legacy

Jerome and Barb Silvers 2017 Peterbilt 220”

2020 Western Star 5700XE Extended Sleeper

On the Spot with Peterbilt 579 UltraLoft

2020 Volvo VNL with 180″ ARI Legacy

We hope you have enjoyed our virtual trucker home show and ask you to remember with appreciation the trucking community.  Nearly everything you use on a daily basis made its way to you thanks to them!

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Free Safety Apps for Consumers and Citizens

Why Free Safety Apps?

Contributed by Kim Thoman, Business Analyst

At Fleetistics, we always tell our customers that our goal is for “Every driver to come home safely every day”. As a business we are primarily focused on fleet vehicles, however safety should be a priority in our everyday lives as well. There are many free safety apps available, both crowd sourced and commercially sponsored.  We selected three to test and review for our readers.

SaferCar – Free Safety App for Vehicle Recalls

SaferCar for iPhone

iPhone QR Code

SaferCar on Google Play

Android QR Code

Did you know that one in four vehicles on the road has an unrepaired recall? That is a huge safety risk. If one of your vehicles has a recall, wouldn’t you like to know exactly what it is and what the next steps are? The SaferCar App keeps consumers aware of the latest information about recalls which is a top priority for the National Highway, Transportation and Safety Administration, NHTSA.

After you download the SaferCar free safety app, you have the ability to set up your virtual garage. You can add as many vehicles as you like as well as related equipment like tires, trailers and car seats. Once the information is entered you can enable notification for all related recalls.  It will even point you to local dealerships handling vehicle repairs so you can make the necessary appointments and get it fixed for free.

NHTSA’s mission is focused on consumer safety, but they are also determined to protect your privacy. There are no sales gimmicks, and your information remains completely private. The SaferCar app not only keeps you safe, it’s also secure. After testing this app we would recommend it to all consumers.

SaferCar Free Safety App

Recall Alert & Safety News Notification

Recall Alert for iPhone

iPhone QR Code

Recall Alert on Google Play

Android QR Code

Our next featured free safety app is Recall Alert and Safety News Notifications. If you want to know about every product recall everywhere on earth this is a great app.  It is not necessarily the right app if you are only interested in local recalls that affect you personally.  If your profession requires that you stay on top of all kinds of product safety issues, this is the app to have, but an update alert on taco dip trays and platters at 3:00 am is a bit over the top for most of our interests.

The app allows for search by category like Toys, Furniture, Vehicles, and Medical. Ultimately, there is great value in consulting the app prior to purchasing items to verify there are no recalls.  On the other hand, it delivers far too much information for the average busy person to consume.  Without any settings to filter the alerts to specific areas of interest, we found it to be annoying.  If only the alerts could be filtered effectively it would be a 5 star app.

Recall Alert Free Safety App

PubSafe by Aftermath Data

apple app store
PubSafe for iPhone

iPhone QR Code

google play store
PubSafe on Google Play

Android QR Code

PubSafe by Aftermath Data is a global community ready to help others.  It allows users to give help, get help, and share information in real-time. It is the world’s only network for citizens by citizens.  Furthermore it is available to governments and non-government relief and rescue organizations.

Simply put the PubSafe mobile app facilitates real-time information sharing with other users. Users in the area are alerted when a help or emergency is posted. Additionally, users can report the location of animals in need or rescue. If a flood is imminent and you need help moving horses, post a help request. The opportunity to help others is endless and PubSafe connects people effectively and efficiently with integrated maps.

Key App Features

DESIGNED FOR CITIZENS

  • Map information for situation awareness and rapid response
  • Enable neighbors to help each other
  • Every citizen is a source of information for the collective effort
  • Volunteer NGOs and SAR team rescues
  • Churches & non-profit targeted relief
  • Government 911 overflow and situational awareness
  • Animal rescue groups
FEATURES

  • Share your last known location
  • Active shooter alert
  • Share updates on the situation in your area
  • Request help and give help to people and animals
  • Map and update shelters and NGO staging area
  • Post emergencies – Rooftop flood rescue, active shooter
  • Share data for research to improve large scale response
  • Share video & images with first responders and animal rescue teams
  • Log volunteer hours for FEMA reimbursement

Citizen damage assessments

PubSafe Free Safety App
We highly recommend PubSafe by Aftermath Data and encourage you to install now to be ready when the unexpected occurs.  Considering the massive winter storms we have experienced this season, another hurricane season right around the corner, and who knows what direction the COVID pandemic could turn, it just makes sense for citizens to be ready and able to work together to get help to those who need it.
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Optimized Routing Generates Huge Impact – Video Post

Optimized Routing can be the game changer your company is looking for.

Enjoy our two part discussion about optimized routing with Sean Stenson.  Each part runs about 15 minutes.  We asked Sean some tough questions to get you the answers you are looking for.  Learn how automating your routing process can be a game changer.

Call Fleetistics today to arrange a consultation and demo.

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