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The number of applications for GPS tracking is expanding and becoming more widespread as businesses and parents learn about its benefits. Families want real time GPS tracking for cars to safeguard their vehicles from theft. Parents may also want to know the whereabouts of their family members, especially their new teen drivers. On the commercial front, fleet tracking is popular and essential to remain competitive in a challenging economy. Whether your needs are commercial-based, consumer or personal related, real time GPS tracking devices are a cost-effective solution.

A GPS tracker system can be classified as either active or passive. Most modern GPS tracking devices contain both passive and active tracking capabilities. That is, when a cellular or satellite network is available, the real time GPS tracker system transmits information to a server. On the other hand, when a network is not readily available, the GPS device stores information in its internal memory to later be transmitted from the server when the network becomes available. In other words, passive devices store GPS information, such as speed, location, heading, and trigger events such as door opening/closing or key on/off to be downloaded (often through a wireless download) and transmitted at a later time.

Active real time GPS tracking devices collect information just like any other GPS device, but it typically transmits data and information in real time via satellite or cellular networks. With a real time GPS, the same data is collected as in an active system, only it is transmitted instantaneously through a satellite or cellular network. Real time information is transmitted to a data center or computer for retrieval and evaluation. Note that data that's recorded by a real time GPS tracking system is sent though a process requiring a data connection. Therefore, real time GPS tracking devices need to have a connection, which is normally a GPRS connection, to transmit information. On the other hand, track logging doesn't require this connection.

GPS asset tracking or vehicle tracking in real time is also popular in cars purchased by consumers for both theft prevention and theft retrieval. Fleet operators use real time tracking devices for monitoring functions such as dispatch, routing, security and on-board information. Transit agencies also use a GPS tracker for operations such as monitoring in-service buses schedule adherence, activating bus destination sign displays at set locations and triggering passenger pre-recorded announcements. Other applications for GPS tracking in real time include monitoring of driver behavior for speeding, idling or route adherence.

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