The evolution of vehicle GPS tracking in cold chain logistics

November 6, 2019

THE origins of GPS go back to 1957 when Soviet Russia got the upper hand in the technology race by launching a satellite into orbit called Sputnik before the USA.

It was a clear win for Russians or it seemed so until the scientists at MIT noticed the odd behaviour of radio signals emitted from the small Russian satellite. The signals strength fluctuated based on the distance of the satellite which is also called the Doppler Effect.

 

Further analysis of Sputnik’s signals gave the scientists the founding principle of GPS; satellites could be tracked from the ground by using receivers that can calculate their distance from the satellites in orbit.

 

Later on, the US military developed and launched a series of satellites that formed the GPS satellite system we use today.

 

GPS has come a long way since its invention; the navigation system was solely developed to assist the US army to help with their military operations but today GPS is used in every business industry and by individuals via various devices.

 

Tracking devices

 

The most common use of GPS tracking devices is also the principle behind its creation; locating objects and tracking their movements in real-time.

 

However, the gap in technological advancement over the decades is like day and light as the current GPS tracking devices can locate objects with a margin error of less than 1 metre while first-generation receivers such as Magellan NAV 1000 had an accuracy of 30 metres.

 

The difference is monumental when you compare the precision of today’s GPS tracking devices to older generation devices.

 

Tech companies have been developing GPS-based devices and applications for decades now that are being used in every aspect of our lives.

 

From mobile devices to aeroplanes, there are countless machines and devices around the world that benefit from this groundbreaking technology.

 

Basic functions

 

The basic function of GPS technology; the ability to locate objects on-demand with maximum precision and keep track of their movements allowed business managers to enhance their business operations.

 

Route history is another prominent tool that is vital in planning for more efficient routes in the future and optimising fuel usage.

 

Better overall mileage from your vehicles also means they will experience less wear and tear which will end up lowering the maintenance expenses significantly.

 

IoT-enabled fleet management systems allow for more complex business operations to be carried out.

 

Among these complicated processes, cold chain transportation presents a greater challenge than other logistics operations as these shipments require highly regulated temperature-controlled environments to be transported over long distances. 

 

Cold chain monitoring

 

Cold chain monitoring is made available via the use of wireless Bluetooth sensors and GPS tracking devices to detect and transmit even the slightest changes in the cargo hold of a vehicle.

 

By gaining access to real-time temperature data, field managers can make sure their temperature-sensitive assets and cargoes arrive at their destination in perfect condition.

 

Source: Business Motoring

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