A quick Google search will promptly display the various offerings of the vehicle tracking industry. For many years already, the industry has realised that vehicle tracking is a very basic function of GPS units and have since been evolving offerings to maximise the potential of various tracking units. These offerings are very clear in the Twitterverse, with results such as ‘worried about your spouse being unfaithful’, ‘Protect employees and assets’ and ‘Do you know where your staff have been today’ highlights how customer needs have greatly influenced the technological advancements of the industry.
So, while these new innovations are trending, the powers that be are picking up what society is putting down. Vehicle management is simpler than ever before and vehicle administration is effective and efficient, managed straight from a smartphone. While telematics customers have been enjoying this functionality for some time already, the Obama administration has been giving some thought to telematics data and its use to tax drivers according to mileage travelled. Although the idea received much resistance, Secretary Ray LaHood termed it an idea “we should look at.”
More than one use of tracking units is clear for government. Consider the Boston Bombings and how the built-in tracking unit in the hijacked vehicle led police to the suspects through the instant activation of the tracking unit. Although reports from ‘Danny’, the vehicle owner, identify the use of a smartphone to locate the suspects, it has emerged that the Stolen Vehicle Location function of the vehicle was the main tool in the success of the arrest. This device and its GPS technology led to the interception of the suspects; one of which was fatally wounded in a gun battle and the arrest of the other, thwarting any further plans of terrorism. Proactive, timeous, efficient and simple, tracking units offer a multitude of uses on a global scale to individuals, law enforcement and to government.
Now this does paint an entirely new picture. Tracking of people and possessions is no longer the most valuable offering of the industry, now the promise of personal safety is a core contribution, both on and off the road. It stands to reason that government and police officials are exploring new ways of maximising the uses of telematics data, undoubtedly to soon lead to highly productive partnerships. While the industry values its customers and the politicians value their citizens, consumers still fear the security of their personal information. This information, in the right hands, is able to offer protection above and beyond four doors and a little glass, giving new meaning to safety you can feel – on a global scale. The telematics train is leaving the station and it’s time to get on-board.
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