Understanding how your GPS works help determine how to enhance it. The Global Positioning System (GPS) was developed by the United States Army in 1973 and released for public use in the 1980s. It began with 24 satellites, but there are now 31 GPS communication satellites.
A GPS antenna, which is now in-built into modern smartphones, connects your phones to these satellites. Fleet managers and operators can do more with GPS to optimize the effectiveness and transparency of their vehicles. With a single mouse click or a tap, a plethora of data is instantly available. While we all understand the benefits and uses of GPS, we frequently overlook some challenges everyone faces when using GPS.
Common Problems With The GPS
- When using GPS, a strong signal is required. The greater the precision needed, the longer it may take to obtain a more accurate GPS reading. It requires a while for a GPS unit to get a fix, and once it does, it will do its best to maintain it while you move around. Because GPS data is sensitive to inaccuracies, even if you use a proper site manager provider, there is a potential for fluctuation in the coordinates. It is worth noting that GPS accuracy is merely an estimate of how accurate the device calculates the collected GPS data. Some systematic mistakes can produce a high accuracy number, i.e., 10m, while still representing a significant position error.
- The most common reason for accuracy issues is location inaccuracy. Your antenna is likely having trouble picking up or sustaining a satellite signal. It indicates that it is not in the proper place.
- The signal can be dropped or not detectable to the GPS if the satellite signal is blocked. Or if a GPS receiver attempts to receive from a satellite more than 11,000 miles away. Satellite transmissions can be blocked by tunnels, big structures, or densely forested areas
- Accessing information should be straightforward and quick, but 99.99 percent of the time, downloading difficulties are caused by technical glitches. It could be due to enabled firewalls, obsolete firmware, or incompatible technology.
- One of the most significant drawbacks of a GPS vehicle tracking system is learning new software. If you have never used a fleet management system or a GPS-based car tracker before, you may take time to understand them.
On the other hand, you can enhance the accuracy of any GPS with a few simple procedures.
1. Better Hardware
Satellite or mobile tower signals will be difficult to receive if your gadget is outdated or does not have strong GPS reception capabilities. If you track your fleet on your mobile phone and face problems, you should invest in an external receiver. It can connect to your smartphone via Bluetooth, and you can charge it using the same charger.
You can also connect an external antenna to some GPS unit, as GPS uses UHF, feedline, or coaxial line to assemble the unit to the antenna if an external antenna is utilized. If your GPS doesn’t have a socket for an external antenna, your only choice is to relocate the unit to a more visible spot.
2. Multiple Signals
When signals from GPS satellites or cellular towers ricochet off buildings, the GPS receiver may become confused due to the additional time it took for the wave to reach it. You may notice sudden errors in the location in certain circumstances. In these conditions, you cannot do anything to mitigate the effects of multipath failures. In these instances, GPS is merely less reliable.
3. GPS Drift
GPS drift is the difference between your real-time location and the location registered by the GPS receiver. Because consumer-grade GPS receivers aren’t perfect, there will almost always be a mismatch between your accurate position and the one reported. It could also be due to changing atmospheric conditions during the day, which are most noticeable in the early morning and late afternoon. There is much more atmospheric disturbance due to the sun’s lower height compared to the atmosphere.
4. Low Battery
If you have a battery-based GPS tracker, the reason for low accuracy may be a low battery or insufficient power when it comes to tethered GPS.
Plug and Play GPS trackers, unlike wireless GPS and hardwired devices, are powered by your car’s power system and do not require batteries. If you are having issues with your wired GPS, you might want to get the power source checked.
5. Check to see if anything is interfering with your device.
If all else fails, it is possible that the problem isn’t with your device, but with an external force that is preventing you from receiving a signal. It could indicate that the app is just not functional, so in that case, you should seek an alternative. It is also possible that something metallic is blocking the signal, or your smartphone lacks GPS capabilities.
However, if your device suddenly stops getting a GPS and it was working previously, you should wipe it or, if you’re on a custom ROM, update to the newest version or change to a different ROM because something is wrong.
These should all be self-evident, but in case they aren’t, here are some precautionary measures to take while dealing with your GPS tracking issues.
- Keep the tracker out of direct sunlight and away from extreme heat or cold.
- GPS trackers are a sensitive type of tech. They must be handled with caution. Also, don’t try to aggressively move them.
- Dust and liquids should be kept away from the tracker.