Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) is an advanced method used to track and monitor any remote vehicle equipped with a software unit that receives and transfers signals through GPS satellite. AVL is a combination of Global Positioning System (GPS) and Geographic Information System (GIS) that provides actual geographic real time position of each vehicle. The entire transmission mechanism of AVL setup depends on GPS satellite, a receiver on the vehicle, a radio system and PC based tracking software for dispatch. The radio communication system is generally the same as cellular phone network. The two most common AVL systems are like GPS based and Signpost based. The Signpost-based AVL system was used earlier but with the development of modern satellites GPS used technology is more used now.
This Automatic Vehicle Tracking system is now widely used in a variety of market system that offers excellent communication or vehicle tracking solution.
* Police and public safety,
* Emergency services like fire and paramedic
* Delivery services- courier, newspaper, food distribution (restaurant supply)
* Public Transport- Buses, vans other private vehicles (for theft prevention)
* Commercial Services – Cargo services
* Military vehicle
* Municipal service
* Industrial – construction equipments and material delivery service
The adaptation of AVL system brought a big difference in the productivity of almost all sectors.
Increase in productivity - Knowing the precise location of any vehicle help in the better management and that in turn makes positive financial impact on the organization. Better schedule or planning increases the average vehicle trips per day thereby saving capital and labor cost.
Information & Communication – Quality communication or information transformation helps in effective supervising in managing schedules of the vehicles. This in other word improves the level of service provided. Again effective information management leads to higher profits through better fleet management. This also helps in providing timely information to customers or passengers. Advance vehicle arrival time allows travelers to make better travel scheduling and planning.
Safety and Security – Quick location of vehicle allows faster security response both for travelers and driver. Also better information helps in quick response to accidents, weather, road condition and other vehicle related problems.
Vehicle tracking systems are electronic devices installed in vehicles for tracking the exact location of the vehicle with the help of Global Positioning System (GSM). The mechanism of the AVL depends on satellite, radio system, GPS unit of the vehicle and a communication center that helps in the information management between dispatch station and customer or passenger.
GPS Satellite – This locate the vehicle by sending satellite signals to the GPS modem of attached in the vehicle.
Vehicle GPS Unit – The GPS unit of the vehicle receives signals from the satellite, determines the geographic location or co-ordinates of the place and then transmits them to a radio station.
Radio System – receives the vehicle’s geo location coordinates via radio signals and transmits them to the principal communication center via radio signals.
Principal communication center – Collects the data from radio system and converts the vehicle information by using Internet or some specialized software. Then it sends the vehicle information to other information management stations including fleet management center and customer assistance and schedule management center.
Fleet management center – Receives the information through ground based network and u ses the accurate and timely vehicle location information in managing transit schedule and providing operation support to drivers.
Customer Assistance & Schedule Maintenance Center – Use the vehicle location information to analyzing and providing traffic information to drivers and also fleet location to customers.