Smartphones or vehicle installed GPS – Which one is a Good Choice?


The blog compares smartphone-based tracking systems and vehicle-installed GPS tracking systems for fleet management. Smartphone-based systems are convenient and inexpensive but have drawbacks such as poor accuracy and driver privacy concerns. Vehicle-installed GPS systems are more accurate and provide extensive information about vehicle health and security, making them the overall winner for enterprise fleet management.

Fleets are the backbone of any thriving organization. There is no denial in having the vehicle tracking systems to maintain the functionality and operation of the fleets. 

Real-time tracking of the fleets with proper equipment will provide hand-in-hand information for the managers to make genuine decisions. 

Customer needs can be prioritized even when there are last-minute changes/cancellations to the fleet’s schedules. The mobile fleet management systems help in every aspect of fleet management. 

Organizations should always upgrade to the available latest fleet tracking solutions, as they save time, energy, and labor. There are two different methods for vehicle tracking solutions: smartphone tracking applications and vehicle GPS tracking systems

Their functionality may look similar but the reality is that they differ from one another. It is very important to know the pros and cons of both systems to choose the best vehicle tracking system to run a hassle-free business. 

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Smartphone-based tracking system

Smartphone-based tracking works on SIM tracking technology. It tracks the person driving the fleet. 

Not many budget-friendly simple applications in smartphones that meet the requirement of an organization. 

But unfortunately, they are designed for more personal needs than to keep up the work for an organization. 

Let’s dig deeper into the pros and cons of the smartphone tracking application, 

Pros of the smartphone tracking system

  • The driver’s cell phone is enough to track the vehicle, no extra hardware is required.
  • Access to the internet connection through SIM signaling technology is enough to track the fleet.
  • The installation cost is very less since there is no extra hardware and maintenance. Each fleet requires a cell phone to perform the task.

Cons of the smartphone tracking system

  • Smartphones depend on cell phone towers to track the location of the fleet. If the vehicle is in a poor network area, then consistent tracking of the fleet will be difficult.
  • With smartphone-based tracking systems, the organization tracks the person who drives the vehicle.
  • The drivers may have privacy concerns since the organization keeps tracking their stuff. Legal considerations i.e written permission from the staff may be required.
  • Cell-phone-based tracking setup requires each driver to opt for tracking the fleet.
  • Tampering is difficult since the driver’s smartphone should be ON to track the vehicle and it must have GPS permission.
  • The other major concern is the battery. The employee’s smartphone must be charged and ON for tracking purposes.
  • Driver’s safety is not monitored in smartphone-based tracking systems.
  • In cell-phone tracking applications, there will be no fleet health information and fleet security information.

Vehicle installed GPS tracking system

In GPS vehicle tracking systems, a device is installed in the fleet to track its activities and inform the same to the organization. These devices also provide hand-in-hand information about speed, fuel, time is taken to reach the location, and any failure mechanisms in the vehicle.

GPS tracking systems usually function with the help of GPS satellites. GPS vehicle tracking systems come up with more accurate real-time data that are updated very frequently which is very useful for the organization to adapt to any situation efficiently. Below are the pros and cons of the vehicle-installed GPS tracking system.

Pros of the vehicle installed GPS tracking system

  • Consistent tracking of the organization’s assets is possible as it depends on GPS satellites. It provides more accurate information to fill in any bits and parts. 
  • There are no privacy concerns in GPS tracking systems because it tracks the vehicle that the company owns and operates. There is no legal consideration problem from the drivers. 
  • The organization does not depend on the drivers to connect to the vehicle. The managers just plug into the GPS device that is installed on the fleet.
  • The best vehicle GPS tracking systems are always on and they won’t stop tracking the vehicle. If the system is tampered with or removed from the fleet, it sends an alert to the manager.
  • GPS tracking devices are easy to integrate with fleet management software for better operations.
  • Battery problems are never an issue in the vehicle GPS tracking systems since it is mostly connected to the vehicle’s electrical system. It is designed for constant use and it tracks continuously.
  • Driver safety features are also included in the GPS tracking system. It tracks the speed, sudden acceleration change, mileage, or any bad driving habits and it alerts the manager.
  • It provides extensive information about vehicle health which includes battery health, engine failure, fuel levels, and any recalls in the vehicle.
  • GPS tracking systems guarantee vehicle security, it alerts if the vehicle is stolen, towed, or bumped.
  • Customer support plays a major role in any successful business. GPS tracking system gives real-time information so that the organization can provide any information up-to-date to the customers.

Cons of the vehicle installed GPS tracking systems

  • GPS tracking devices are not handy as it is installed on each fleet and it should be properly configured to the software.
  • GPS tracking devices are not cost-effective.
  • Vehicle-installed GPS devices may be stolen if the driver is out of the fleet.
  • The routes installed should be updated frequently to avoid last-minute confusion and to provide better route optimization.

Overall winner

Smartphone-based tracking systems are convenient, easy to set up, and inexpensive. These devices are well suited for families or consumers where there is no privacy and legal considerations. Depending on the pros and cons of the smartphone tracking systems, it is very clear that there is a major drawback for the drivers and the organization. 

When it comes to vehicle-installed GPS tracking systems, an enterprise can have full access to its assets without any approval. It also tracks and maintains vehicle health, vehicle security, fuel management, and mileage.

Of course, the overall winner is vehicle-installed GPS tracking systems. It’s just a matter of accuracy and convenience. Any business organization depending on the fleets must have GPS tracking devices for better optimization. It provides real-time data that helps to adjust accordingly and adapt to the customer’s needs.

Team VAMOSYS have been into GPS business since 2014 and have good experience on GPS Vehicle Tracking, Fuel Monitoring, Fleet Management and GPS Tracker Devices. Writes article on various topics to share the industry experiences and knowledge.

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