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FAQs

What is GPS?
How accurate is GPS? Is the GPS signal available everywhere?
What is AVL and how does it work?
What are the other names used for AVL?
What is Trailer Tracking and how does it differ from AVL?
What do terms such as UMTS/HSPA, GPRS/EDGE, CDMA 1xRTT mean?
What is the difference between Fleetilla's Fleet tracking products and handheld/dash-mounted GPS Navigation Systems?
What is the difference between Fleetilla's AVL units and Passive GPS tracking devices?
Do Fleetilla's AVL systems provide data in 'real-time'? What happens when the vehicle goes out of coverage?
Does Fleetilla's AVL use satellites?

What is GPS?
GPS stands for Global Positioning System. It consists of a constellation of 28 (actually 24 active and 4 spare) satellites orbiting the earth, owned and operated by the US Department of Defense. A GPS receiver receives signals from GPS Satellites and by tuning into signals from three or more satellites, it can compute its precise position on earth (latitude & longitude) as well as other parameters such as time-of-day, speed, direction, etc.
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How accurate is GPS? Is the GPS signal available everywhere?
GPS signals available to civilian GPS receivers can be used to compute position to within 2.5 meters (8 feet) most of the time. However, the precision of the GPS signals is sometimes intentionally diluted in certain sensitive areas based on national security needs.

GPS signals are available all over the world. However, please note that GPS receivers need signals from three or more satellites to compute position and, in general, this requires that an antenna connected to the GPS receiver be placed with a clear view of the sky. GPS reception may be inconsistent in certain locations or under certain conditions, such as:
(a) Indoors, in parking garages, etc.
(b) Under heavy foliage
(c) Urban canyons, near tall buildings, etc.
(d) Extreme weather conditions
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What is AVL and how does it work?
AVL stands for Automatic Vehicle Location. It combines a GPS receiver with a wireless radio for providing location of a vehicle to a dispatcher. The AVL unit is usually installed inside a vehicle. The GPS receiver in the AVL unit receives GPS signals continually and computes the current position of the vehicle. The wireless transmitter contained in the AVL unit uses cellular, satellite or other wireless data communication methods to periodically transmit the location of the vehicle (obtained by the GPS receiver) to a Network Operations Center (NOC). From the NOC, the data usually travels through the Internet to the desktop computer of a Fleet Operations Manager/Dispatcher. The position data transmitted by the AVL unit is combined with mapping and other data and laid out in a manner suitable for Fleet Management decision making.
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What are the other names used for AVL?
AVL is known by many other names such as GPS Tracking, Vehicle Tracking, Satellite Tracking, Fleet Tracking, M2M, Mobile Resource Management, and/or Asset Tracking. Some people simply use the term GPS to refer to AVL systems.
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What is Trailer Tracking and how does it differ from AVL?
An AVL unit is usually connected to a car/truck/tractor and derives its power from the vehicle. Trailer Tracking units are similar to AVL units except that they are mounted on mobile assets, such as trailers and containers that do not have an inbuilt power source. These units use a self-contained battery and extensive power management to report the location of the asset a few times a day. If the battery is re-chargeable, it usually gets charged when a power unit, such as a tractor, attaches to the trailer. Otherwise, Trailer Tracking units use long life non-rechargeable batteries lasting 5 to 10 years.
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What do terms such as UMTS/HSPA, GPRS/EDGE, CDMA 1xRTT mean?
These terms identify the type of cellular transmission technology used.
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What is the difference between Fleetilla's Fleet tracking products and handheld/dash-mounted GPS Navigation Systems?
Handheld/dash-mounted GPS Navigation Systems simply have a GPS receiver and some mapping software. They do not report the vehicle location in real-time to a central dispatcher. They are merely used to assist the driver in navigation.
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What is the difference between Fleetilla's AVL units and Passive GPS tracking devices?
Fleetilla's AVL units incorporate a wireless transmitter (radio) that uses universally available cellular networks to transmit location data in real-time. Passive GPS systems accumulate GPS position data in their memory. When the vehicle returns to the home/base, this data is retrieved from the unit (by either physically retrieving a 'memory card' from the device or wirelessly sending the data to a base station using some sort of proprietary, short-range 900/2400 MHz radio transmitter included in the Passive GPS device). Passive GPS systems cannot provide real-time location information.
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Do Fleetilla's AVL systems provide data in 'real-time'? What happens when the vehicle goes out of coverage?
All of Fleetilla's products provide data in real-time (as it happens) or near real-time, as far as possible. This means that each position update is sent by the AVL unit as soon as that update is due. This is quite different from many systems that claim to be real-time AVL but actually accumulate position updates within the device and then send the data by wirelessly connecting just a few times a day.

Occasionally, there are situations where the data cannot be physically transmitted by Fleetilla AVL units in real-time due to no/poor coverage. Fleetilla's Intelligent Coverage Sensing™ technology provides maximum 'real-timeliness' of data while ensuring minimum data loss. When Fleetilla's AVL units move in areas that have no/poor cellular coverage, the periodic position updates are stored within the device. As soon as the units move back into good coverage areas, these stored updates are transmitted by the AVL units.
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Does Fleetilla's AVL use satellites?
All AVL systems incorporate GPS receivers of some kind. In that sense they all use satellites. However, some AVL systems use satellites for communicating position data back to headquarters and others use terrestrial cellular networks.

Fleetilla has products that can be configured for using cellular only, satellite only, or dual mode(cellular+satellite) data transmission technologies.
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