iPhone Vehicle Tracking
We are becoming ever more connected and nowhere is this more noticeable than with our smartphones that allow us to engage with each other and the rest of the world whilst on the move. For fleet managers who are looking to keep track of vehicles, there is now a very real possibility of drivers downloading tracking solutions like Google Maps for iPhone. Whilst larger fleets may well need to depend on sophisticated software that tracks various other aspects of their drivers and vehicles, including fuel usage, smaller businesses could find something like the download of a vehicle locator app cheaper and more useful than a tailormade option.
Business owners and managers have a vested interest in tracking where their cars, LGVs and HGVs are at any time. A simple vehicle tracking app for iPhone for instance can quickly help if there is a breakdown and a service like the AA or RAC needs to get to a particular driver. In more complex software systems it gives fleet managers a high degree of control and can produce meaningful reports that can be used to reduce costs and which can be accessed from any location. For sales or service fleets it provides an easy way for managers to locate the nearest vehicle for a task which in turn saves time and petrol in travelling to a particular site.
How to Track a Car with your iPhone
iPhones like most smartphones nowadays have GPS tracking which is why users can switch on something like Google maps and immediately pinpoint their own location. With increases in connectivity such as the 4G network and greater coverage for Wi-Fi with a nationwide selection of hotspots, it has become much more viable in recent years to use a car tracking device for something like an iPhone. p>
Essentially, all you need to do is download an appropriate app that shows location or is able to connect to appropriate vehicle tracking software within a vehicle. The trick is in connecting all the drivers to one central fleet manager who can monitor everything effectively. This is easier if you have a small number of drivers but could cause problems if you have a fleet of a significant size, particularly if the app has a limit on the number of phones that can be tracked. In truth, many higher grade fleet tracking software includes something like an iPhone or smartphone app integrated into the provision and that can be downloaded by managers so they can keep in contact with drivers whilst on the move themselves.
|iPhone App||Stand Alone/Integrated||Company||Support||Features|
|GPS Tracking Tool||Stand Alone||Booking Tool, LLC||None||• Real-time tracking and status updates|
• Free download
|GPS Vehicle Tracking Location||Stand Alone||Harmony Software UK||None||• Real-time tracking and status update|
• £1.49 download cost
|iTrack||Stand Alone||JLC Mobile||None||• Real-time tracking and status update|
• £2.99 download cost
|Quartix iPhone||Integrated||Quartix||24/7 phone and online||• Real-time tracking for small and large fleets|
• Cost dependent on package chosen
|Fleetmatics Mobile||Integrated||Fleetmatics||24/7 phone and online||• Range of parameters such as location and fuel usage available real time|
• Cost dependent on package chosen
|Rapide Smartphone Apps||Integrated||Masternaut||24/7 phone and online||• Range of apps to download for iPhone and Android|
• Cost dependent on package chosen
Is it Legal?
Vehicle tracking has become part and parcel of many fleet management systems and drivers generally sign a contract that stipulates the extent of tracking and their consent for it. With standalone iPhone apps that are not associated with any software package, managers still need to have consent from their drivers that tracking can be used – particularly if it is something like a sales or service fleet.
Pros and Cons of an iPhone Vehicle Tracking App
The main advantage of a car tracking app for iPhone, particularly for small businesses, is that it is cheaper than a more comprehensive software package. If you just want to keep track of where your drivers are in real time then it certainly has some advantages, including:
- Ideal for small fleets that might have to respond to customer requests (for example, taxis, repairs and new business) so that the nearest driver can respond.
- It’s beneficial if there is something like a breakdown so that a response team can get out to the driver in a timely manner.
- It is useful for checking if a driver is on site or still en route.
Downloading a simple vehicle tracking app for monitoring a fleet does have its downside though. First of all the iPhone needs to be switched on for the tracking to work or needs to be in an area with good reception. There’s also a question of battery life with many tracking apps putting an excess drain on mobiles. Then you have to have permission to connect to someone else’s iPhone. The device is not part of the vehicle, as with more comprehensive software systems, and phones can be lost, stolen or just left at home. The final problem with a standalone iPhone tracking app is that most only provides a location for the phone in question and as such may well be too simplistic for the needs of many fleet managers.
Vehicle Tracking Apps for iPhone
Standalone iPhone Apps
The first phone tracking apps that were developed initially were designed for friends and family to keep tabs on each other. They still are quite popular for parents who want to make sure their children aren’t where they shouldn’t be and have occasionally been used, no doubt covertly, to track a spouse or partner. Standalone car tracking apps are those which do not need any additional software or ‘blackbox’ installed in the cab of the vehicle – in other words they operate directly from your iPhone. The good news is that these are starting to be developed more both for Android and iPhone.
iPhone Vehicle Tracking from Software Suppliers
The other place where iPhone tracking apps are being developed is as additional software provided by tracking suppliers. These are designed to link into the existing hi-tech software that is installed in each fleet vehicle and give managers an overview of a wide range of data for a particular driver. Examples include:
- Fleetmatics Mobile App (Android and iPhone)
- Quartix also produce mobile apps for their integrated fleet tracking software
- Masternaut produce a range of Rapide apps to go with their software
Verdict on iPhone Vehicle Tracking Apps
Standalone iPhone car tracking apps can help business owners keep an eye on their fleets and drivers though they have quite a few limitations. There may well be a time in the near future when a car tracking device, iPhone or Android, is developed that can give managers more information with greater reliability so it’s worth checking the market for news and updates.
As far as linking into existing tracking software is concerned, most providers are now developing apps that give managers the chance to check on their fleets using their smartphones. This gives users a greater degree of flexibility and is a valuable tool in maintaining fleet efficiency and cutting down those all-important costs.
Getting the right software for tracking your fleet can be a time consuming process. Whether you are looking for a simple car tracking device for iPhone or something a little more complicated, using Expert Market and filling in a few simple details allows you to compare what is available quickly and easily so that you can make a more informed choice.