Most GPS devices are designed to “ping”, or register their location, regularly. Cost efficient devices typically do so every 60 seconds.  Expensive, high-end units are available to provide a more frequent ping. The problem with a 60 second ping, or even a 30 second ping, is that drivers traversing windy roads or areas of high relief simply appear to be moving in a straight line.  The faster the vehicle is moving, the longer the space between pings, which creates a longer line with even less detail.

When coupled with the How’s My Driving program, a client will receive an observation report, which usually names a street, intersection, or highway marker at which the incident occurred. Many clients check these location reports against the GPS ping record for the motor vehicle in question. If the GPS pings don’t show the vehicle in that vicinity, they usually discount the How’s My Driving report as erroneous. Often the report is accurate and the GPS data simply lacked the detail and granularity to show the location of the vehicle at the precise time in question.

Lag due to pinging can cause problems from a poor understanding of precise vehicle location to making faulty assumptions about the speed or efficiency of a driver and their route. GPS tracking is highly valuable for fleets small and large, but it doesn’t work well on its own – other services like How’s My Driving are essential to fully understanding the behavior of drivers and power units as they travel. Learn more about these transportation challenges and solutions – contact us by form or call. We’re always happy to discuss transportation safety and fleet tracking!