For most average consumers, GPS is useful for navigating your car, geo-tagging yourself on social media, or playing augmented reality games like Pokemon Go. We may even sometimes think of GPS as being ‘invasive’, such as the creepy fact that Google knows pretty much everything about you and where you’ve been.
But in fact, there are numerous industries that heavily rely on GPS and routing software, and GPS tracking technology has many applications across a wide range of industries. In this article, we’ll highlight several industries where GPS and routing software has a significant role.
Courier and Ride Sharing Services
In the courier industry, route mapping software significantly makes delivery drivers’ jobs easier. By displaying optimal routes, route mapping software that utilizes GPS can help dispatchers choose how to distribute stops to their fleet, and maximize efficiency, even when drivers are unfamiliar with a route.
According to Circuit, the best routing software should also give highly accurate ETA times. For example, the ETA for the last stop should be within +/-1.5 hrs for a 10-hour route. This is because the best routing software will take into account the average delivery plus drive times.
In the rideshare industry, drivers for companies like Uber and Lyft rely on GPS technology to locate passengers, plan routes, and determine the shortest route to a destination, such as by avoiding traffic-jammed roads.
This helps rideshare drivers identify the best routes for collecting passengers and earning more money, as well as more quickly delivering passengers to their destination.
Elderly Care Facilities
You might remember those LifeCall commercials of the late 1980s, with the famous catchphrase “I’ve fallen, and I can’t get up!”. The subpar acting made the commercial a pop-culture joke, but in real life, one out of four elderly citizens suffers a fall every year.
While the original LifeCall device simply connected the wearer to dispatch responders, modern technology in elderly care has come leaps and bounds, and GPS plays a significant role. GPS technology in elderly care facilities plays a large role in keeping track of wandering patients, such as those suffering from dementia, as well as dispatch and medical response coordination.
Companies like ShuttleMED have implemented GPS technology in their fleet, reducing wait times during emergency situations, such as elderly that have fallen.
The logistics industry is similar to the courier industry, but on a much grander scale. A logistics business that owns a large fleet needs to keep track of all vehicles, drivers, and shipments, whether it’s by trucks, cargo ships, or airplanes.
In the past, telephones and radio communication played an important role, but GPS technology has largely eased the burden. This is important because large-scale logistics can have serious impacts if deliveries are missed. For example, if a logistics firm in charge of delivering pharmaceutical goods misses a delivery, it can cause a huge number of people to go without medication.
Security and Anti-Theft
GPS plays an important role in the security industry, particularly for companies that offer anti-theft products. GPS trackers are crucial to recovery of stolen goods, whether its cars, mobile phones, or even construction equipment.
Construction equipment theft can cause massive financial losses, and is estimated to cause up to $1bn in losses every year. What’s great about anti-theft GPS devices, particularly for certain industries, is that GPS can not only be used for tracking stolen equipment, but by preventing it in the first place, such as sending alerts when the GPS tracker leaves a certain area.
While thieves may resort to using GPS jamming devices, there is significant progress being made in GPS technology that is not susceptible to GPS jamming, currently being developed for aerospace and military use, but may become mainstream in the future as well.