When people think about the many different ways that GPS trackers are used to track vehicle movements, it’s natural to assume that the major concern has to do with where, specifically, a driver might be going. Law enforcement agencies might use GPS trackers to keep a better eye on the activities of criminals, for example. A concerned parent might use a GPS tracker to get insight into where their newly minted teenage driver is going when they say they’re studying at a friend’s house or are staying late at school. That kind of thing.
But what a lot of people fail to realize is that often, GPS trackers are less concerned with where someone is headed and are more focused on how they’re getting there in the first place. Such is the case with a new government program where agencies are planning to use GPS tracking systems to help enhance efficiency and cost-effectiveness across the board.
GPS Trackers and Government Vehicles: The Story So Far
One of the issues that most governments around the world often deal with has to do with employees who inflate expenses whenever possible. This is especially true when those employees are being reimbursed for money spent out of their own pockets. If you get $0.15 per mile in expenses, often a 20-mile trip in real life will turn into a 40- or 50-mile trip on paper pretty quickly. This is something that governments and private businesses have been dealing with for decades.
But now, governments are regularly turning to the power of GPS to help put a stop to issues like this one wherever possible. Drivers who get into the habit of inflating fuel costs and other factors of that nature may be able to lie on an expense form, but they can’t lie to a GPS tracker, so from that perspective alone the proposed system makes a lot of sense.
Even more than that, the GPS tracker would be able to pinpoint a variety of additional opportunities for improvement to help cut down on costs (and the associated expenses to taxpayers, too). At any given moment, government officials would be able to see exactly where their drivers are and where they’re headed. If they’re taking an inefficient route to get there, officials will know. If they’re engaged in unsafe driving practices that could be endangering their lives of the lives of others, officials will know. Trends and patterns that would have otherwise gone undiscovered will now be revealed in full detail, allowing those in a position of power a better opportunity to take action.
Right now, there is a very prominent example of this type of program playing out in Uganda. Government officials have already procured a fleet of vehicles that have GPS tracking technology built right in. The vehicles themselves are intended primarily to be used in hard-to-reach districts, where the insights uncovered will be used to improve both material and child health service delivery in these locations. Some of the districts include but are not limited to those like Buvuma, Kaabong, Nakasongola, Buliisa, Kaberamaido and more.
It is also predicted that the GPS trackers will help officials take a much more proactive approach to the maintenance of these vehicles, as well. If you know exactly where a vehicle is headed and how it is getting there, you’re in a better position to identify small maintenance-related issues now before they have a chance to become a much bigger, costlier problem down the road (no pun intended). You can then create a better, more accurate maintenance program for the entire fleet, which will avoid the need for vehicles to be taken out of service for prolonged periods of time.
The Ugandan government is just one example of a place where GPS tracking technology is being put to good use. There are countless more across the world. It’s safe to say that as GPS technology continues to improve and become more affordable, this is one trend that is going to pick up a great deal of steam over the next few years and beyond.