Geofencing in Vehicle Tracking: How It Helps with Fleet Management
The best vehicle tracking systems include features to make fleet management easier. Geofencing in telematics systems is one of those features.
Geofencing in vehicle tracking can be more useful than you could think. It’s one of those tools you didn’t know you needed until you used it. Read on to find out how geofencing for business can help improve your fleet operations.
What is a geofence? How can vehicle geofencing help with fleet management?
Geofencing is a very handy feature of vehicle tracking and telematics systems. Geofencing in vehicles can make it easier to manage drivers or deliveries, and to keep company cars, vans and lorries secure.
Geofencing for business is ideal for tracking deliveries trucks and couriers. It’s useful to have regardless of your business’ size. Geofencing for small businesses can be of great help for company car tracking and simplify your work a lot.
Read more about how vehicle tracking for small business can give you an advantage.
What is geofence?
Geofencing for vehicle tracking means you can create and define a virtual area of any size on a map. When a vehicle enters or leaves the geofenced area, an action is triggered, like an alert is sent to the manager or supervisor. A geofence alert in a car, for example, is set up using vehicle tracking software and the system depends on GPS location trackers in the cars that are being monitored.
So, we say geofence meaning a virtual zone around a specific location. Think of it this way: You create a virtual barrier around an area of your choice on a map. With geofencing in cars, you can see when your company cars enter or leave that particular area or detect the movement of the cars within that specified are.
Other types of geofencing
A different version of geofencing is also offered by mobile phone companies and depends on smartphone location instead. One use of smart phone geofencing is called “geofencing marketing”. Companies push advertising messages to potential customers when they enter a geofenced area around their shop, restaurant or relevant outlet.
Another use is to provide “smart” home management. These systems use your smartphone to tell when you cross into a geofence around your home, and then complete any action you have programmed the system to do, such as switching on your heating or lighting up your home. This page focuses on geofencing which businesses use to track their vehicles. There are some other types of geofencing, which we do not cover.
Keep in mind, though, that this page focuses on geofencing for vehicle tracking, i.e. which businesses use to track their vehicles. We won’t cover other types of geofencing.
So, if you’re here to find out more about geofence in car, van or truck tracking, continue reading.
What does geofencing in telematics mean for fleet management?
Imagine being able to put up a fence around your home, and then be told – no matter where you are – if anything enters or exits that fence? Well, this is what a geofence does. But rather than placing a physical fence, you can draw a fence on a map. The tracking software then alerts you if a vehicle enters or exits that geofence area.
Here’s how you can improve fleet management with vehicle geofencing:
- It helps you ensure your drivers’ security and increase their productivity. You can give each driver a key fob that connects with a reader which is fitted inside the vehicle. This allows you to see key metrics such as timesheets, performance reports based on which you can take steps to improve efficiency.
- It alerts you if your vehicles move outside the authorised area. You are immediately notified if any one of your vehicles is removed from the area without permission. You can also check how productive your vehicles are based on their movement within the area. Great tool for fleet tracking.
- It lets your drivers avoid fines and charges. If you define areas like low emission zones in major cities and toll bridges, your drivers will be alerted to avoid those identified areas to avoid them and not risk fines and charges. Cool thing for tracking your vans if they operate around such areas.
How to set up geofencing in a vehicle tracking system
Setting a geofence is very simple in some vehicle tracking software.
In most systems, it goes like this:
- You click with your mouse to choose a circle.
- You drag the edge to expand it on the map.
This circular geofence is suitable if you want to be alerted when a vehicle’s getting near a location and is still 5 minutes away, 10 minutes away or whichever time you select.
Alternatively, you can create a custom shape by clicking from point to point on a map. This can be any shape at all.
This could give you a precise outline of a warehouse, a zone you have forbidden your vehicles from entering, or even a specific road you want drivers to avoid.
Once the area is created, you save it in the software with a specific name and then select the geofence alerts you want to associate with it.
The geofence area you create can be a whole city, or just your own work depot or home.
What is the definition of ‘geofence alerts’?
So, you might want to get a geofence alert in a car. Geofence alerts may be an email or app alert, triggered immediately if a vehicle enters the geofence area or leaves it.
For geofencing in cars, you can choose whether notifications are triggered by all your cars or just specific ones. Same for all vehicles, basically.
The alert gives you the following details:
- the vehicle
- the named geofence
- exactly where it was crossed
- the direction of travel, meaning if the vehicle was entering the geofence or leaving it
Is geofencing for small businesses worth it?
It can be. If you have valuable vehicles or equipment that you need to track, geofencing can add an extra layer of security.
Vehicle theft is a massive cost for any business, but it spells disaster for small businesses.
Setting up a geofence means you know when your vehicle enters and leaves certain areas. See an unexpected journey? Alert the police and boost your odds of recovering a stolen vehicle.
Sounds useful for your business? Compare vehicle tracking systems with geofences now.
Vehicle tracking can give you a bird’s eye view of your fleet at all times, making it quick and easy to manage all your drivers. You can deal with breakdowns or accidents immediately and even check the driver dashcam footage or speeding incidents from your mobile phone.
As a free comparison site, iCompario can help you find the right system for the right price.
Read more about vehicle tracking on iCompario
How Commercial Vehicle Tracking Systems Let Your Business Work Smarter
Best Vehicle Tracking Apps for Businesses
Best GPS Trackers for Commercial Vehicles
10 Reasons Why Your Fleet Needs Vehicle Tracking Devices