Affordable GPS Service

Toying around with this idea…

Is there interest from the community for affordable GPS service for phones and hardware trackers (OBDII plugs, portable trackers, hardwired trackers, etc).

If there’s interest tell me what YOU consider affordable and GPS ping (update) timings. The industry standard out there is currently 60 seconds at $20/month. To me 60 seconds for scenes/events is not that useful. So… what updates at what cost would people actually sign up for?

So a BYOD GPS Service at $5.99/unit would not be of interest to anyone?

maybe yes :’(

@jeubanks,

I saw this as soon as you posted, but it is a difficult question to answer, . . . so I’ll just blather. I use the technology for recording &
analyzation, and vehicle tracking,

Recording & analyzation:
I’m not a gps nut, but I am a road/route/traffic/save time nut. Of course this means some form of GPS required. Being passionate about determining the fastest way to point B, I’ve archived years of gpx logs, starting in 2003 with Delorme Street Atlas with a USB gps dongle plugged in to a laptop. These days I just use my android phone, with an app that records locations in 1 second intervals. On longer trips, I combine that with the larger screen on an old iPad for the Google Maps traffic layer, and links to live traffic cameras while traveling. For non-realtime review, .gpx files are downloaded & overlaid in various Google Earth kml-kmz files.

Vehicle tracking: (where I guess your project is geared to)
I started with using various Garmin GPS units. If a Garmin gps is powered on in a vehicle, it is always recording gps points in .gpx format. Although useless for realtime tracking, the sd card could be removed for upload of gpx data to my computer for later review.

When my kids starting driving (pre-smart phone era), I wanted something that allowed me to monitor both location, and driving habits. Couldn’t find one. I started with a Verizon Wireless service called “Family Locator” $9.99 per month. It allowed setup of limited geofences with alerts. It provided realtime location pinpointing. The technology did not allow route analyzation or review. It was reliable roughly 70% of the time and not easy to setup or work with. When a new phone was purchased, it had to be compatible with the “Family Locator” service, and had to be “activated” with the service. Most of the VZW techs had no idea what the “FL” service even was, and thus couldn’t turn it on. Total pain.

I then purchased a Garmin GTU 10 ($199.00 maybe) which was a thumb-drive sized GPS tracking device with an AT&T cell radio built in. The price included one year of cell coverage with a course 2-5 minute pinpoint archiving. Realtime location, geofences, archiving of some data on their cloud. The unit had to be removed from a vehicle every 2 days approximately to charge the battery. (I never hard wired it to the car battery cause I needed it to be portable to different vehicles) A premium subscription for the second year was I think $12.95 per month paid a year in advance. Before the second year completed, Garmin announced their cell provider would no longer offer the service so the unit stopped working.

Currently I have (2) Automatic Pro ($129.00 each with advertised 5 yr. free 3G service) adapters that are plugged into my vehicle’s OBDII port. These are the most reliable to date, but still greatly lacking in trip details. They do allow geofencing, minimal IFTTT intergration, start/stop alerts, crash alerts, vehicle maintenance alerts. It also allowed me to reset a “check engine” light when I needed to use a vehicle for a drivers license test. I keep one in my vehicle also. It will also (non-realtime) allow me to analyze a route completed, but the only thing it records are a simple route overlay, hard brakes, hard accelerations, minutes driven over 70 mph, fuel efficiency, and some other things I have little interest in.

I also use Amg0’s iPhone Locator app as a poor man’s locator. Multiple geofences can be used as long as you add a new locator plugin for each geofence you want to monitor. Of course, this can only be used minimally due to battery issues, polling the iOS servers, & now the Google Maps API fees. Still, with the Vera/openLuup/ALTUI platform, amazing things can be imagined.

I REALLY wish there was an affordable option that allowed geofencing, realtime tracking (course resolution is ok). But when a trip is completed, have a high resolution (1 point per 1-4 second) available in .gpx format to download, review, & archive.

If your proposed project is along these lines, count me in for purchasing, testing, improving, etc.

Regards,
Chris

[quote=“ChrisTheC, post:4, topic:199869”]If your proposed project is along these lines, count me in for purchasing, testing, improving, etc.

Regards,
Chris[/quote]

That was A LOT of info ;D

I can say this.

  1. I’m actually looking at cheaper than $5.99… so that’s in the works…

  2. This is not a home-grown system. It is a full commercial based system that I’m looking to expand offering of for Smart Home uses.

  3. You can achieve sub second resolution depending on the tracker device you use and you can use Iridium devices if you can afford them.

  4. The export to gpx or other format is all based upon your device capabilities/options as well as any/all sensor and vehicle integrations. I use the OBDII interfaces and Calamp devices and I have access to everything the vehicle manufacturer allows.

  5. If you are interested in kicking the tires PM me and I’ll send you the information needed to get setup/started.

[quote=“jeubanks, post:5, topic:199869”]. . .
That was A LOT of info ;D
. . .[/quote]

Well, I was “blathering” :wink:

I looked up Iridium, and learned about gps devices / sat phones. I understand now that you’re not talking about creating a hardware device. Still sounds very interesting. PM’ing you

C

[quote=“ChrisTheC, post:6, topic:199869”][quote=“jeubanks, post:5, topic:199869”]. . .
That was A LOT of info ;D
. . .[/quote]

Well, I was “blathering” :wink:

I looked up Iridium, and learned about gps devices / sat phones. I understand now that you’re not talking about creating a hardware device. Still sounds very interesting. PM’ing you

C[/quote]

Correct. Not making a device. Providing an affordable GPS service. The problem I’ve found in the market is that the service that processes aka does something with the GPS data is too expensive. There are hundreds of resellers of services for GPS tracking that all charge about $20 a device/vehicle to provide you with a map of your devices and maybe geofence capabilities. To me that is far too expensive and slow because all of those offerings are at 1 minute update cycles.

What I’m doing is using a commercial tracking system and then offering it up in a DIY - bring your own device and data plan. This way you choose your device whether it be mobile client or hardware and you choose your update frequency based on your device and data plan.

The downside to anything DIY is support will be limited because I can’t know how to configure every device people choose to use and so there’s a learning curve. I think that’s part of the fun though. I’m working to make the system cost effective and cheap enough for almost anyone so afford.