Open source fleet management and vehicle tracking system

garbage truckMost organizations these days own at least a few vehicles for various purposes. A construction company would have several trucks and tractors while a travel agency might own several vans and multi purpose vehicles (MPVs).

Just like equipments in the office such as printers and servers, vehicles too needs to be maintained and most importantly tracked.

Lets just say that you’re an owner of a waste management and garbage collection company. If you have twenty (20) trucks deployed to several areas, how do you ensure that each truck has gone to the area that it’s supposed to collect garbage from? Photo by PinkMoose.

The only way to know is when a customer calls in to complain that their garbage hasn’t been collected for more than a week. And when you ask your truck driver if he’s been to the area, he said that he has, but both parties doesn’t have any proof.

To eliminate cases like this from happening, it’s good to implement a fleet management system (FMS) where vehicles can be equipped with a GPS device which sends the following data to the server on a predefined interval:

  • Date & time
  • Location (longitude & latitude)
  • Altitude (feet)
  • Speed (mph)
  • Street Address

If every garbage truck is installed with this GPS devices to send information of its whereabouts, it’s now possible to track:

  • where your trucks have been to
  • if the truck drivers were speeding
  • where was the truck on a specific date and time
  • how long did the truck drivers take their lunch breaks

Another benefit of a fleet tracking system is to record a vehicle’s mileage and its last service repair date. It is vital for all vehicles to be serviced and maintained on time in order for it to work well and to prevent accidents from occurring.

There are many types of FMS available out there in the market today. If budget is tight and you have some time to create a prototype of your own then an open source fleet management and vehicle tracking system may be right for you.

OpenGTS is an open source project designed specifically to provide web-based GPS tracking capability for a fleet of vehicles.

Some OpenGTS features include:

  • Web-based authentication
  • Customizable web interface
  • Customizable mapping service
  • Geo fenced area

Some OpenGTS screenshots:

vehicle tracking on a map

report for speeds over 65 mph

With OpenGTS web-based application, owners or supervisors can securely log on to the system to view information regarding their vehicles.

But wait a minute! What about the part where you would install a device on the vehicle for it to send and transfer GPS data?

For this to work, you’ll need to check out another open source project called OpenDMTP – a protocol and framework which allows bi-directional data communications between devices (client) and servers over the Internet.

By combining both OpenGTS and OpenDMTP, you can set up your very own open source fleet management system to begin tracking your organization’s vehicles and its whereabouts today! Hope it helps!

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