Automatic Vehicle Locating is an advanced method of remote vehicle tracking and monitoring. Each vehicle is equipped with an AVL unit that receives signals from the GPS satellites. The GPS receiver determines its current location, speed and heading. This data can be stored or can be directly transmitted to an operating centre. Current position can be displayed on a PC in digital maps. Most popular Automatic Vehicle Location is based on GPS (Global Positioning System) and GSM (Global standard of mobile communication).
Tracking data can be stored inside the AVL unit and can be as downloaded later via RS232 by connecting the unit to a PC. This saves a lot of money i.e. for the monthly network operator fee and the communication costs. If the geographical position of all stops is not needed, the system can run without GPS receiver. All driven kilometres and times are calculated by the odometer interface and the internal real time clock
Such AVL system has the advantage that the calculation of the distances between the way points can be done with the use of the odometer signal or the GPS receiver. Even if only the full stops are recorded, the total distance between two way points is always very accurate.
GSM is the the most popular cellular communications network. There are 400 GSM operators in 170 countries. GSM offers the best value regarding price and performance compared to other cellular or wireless network systems.