IoT Empowers Realtime Vehicle Tracking

Truck monitoring, which includes overseeing where vehicles are at a set time and where they are headed, has become one of the biggest dilemmas within the logistics industry today. However, with Vehicle Tracking Systems (VTS), fleet management can become both possible and economical.

Prior to this new technology, GPS systems have been responsible for transmitting information over a mobile data connection. While these systems have played a substantial role in host to host communication, IoT makes the monitoring of vehicles much more efficient and reliable. Some of the limitations of GPS and related technologies involves a lack of precise vehicle tracking within a facility. This includes vital update information, such as yard entry/exit, weigh stations and loading/unloading docks. IoT allows supervisors to monitor fleets in a smarter way, allowing complete control and providing real-time updates on all truck operation.

Sensors mounted on each vehicle collect location data to periodically send into the local gateway over a mobile data connection. The gateway then delivers that information to a network server while the truck is in motion. Here, variables such as speed, location, and direction are collected and passed to a secure application server within the cloud. The application server sends motion and safety updates on the truck to the driver, allowing supervisors to monitor routes and dispatch tasks more efficiently.

VTS systems use technology that is easy to install, productive in all atmospheric conditions, and able to provide its own cellar connection for real-time reporting and alerts. These systems can collect data such as license plates and DOT numbers, scale weights, and station cycle times. They offer many new tools, such as focusing only on specific events of interest or concern, eliminating the need for footage analysis. Cameras can report foreign materials within an empty van, debris in the bed of dump truck, a person not wearing a hard hat in a designated area, or even a vehicle left unattended for an extended period of time.

We can only anticipate how IoT will revolutionize the fleet management industry. By enabling companies to set up an automatic flow of logistics, businesses can begin to work as part of an integrated process. This allows companies to reduce their overall costs by optimizing resource use and acting on real-time data for greater efficiency.


Anthony Tarantino, PhD 

Adjunct Professor, Santa Clara University – Operations, Finance, Lean Six Sigma 

Six Sigma Master Black Belt, Certified Scrum Master, CPIM (APICS), CPM (ISM) 

Senior Advisor to Atollogy