GPS Tracking Evaluation Process
Tracking System Direct 12 Point Evaluation Process
Testing For Quality
Tracking System Direct (TSD) strives to bring products that demonstrate superior quality and excellence in the GPS car tracking systems market to consumers at wholesale prices. Before any product is showcased on TSD it must first pass a rigorous hands-on inspection and evaluation process to validate the product is unique, reliable, accurate, easy to use and technologically advanced.
The GPS tracking related product must exhibit all of the above attributes and still be affordable for the everyday consumer, business or professional before TSD will perform the 12-point evaluation and inspection process that is mandatory before any GPS product is displayed to consumers on the Tracking System Direct website. The 12-point evaluation and inspection process is comprised of 12 unique categories related to a GPS tracking system’s functionality, quality and ease of use.
The 12 Points
1. Verifying the GPS Tracking System Powers On/Off Effectively
Some GPS tracking systems come with on/off switches, motion sensors or both as methods of powering up and powering down a GPS monitoring system. TSD tests to confirm that on/off switches and motion sensors work properly and swiftly to power up, power down or place a car tracker into a sleep mode. For GPS trackers that are designed with motion sensors, the length of time it takes the tracking system to fall into and out of sleep mode is measured 100 times in different environmental conditions to ensure consistency.
2. Battery Life
Every GPS tracking system will have a different battery life, and most manufacturers provide that battery life information in specification descriptions. TSD takes the battery life information provided by the manufacturer and tests it in real-world driving conditions to verify for accuracy. Prior to testing, the GPS tracker is charged to 100% capacity and then it is placed on the front dashboard of a vehicle that is driven in 14 hour intervals at a time until the battery dies. Once the battery is dead, it is charged back up to 100% capacity and tested again to compare for consistency. Any GPS system that has a +/- differential of over 2 hours in the two tests automatically fails.
3. Hard-Wire Power Option(s)
Some GPS tracking systems have the ability to be powered by internal and/or external power options. If the GPS car tracker has the ability to be hard-wired or connected to a cigarette lighter adapter for external power connection then each potential power source is tested. The GPS car tracker is connected and then tested to each individual external power option for 90 days to verify that the tracking system will run continuously and flawlessly from the cigarette lighter adapter, hard-wire connection or any other external power source.
4. Accuracy of GPS Data
Many GPS tracking system manufacturers claim that their GPS systems can record a driver’s position anywhere between 1-15 meters accuracy. TSD requires a GPS car tracker to record data smaller or equal to 3 meters of accuracy, 99.5% of the time when the GPS system is positioned in optimum placement. Tracking System Direct places heavy emphasis on the accuracy of driving data.
5. GPS Antenna Sensitivity
The time a tracking system takes to receive GPS reception is how an internal or external antenna sensitivity can be determined and measured. TSD measures only cold and hot starts to measure the sensitivity of a GPS car tracker. The cold start testing process places the GPS monitoring device in optimum placement and measures the time required for the GPS unit to begin receiving a GPS signal. The hot start testing process also places the GPS vehicle tracker in optimum placement and then measures how long it takes for the GPS unit to reacquire a GPS signal after the GPS car tracker has lost its signal for 5 minutes.
6. Tracking System Placement
Flexible placement options are critical for consumers, businesses and professionals who may be trying to gather driving-related information covertly. TSD tests 5 placement locations, and requires GPS data have at least 84.5% accuracy on those locations. Tested locations include:
- Inside of the vehicle on the dashboard
- Inside a glove compartment
- Underneath a passenger or driver seat depending on make and model of vehicle tested
- Underneath the vehicle with magnetic mount attachment or specialized casing
- Inside the center console of the vehicle
Tracking System Direct requires that any tested GPS tracker must function and operate successfully in all 5 locations.
7. International Coverage
Tracking System Direct will only carry GPS systems that can operate domestically and internationally.
Even though the majority of people using GPS tracking technology use GPS tracking devices to monitor vehicle-related activity, many consumers demand a GPS system that is portable and easy to carry for other applications. Tracking System Direct only chooses and promotes GPS systems that are easily portable so any consumer can benefit from the GPS technology.
In the GPS tracking world, size is very important. If a GPS car tracker is too large it will be awkward and noticeable, making it difficult to use for people who prefer to conceal or use the device covertly, and if the GPS car tracker is too small battery life will be weak and undependable, making it unable to track for extended periods of time. TSD products must all have the perfect balance of size and battery performance.
10. Tracking System Data
GPS data is viewed differently according to the system being used. Real-time GPS car tracking data can be viewed online over either Google Earth, or an alternative form of mapping software. Passive tracking data can also utilize Google Earth or other outside mapping software programs, but can only be viewed when the GPS car tracker is removed from the vehicle and the data is downloaded via USB or download cable. Tracking System Direct requires that GPS tracking data is easily accessible and easy to read, interpret, and understand for any consumer.
11. Ease of Use
TSD believes every GPS tracking product should be manageable and easy to use. Consumers should be able to effortlessly record and review the data from a GPS car tracker regardless of technical or computer skills. TSD has an independent verification process where people of different ages, and backgrounds all rate a tracking system in the evaluation process based on how easy the data is to record and review. Only GPS trackers that receive the highest markings in categories related to ease of use make their way onto Tracking System Direct.
12. Overall Quality & Appearance
Tracking System Direct believes quality and overall appearance are important to consumers when purchasing a GPS tracking product. The overall aesthetic impression and design a GPS monitoring system provides a consumer is important from the beginning. People need to feel that when they purchase a GPS tracking system product that they are getting every dollar’s worth and more.