Commercial Vehicle Global Positioning System Based Telematics Data Characteristics & Limitations

Paper #:
  • 2017-01-1439

  • 2017-03-28
The use of the United States’ Global Positioning System (GPS) to assist with the management of large commercial fleets of vehicles is quickly becoming commonplace. The GPS system can be used to track fleet vehicles resulting in more efficient and safe operations by refining and streamlining routing and operations. GPS-based fleet telematics data is also valuable for reducing unnecessary engine idle times and minimizing fuel consumption. Driver performance and policy adherence can also be monitored, for example by transmitting data regarding seatbelt usage when there is vehicle movement. Despite its advantages for fleet management, there are performance limitations that affect the utility of the system for analysis and reconstruction of accidents. The U.S. Air Force, responsible for maintaining and operating the GPS space and control segments, publishes information about these limitations. The most significant of these limitations do not have significant effects on the systematic use of this data for daily fleet operations and monitoring. However, these limitations can have effects and limitations for use in accident reconstruction. These limitations are specific to the accuracy of the positional data, the reported vehicle speed and changes in vehicle speed during acceleration maneuvers. User segment GPS telematics data of typical vehicle dynamic maneuvers of medium-duty commercial delivery vans are studied and their accuracy analyzed and discussed. Testing of various maneuvers was conducted at a western U.S. location and an eastern U.S. location. The telematics data validity and reliability was assessed using the GPS-based Racelogic VBOX III data acquisition system with a corrected signal, via a GPS Base Station, for baseline reference.
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