A COMPARISON OF AUTOMATIC VEHICLE TRACKING SYSTEMS

F. J. Chambers and R. S. Stapleton

Peer Reviewed

Abstract: Many segments of the transportation industry will benefit from an automatic vehicle tracking and monitoring system. Such a system automatically reports the position of a number of vehicles (groundborne, seabome and airborne) to a central location. Dispatchers, such as police, bus or taxi, could more efficiently use their resources if they could track the location of the vehicles they are controlling. Ships on a seaway could be more efhciently scheduled into docks or locks if their position and speed were being tracked. Trucking companies could more effectively protect their cargos from theft or hi-jacking if they could monitor the location of the trucks. A few automatic vehicle tracking systems have been implemented. As an example the Chicago Metropolitan Bus System has been evaluating a system. The Urban Mass Transportation Administration of the Department of Transportation is conducting a program to determine the best system for “Automatic Vehicle Monitoring”. Tests have been conducted of at least four RF positioning systems to determine which of these technologies meet DOT/TJMTA requirements. The next phase will be a trial implementation of one of these tested systems. This paper summarizes the &ted user requirements as determined by DOTJJMTA, St. Lawrence Seaway Authority, Forestry Service, Railroads and others. These user requirements include positioning accuracy, number of vehicles to be handled simultaneously, coverage area and implementation and operating costs. A comparison of several technologies is then presented. A very brief description of each system, including Loran-C, Differential Omega, RF trilateration, sign-post and dead reckoning is presented with a comparison of the advantages and disadvantages in view of the user requirements. A cost comparison is presented which compares the implementation and operating costs of the different systems. Overall efficiency is compared; i.e. cost per user, rf spectrum efficiency, etc. A summary of this comparison concludes that a Loran-C Automatic Tracking System is the most efficient alternative to the requirement for an automatic vehicle positioning system. A description of a Loran-C System then follows, which briefly describes the major system components. Implementation and operating costs are presented. The solution to the two prime problems of a Loran AVM System are described-namely a low-cost receiver and the availability of relatively low-cost, small, Loran-C chains presently in production.
Published in: NAVIGATION, Journal of the Institute of Navigation, Volume 21, Number 3
Pages: 208 - 222
Cite this article: Chambers, F. J., Stapleton, R. S., "A COMPARISON OF AUTOMATIC VEHICLE TRACKING SYSTEMS", NAVIGATION, Journal of The Institute of Navigation, Vol. 21, No. 3, Fall 1974, pp. 208-222.
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