by Eric Tipan
Tracking’ used to simply mean tracing the location of a vehicle in real-time as it moves to its destination. The primitive method shows a vehicle as a simple dot moving on the grid. Back in the day, getting ‘tracked’ meant you were either in trouble with the law or the target of a stalker.
With today’s advanced technology, using global positioning system (GPS) satellites, cutting-edge smartphones or mobile devices along with cloud storage, merely ‘tracking’ an auto’s location seems pretty old school.
Satellite GPS Tracking and Asset Management System Corporation hopes to change the image of tracking and the way it’s being done in the Philippines with the SafeSat Box.
WHAT IS IT?
Aside from being a product of three long years of hard work, SafeSat Box is also a fulfillment of a son’s promise to his father.
The company’s 40-year old CEO, Salvador Silva Jr. III lost his dad in a vehicular accident and since then has vowed to make streets safer for motorists in his own little way.
The SafeSat Box is essentially a small device that attaches wherever the client wants it. According to the company, it should preferably be under the dashboard.
The ‘box’ continuously sends data about the vehicle’s location, status and even fuel information to the ‘cloud’ for storage and easy access by the company’s server. It then distributes the information to their respective owners via notifications.
WHAT DOES IT NEED?
The SafeSat Box may seem intimidating with its plethora of wires, but according to the company’s Sales Supervisor Avel Gomez, a technically-inclined dude (or dudette for that matter) can actually DIY this.
Getting the fuel information is the trickiest part of the whole installation. The easy way is to simply tap onto the vehicle’s fuel gauge system but it isn’t the most accurate. The best way to get a precise reading is to drill in the sensor that comes with the SafeSat Box package onto the fuel tank.
Since all the data from the ‘box’ gets sent to the ‘cloud’ for storage, the unit will also need a SIM card that comes with at least a Php300 data plan from a telco company.
WHAT DOES IT DO?
Aside from the basic ‘tracking’ services that it offers, the SafeSat Box’s main selling point is the ability to reduce fuel consumption with the information it provides.
The ‘box’ knows everything.
It how long the engine is turned on and how long the vehicle has been idle before it moves for the first time. It also takes note of the time the vehicle is idle in traffic and reports data to the cloud every three minutes.
The owner can even set a ‘perimeter’ and a color-coded speed meter that will alert the system in case the vehicle goes beyond the preset geo-fence that has been established or goes beyond the desired speed limit. It is not designed though to disable the vehicle in case it crosses the set boundaries or limit the speed of the vehicle it is attached to.
To compute for fuel consumption, the owner needs to manually calculate for the result based on the fuel used and distance travelled data from the ‘box.’
It comes with a panic or emergency button that can be conveniently placed for easy access and is designed to send a notification to the owner once the vehicle gets into an accident.
HOW CAN THE OWNER MONITOR THIS?
On a smartphone or any tablet, the owner can only view logs that determine the real-time location of the vehicle using the S Trakker app that’s free to download from the Google Marketplace or the Apple App Store. The company is still working on a Windows Mobile operating system version of the app.
If you want full accessibility to all the data the ‘box’ provides, www.satellite.com.ph is where you wanna go. Armed with a username and password, all features and data are available for viewing by the owner at anytime of the day.
TRACKING IN THE 21ST CENTURY
With a P16,000 price tag, a monthly subscription fee of P850 and an admin/username fee of P350 each (Two people can monitor the account with different usernames for P700), it is not the cheapest alternative out there but it is one of the most comprehensive.
It is ideal for fleet management and nervous parents with mischievous adolescents but certainly not for individuals with stalker-like tendencies.
Thirty minutes is all it takes to install it. There’s no maintenance required and it comes with a six-month company warranty. So ease your worries and see how the SafeSat Box can change the way you view tracking in the 21st Century.