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4 Advantages of Using GPS for Roadside Assistance Services

Anyone who’s been on the road has most likely had some degree of a car-related emergency. That’s why roadside assistance companies like AAA, Allstate, and Safelite are in such high demand. The public frequently relies on their services.

Each of these companies specializes in roadside assistance for flat tires, fuel deficiency, towing, or even windshield replacement. So how do service companies like these provide incredible service so quickly and efficiently? Through the use of GPS telematics.

GPS tracking technology enables roadside assistance providers to operate to their utmost potential and provide services efficiently for their customers. Here are just a few benefits associated with the use of this technology:

1. Enhanced Safety Measures with Instant Vehicle Location

Unfortunately, drivers don’t get to choose where their vehicles break down. Best case scenario, they reach a relatively safe area and comfortably call an on-call mechanic or tow truck. Worst case, they’re left stranded on the side of the road, with nowhere safe to wait for help.

Either way, a breakdown is rarely a part of a great day. However, the response time and care of the roadside service vehicle can certainly turn things around.  

A speedy response to emergency calls such as these is crucial for establishing a positive customer-care reputation. This is why having access to a GPS tracking system is so beneficial for your business.

With GPS data, dispatchers can pinpoint exactly where each vehicle in the fleet is located, and direct the closest available driver to assist the stranded vehicle. This information saves time and increases productivity. 

5 Advantages of Using GPS for Roadside Assistance Services

2. Improved Customer Service with Estimated Time of Arrival Data

There is nothing worse than being stranded on a deserted highway, with no knowledge of if or when help will arrive. Or at least that’s what it feels like when you’re in that situation.

Waiting can be an excruciatingly long and stressful experience when unexpected car troubles occur. If your customer has real-time tracking data of their rescuer’s ETA removes just a bit of the anxiety that comes with mechanical failure. 

Providing an accurate ETA allows customers to feel more in control of their circumstances. There is even a benefit for those customers who don’t use the various apps and technologies available to track your trucks themselves. As long as the dispatchers have access to the GPS tracking data, these customers can call in and get real-time updates on the status of their assigned driver.

Rear quarter view of a nondescript tow truck traveling on a highway.

3. Increase Your Company’s Bottom Line by Monitoring Vehicle Use

Aside from providing telematic location tracking data, GPS units are also able to calculate the various ways in which vehicles are used by your fleet drivers.

Use each vehicle’s GPS system to monitor how your vehicles are being used. Gather information on whether they’re driven after hours, if the vehicle has been idling for too long, or are near to reaching their maximum number of stops.

By keeping track of these aspects of vehicle use, you can protect your employees from overwork. In doing so you also protect your vehicles from accidental damage outside of company time. This helps your fleet stay in good repair and assist more people with their car troubles, which in turn positively affects your bottom line.

4. Prepared for Roadside Assistance in Real-Time

Modern fleet management systems with GPS technology allows managers to send pertinent information directly to dispatched vehicles, addressing any changes or delays in real-time.

Roadside assistance companies enabled with this technology can give their drivers updates on what is specifically needed for any job. This can include towing needs, delivery of emergency fuel, new tires to replace a flat, a jumpstart for a worn out battery, winching, and even locksmith services.

With access to this information, drivers can plan ahead and prepare for any job given to them quickly and efficiently. Preparation is key when it comes to handling emergency situations in the most effective way. If given the right information your team will be empowered to provide the best service to your customers.

Use your GPS system to maximize your services, and work better than ever before. By going this extra mile for your customers, you can rest assured that your business will profit in the roadside assistance industry, giving your company a reputation that people trust.

4 Military Inventions You Probably Have in Your Home

Military technology in the home

Functionality is a key attribute in the items we use in our daily lives, and what better resource to obtain highly functional items than from the military? While you may not see many tanks on local roads, there are many items we use on a regular basis that have military origins. Here are 4 household objects civilians acquired from standard military equipment.

Duct Tape

Duct tape was invented in 1942 by a concerned mother named Vesta Stoudt, whose two sons served in the United States Navy during World War II. Originally invented as a low cost, durable way to prevent moisture from entering ammunition cases, Duct tape had the double advantage of being easy to grab and tear open when soldiers were under duress. The old tape soldiers used was paper-thin and flimsy, causing the tabs to tear when soldiers frantically attempted to open the ammo boxes in battle. When her original idea stalled at the upper levels of the military factory in which she worked, Stoudt proceeded to do what any concerned mother would do: she wrote a letter directly to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt outlining her idea. Several weeks later, her invention was in production. Soon soldiers in the field had access to duct tape, and being the clever humans they were, began using this fantastic new substance for other minor equipment repairs as well as water-proofing their ammo. Today we’ve adopted this technology, and use it far beyond its original purpose. Need a way to repair a broken pipe? Try duct tape. Brake light out and waiting for a fix? Try red duct tape (temporarily, of course).

Microwave Ovens

Like many articles of human convenience, microwave ovens were invented by accident. In 1939, the U.S. government contracted a company called Raytheon to produce combat radar equipment for the military. One day, an employee of the company named Percy Spencer was working with an active radar set when he noticed that a candy bar he had in his pocket had melted. Interested, and quite possibly a little hungry, Spencer and his colleagues began to experiment with these ‘micro-waves’, heating up different food items and noting the effectiveness these waves had on cooking. And, as things are wont to do, experimentation stalled when an egg exploded in his colleague’s face, but Spencer did not give up. Raytheon filed a patent for this technology in October 1945, but microwave ovens as we know them today were not commonly used until about 1967. In the modern world, microwaves can be found in most homes and businesses, making popped popcorn possible whenever your heart desires. Thank the military for our access to quickly-heated instant food.

Internet

If you are reading this article, you can thank a teacher AND the internet. Originally dubbed the ‘Advanced Research Projects Agency Network’ or ARPANET, this network was developed during the Cold War to bring computing to the front lines, metaphorically speaking. The problem was, ARPANET was not mobile. Yes, it could transfer info between equally large and immobile computers, but it needed a network that could talk to another network deep in the heart of enemy territory. In 1974, two ARPANET researchers developed a universal rule book that set how computers should communicate, which supplied strict regulations to reliably transmit data, but was flexible enough to cover all different forms of data being sent. The network also had to be future-proof, allowing it to adapt and change as needed and as technology improved. In 1976, researchers successfully stitched two different networks together, and got them communicating. In 1977, they added a third. The internet as we know it today was born in 1989 after decades of work by some of the smartest minds in the world. This code lets humans interact with one another across the globe, transmitting ideas and experiences to other equally curious minds. The internet is designed to go anywhere the military goes, so when you are stuck in the middle of nowhere and need directions to the nearest gas station, thank the forward thinking of the military for your ability to look it up.

GPS

Humans have been navigating the globe for centuries, using the stars and sky as their guide. However, in the last 100 years, knowing exactly where you are has gotten a lot easier. GPS technology originated as a frequency-hopping system designed to hide Allied torpedoes from Nazi detectors. Invented by Hollywood beauty icon Hedy Lamarr, who donated her frequency system to the war effort, the navy didn’t actually use this predecessor to GPS until the 1960s. During this time, technicians experimented with the Doppler Effect, and were able to precisely locate satellites in space, thus beginning the development of this technology in the reverse: to use satellites as a means of locating exactly where you are on Earth.

In 1989, the first official GPS satellite was launched into space under the guidance of Navy engineer Roger Easton. That same year, after a passenger plane was destroyed for accidentally drifting into unauthorized airspace, President Ronald Reagan decreed that access to this technology was no longer fully classified. In fact, civilians could use GPS units with precision of up to 100 meters all around the world to prevent a tragedy like this from every happening again.

Today we have access to the full spectrum of GPS technology, and its applications are as variable as the humans who use it. Still at work in military operations, GPS tech is also used by business to track fleets, by search and rescue teams to assist in emergency circumstances, and as a tool for outdoorsy folks to find their way through the wilds. Thanks to the focus and efforts of our military, the only way we will lose our way is if we forget to bring our oh-so-useful GPS.

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