GPS trackers and smartphone applications are ideal for finding where you’re going; but it turns out they can be equally useful proving where you’ve been, and how you got there. A California college student recently used a cell phone app to talk his way out of a speeding ticket.

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auto-thiefAccording to FBI records, about 956,846 cars were stolen in the year of 2008. This translates to 315 cars for every 100,000 people, which is a surprisingly low number compared to what it was 20 years ago. The FBI credits this decrease in car theft to new technologies including GPS tracking and ignition immobilizers that make stealing a car that much harder.

Russ Rader, spokesman for Highway Loss Data Institute, said “It’s a much tougher job to be a car thief today, the technology in new vehicles makes it much harder to make off with a car.” According to Charles Territo, spokesman for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, he says that car companies are implementing safety features such as ignition immobilizer electronic devices that block the engine from starting as well as GPS tracking systems. Territo explains that there were no GPS systems in cars 20 years ago, which made them easy targets for thieves. According to the Highway Loss Data Institute research shows now 86% of new cars are built with these device.

The chances of having your car stolen is about a third of what it was in 1989. Because of the new technologies available to consumers, there is less need to worry about loosing your vehicle to theft. However these new technologies do not replace the need for caution.

(Via USA Today)



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satalliteThanks to the Ford Motor Co. and Auburn University, our cars might soon be equipped with a futuristic GPS system that can predict and help avoid car accidents before they happen. The way this will work is that the car’s stability system will communicate with a GPS satellite and depending on the speed and direction of a car, the road ahead and current conditions the system will calculate whether an accident is probable. If so, the GPS satellite will communicate with the car and activate the car’s stability control system to help prevent the accident. This $4 million dollar breakthrough project will quite possibly revolutionize driving safety.

(Via AutoWeek)

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57590766Football star, Michael Strahan and ex-wife of actor Eddie Murphy, Nicole Murphy are said to be engaged. The news of the two possibly tying the knot is shocking to some as they were both recently in the news when Strahan purchased and tracked Murphy with a covert GPS system under suspicions of infidelity.

The GPS system was installed after Strahan had heard that, his then girlfriend, Murphy was cheating on him with Universal Records exec Demetrius Spencer. The GPS system allowed Strahan to track Murphy’s whereabouts and let him have an inside look at her day to day life. Murphy, who grew suspicious when Strahan new her every move, got the car checked out and discovered the hidden GPS and had it removed.

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Las Vegas, CTIA April 2009 – Lightning GPS today announced the world’s first ever covert GPS Tracker built into a fully functional touch screen navigation system, at the CTIA Wireless Technology trade show. The “NavGenius” is a covert GPS Tracker that’s incorporated into a standard looking navigation system to monitor a driver’s every move. It even comes with two manuals, one for the user of the car that doesn’t mention any of the tracking features and one for the real driver of this device.

Smarter Than Your Average GPS
An average GPS system such as a Garmin® or TomTom® is the equivalent of a “dumb box,” like a standalone PC that is not connected to the Internet and only does what it is pre-loaded to do. The “NavGenius” is the first true “Smart GPS” also known as “Connected GPS.”

By adding Internet capabilities, the GPS gains the ability to interact with, and be controlled by, other devices and services over the Internet.

Remote Monitoring From The Web
Using a slick web 2.0 online mapping system, users can easily check on a family member or any fleet of vehicles at once in real-time from any computer. Find out if they are where they say they are, or monitor their driving progress and history. Next time a teenager or employee tells you they were late because of traffic you can check yourself to see where they were and how fast they were going. You can even see a report of any unsafe driving behavior such as flooring it off the green-light or slamming on the breaks.


Push Directions Reroute Driver From Any PC

Did you ever want to tell someone where to go? We all know it is far easier to use online mapping from a computer than it is to use a handheld device. Now you can create a complex route or find a location and automatically send the route or location to the driver over the web. They never need to pull over and fiddle with a device or risk an accident while driving. Playing with handheld devices such as cellphones and GPS units while driving is suspected to cause many dangerous crashes.

The Lightning GPS “NavGenius” is designed to replace over $3,000 of older dedicated devices found in most taxis and delivery trucks. The current mess of cables and boxes include dispatch/messaging systems, GPS Tracking devices and standard GPS Navigation units; some even have a laptop for Internet access. By replacing all these expensive boxes with one low cost device under $500 fleet owners can save over $2,000 per vehicle.

“Small business owners are putting a lot of faith into their delivery personnel. In some cases, the image of the company can be tarnished by the actions of a part-time high school driver,” explains Jason Lazarus. “With the “NavGenius” we have given small businesses the power to monitor and control their delivery staff with zero installation and at a fraction of the cost of older systems.” One of the largest regional fleets has already pre-ordered 700 devices for their trucks.

Alerts Via E-mail or SMS Text Messages There are some things you may want to be alerted to instantly such as speeding, or a driver going into a “restricted zone.” With the connected nature of the “NavGenius” you can set rules on the website and get alerts via e-mail or SMS directly to your cell phone. For example, if a vehicle is only allowed to stay within town “A,” and it travels outside town “A” into town “B,” an alert message is immediately sent to the authorized user on that account.

Family Tracking
Many baby boomers are concerned that their teenagers and aging parents may get lost on the road or run into difficulties and need assistance. By including a GPS Tracker built into the navigation system, the “NavGenius” can alert a concerned parent about bad driving behavior or the location of a teen who is out past curfew.

A New Open Platform
Like the iPhone® this is a platform that other companies are building applications for. One OEM is adding the ability to charge credit cards directly with just a small USB swiper. Dozens of apps are under development and thousands of Windows Mobile applications can be installed with little to no modifications. Just like Apple®, Lightning GPS is managing which applications can be loaded on the device. An “app store” is under development and will be announced shortly.

Lightning GPS “NavGenius” Covert GPS Tracker Features:

  • Covert GPS Tracking
  • 2 Way Real-Time Messaging: communicate directly w/ device via Internet
  • Push Routing – reroute vehicles from any computer w/ Internet
  • Speed Alerts – receive SMS or e-mail alerts if vehicle exceeds a certain speed
  • Safety Zone Alerts (Geofence) – receive SMS or e-mail alerts if you vehicle goes outside designated area
  • Reckless Driving Reports

The web-based tracking system is so easy-to-use, that Lightning GPS launched a Free Live Demo that requires no training at all to get started.

Availability: The Lightning GPS “NavGenius” will ship in mid April, 2009. Please contact Lightning GPS at www.lightninggps.com directly to order through their dealer network or for server licensing and large volume orders. Volume discounts are available.

About Lightning GPS:
Lightning GPS is the largest provider of GPS Tracking technology to law enforcement, military, and business. Whether it is family, consumer, business, or law enforcement tracking, Lightning GPS has a GPS Tracking solution for every surveillance need.

Garmin®, TomTom® Apple® and iPhone® are registered trademarks of Garmin International Inc., TomTom International and Apple® consecutively.

 

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