Operating a field service business faces a series of challenges. Ensuring driver safety, reducing fuel costs, managing on-time delivery and tracking assets are just a few of the concerns of most managers. Although GPS-based tracking devices have improved the efficiency of field service managers by improving efficiency, the technology itself is not immune.
For example, what do pilots lose air navigation signals, sea navigation in incorrect locations, and couriers who avoid tolls have in common? All three situations involve a GPS Jammers that tampered with or blocked the GPS signal.
What is interference?
First, let us understand what GPS is and how GPS tracking works. GPS is currently managed by the United States Air Force and is a radio navigation system that uses a GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) network to use time data sent by dozens of satellites equipped with atomic clocks in space. Each satellite sends signals, and the earth’s GPS receivers use these signals to communicate its position.
Occasional satellite failures may destroy these signals, but the more deliberate cause will be GPS interference. The GPS jammer device is plugged into the cigarette lighter port of the car and operates by emitting noise at the same frequency as the satellites. In this way, the GPS receiver cannot pick up satellite signals. Depending on the strength of the GPS blocker, it may cancel GPS reception by several kilometers or meters.
Myths about GPS jammers
Most service representatives know the rules and penalties for using GPS jammers to tamper with their location or driving logs. However, some drivers and representatives do not want GPS jammers to be tracked by managers. These actions may have a greater impact.
Here are five common myths that are incorrect.
#1 Only for the rich
Fact: This myth is far from fact. GPS will affect our daily life with the advent of new cars, and GPS functions have been installed on mobile devices. GPS signal jammers are very common, and you can find them on eBay for less than $50. The worst part is that anyone can buy and install these jammers, which puts GPS-based navigation systems (such as those built into the iPhone) at risk. For example, suppose you are using Google Maps to find a specific destination. Signal interference from GPS Jammers may take you to another destination or even close your app completely. The fact that GPS jammers are easy to use further increases their potential dangers.
#2 I only use GPS jamming devices to hide my location from the manager
Fact: Jamming devices, also called signal jammers, seem harmless at first glance. However, the possibility of damage is high. These jammers can disrupt basic communication services such as ambulances, police, 911 and firefighters. Therefore, manufacturing, selling, distributing, and possessing GPS jammers in the United States also constitute a federal crime. It is not surprising that the penalties range from heavy fines to confiscation of jammers.
#3 It is legal to install a blocking device that claims to only block the GPS signal of my vehicle
Fact: Any device that blocks GPS signals by interfering with radio frequency signals is illegal and must not be sold or used in the United States unless it has limited use authorized by the government. Because it is difficult to determine the operation of the device through advertising, if you have any questions, you must contact the FCC law enforcement agency. If the radio transmitting equipment is not authorized by the FCC or has no FCC identification number affixed, it cannot be used legally.
#4 Using GPS jammer will make my current location invisible
Fact: If a service representative tries to use a GPS jammer to manipulate its location data and prevent GPS tracking, the person in charge will know. Although drivers may think that jammers will make them invisible, their tortuous behavior on the road will cause more attention.
Therefore, if the driver tries to prevent GPS tracking by using a jammer, the vehicle will not go missing. It will still appear on the real-time map as a lost itinerary. In addition, when the driver connects the jammer to the cigarette lighter during driving, a line will be seen from the beginning of the obstruction.
If you want to know how to detect GPS interference in a vehicle, you can create an exception rule in the route management system to search for GPS signal failures and send alerts when interference occurs.
#5 If my vehicle location is not displayed correctly on the map, will my manager think that I am using a GPS jammer?
Complete: No. Signal loss does not necessarily mean that you are using a GPS jammer. GPS signals are usually not related to weather conditions. However, in areas where the line of sight is not clear (for example, crowded areas, in tunnels or sometimes under bridges), the accuracy may decrease slightly. According to data from the GPS.gov website, under normal circumstances, the accurate time of a GPS plotter within 16 feet is 95%.
Although there is no conclusive study on the number of drivers who use GPS jammers to hide their location from their employers, their use appears to be increasing. Moreover, although most drivers do not use jammers to cover up illegal activities, these devices can interfere with critical communication systems related to public safety. Therefore, if you are worried that pilots are using jamming devices, you must monitor them and face them face to face if any suspicious activity is detected. Better training of drivers on the benefits of GPS tracking systems and the risks of using jamming devices can make our roads safer.