Thu | Sep 21, 2017

Guardsman taking vehicle tracking seriously

Published:Sunday | July 2, 2017 | 7:42 AMDanielle Mullings

"Technology is advancing daily, so we have to stay one step ahead and keep the customer engaged," said Damion Ayton, commercial manager of the Automatic Vehicle Locator arm of Guardsman. Ayton gave Automotives a demonstration of the newly released vehicle tracking app.

"I do not think any of our competitors have such an advanced app. This is the second-generation app. In it, you get real-time tracking, trip history, vehicle immobilisation, set geo fences, etc. It gives you the power to know where your vehicle is at all times."

Setup is as simple as going into the Guardsman Alarms office, paying $20,000 (plus tax, for the first year) and getting the necessary paperwork done. After checking to ensure that the vehicle is in order and fit to drive, the office will do a physical installation and explain how the system works. The next step is to download the app, 'Guardsman' (the older version is 'Guardsman Alarms'), which is available on both Android and Apple.

When asked who is most likely to use this app, Ayton said: "Absolutely anyone because the app is very user-friendly. We have customers ranging from young to old."

The layout and design are very simple, making it easy to use.

 

Key features

 

Dashboard: You are able to check notifications, as well as see current facts about the vehicle, e.g. number of times it has surpassed your set speed limit, whether it is parked or travelling, and the direction it is headed in. In addition, you are able to access any of the four main features from the dashboard, as well as switch to a different vehicle's information.

Live Tracking: This gives you the ability to get the real-time location of your vehicle. Whether parked or travelling, a map with the position of your vehicle highlighted will be shown. You are able to refresh this as often as you like.

Trips: This feature allows you to see past journeys that the vehicle has taken within the last 24 hours. It will show the start and end point of the trip, as well as the distance travelled, maximum speed reached and time taken. One noteworthy point is that a trip is considered to be what happens between when the engine is turned on and turned off. This is very useful in fleet management so that parent companies can see how long the cars are actually on for regardless of whether the destination has been reached. Additionally, you are able to see a live animation of the journey.

Pin Drop: Once you have clicked this feature, it automatically opens to the location of your vehicle. You are then able to set a geofence around your vehicle. This can range from 50m to 10,000m. Once the vehicle exceeds the set range, a notification will be sent to the user. You also have the option of disabling the engine once the range is exceeded. However, this is safe immobilisation, which means that the car has to be traveling at 5km/hr or less for it to be immobilised.

"This is a safety feature. You would not want the brakes to suddenly stop when travelling at high speeds, for example, on the highway, but once they reach the toll booth and slow down, it will shut down," said Ayton.

Disable Engine: In this feature, you are able to turn off the engine. Therefore, whenever this is enabled, you are unable to start the car.

Panic Button: The user is able to press this button any time assistance is needed.

Ayton gave a scenario to explain when this would be necessary. "For instance, you are walking to your car and see ten men surrounding it. You can stop and press the panic button. The central office will then call you and tell you the wait time for the patrol team to come. They will then arrive and escort you to your car or use the virtual or real-time escort to follow you home."

Virtual Escort: This is not a feature in the actual app, but it is useful to note. The central office can track you via the vehicle you are driving. They will know your start and destination, so any deviation from that route will be monitored.