Green light for car tracking device technology - CNBC Africa

Green light for car tracking device technology


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Traffic information and hazards as seen by a driver. PHOTO: Getty Images

“The technology’s advanced considerably over the years, so tracking a vehicle is one thing, but you can use that positioning information for a lot more. That’s where, for example, in the controversial e-toll situation, it’s another area which a tracking device can add a lot more value to the client,” Cartrack CEO John Edmeston told CNBC Africa.

“In particular, the fact that we know where a vehicle is at any point in time, in real time, and with pinpoint accuracy these days. Knowing where the vehicle is, we can then also geo-fence them on the systems so that when a vehicle passes a particular area, in this case a toll gantry – and that would be an e-toll or one of the national tolls – we will know that the vehicle has passed that point, we can log it on our system, it’s recorded and can be retrieved by virtue of various reports.”

Cartrack recently launched a new product that allows fleet managers to monitor their vehicles, manage operating costs and ensure they are being accurately billed by South African National Roads Agency (Sanral).

Sanral is a South African company responsible for the launch of the e-tolling system in the country.  

The Cartrack’s tracking device is also date and time stamped, and can indicate which gantry a vehicle passed under, and full comparisons can then be done on any Sanral bill.

For businesses, value-added services can be provided for clients looking to use the devices.

Similarly, Discovery’s DQ-Track allows motorists to track their driving behaviour, and also provides other services such as stolen vehicle tracking.

“Over 95 per cent of our clients actually installed the DQ-Track, so we use it as a monitoring device where we actually monitor how they drive, braking, cornering, acceleration, speeding. Based on how they drive, we reward them with fuel rewards.  The better they drive, the more rewards, and also the safer they are on our roads,” said Phillipa Wild, head of technical marketing at Discovery Insure.


Because of how a motorist drives, DQ-Track can discover a specific pattern of behaviour.

In the event that someone else gets into the same car, the change in driving patterns can be quickly picked up, which can be an alert to a potential hijacking.

“The idea is to create better drivers and to keep people safer, so there’s always an element of bad luck and risk. In that lies the insurance, to the extent that you can control the risk. That’s where we come in: to try and help the individual to change that,” added Wild.