Real Time Vehicle Tracking System Using GPS and GPRS

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Real Time Vehicle Tracking System Using GPS and GPRS

S.Sahitya, N.Swetha

M.Tech,Gokaraju Rangaraju Institute of Engineering & Technology,Hyderabad(A.P.),India@Email:

Associate professor,Gokaraju Rangaraju Institute of Engineering & Technology, Hyderabad,India@Email:

Abstract- In this paper web based GPS-GPRS vehicle

tracking system was designed and implemented. The current position of the vehicle was acquired by GPS device which is integrated to the target vehicle and the location coordinates are sent through GPRS service provided by the GSM network. The GPS receiver is used to give latitude and longitude of the current location . The proposed system is built using the microcontroller. This is the heart of the device. This GPS receiver is interfaced with microcontroller through the serial port and used to obtain the current location. The GPS receiver acquires the present position of the location and sends the same acquired values to GPRS through another com port, to display the exact location on Google map.

Key words- GPS, GPRS, Vehicle Tracking


The GPS-GPRS based tracking system is a system that makes use of the Global Positioning System GPS to determine the precise location of a vehicle to which the device is attached. When a large number of objects or vehicles were spread all over the ground, the owner of corporation needs to keep track for fuel saving, security purposes…etc. A tracking system is required to determine the location of any object at any given time and the distance travelled. Also, the need for a tracking system in users vehicle is used to prevent any kind of theft since police can use tracking reports to locate a stolen vehicle location.

GPRS and GPS based tracking system will provide effective, real time vehicle location report. A GPS-GPRS based tracking system gives all the specifications about the location of a vehicle. The system utilizes geographic position and time information from the Global Positioning Satellites. The system uses an On-Vehicle Module consists of GPS receiver and GSM modem, the device resides in the vehicle to be tracked. In order to track the

movement of the vehicle. Google Maps used for mapping the location.

The GPS modem fetches the location and sends it to the server using GPRS. The integration of GPS and GSM was first established using SMS as a method of transmitting GPS coordinates. The inclusion of GPRS technology to transmit location coordinates to a remote server facilitates the tracking of object remotely using any computer connected to the web.


Fig1: Web based vehicle tracking system In this paper we are using LPC2148 microcontroller based on a 32/16 bit ARM7TDMI-S CPU with real time emulation and embedded trace support, that combines the microcontroller with embedded high speed flash memory. This is interfaced with the GPS and GPRS modems through the MAX232. GPS modem is used to track the location of the vehicle in real time. It will receive the signals from at least three satellites and based on received signal it calculate the latitude longitude of the receiver. These position values are sent to the microcontroller unit through serial communication.

Microcontroller sends the same acquired values to the GPRS modem through another com port, to display exact location on the Google maps. Here we are using AT command for controlling the GPS and GPRS modems. AT commands are nothing but instructions used to control the modem. LCD is


used to display the output for AT commands. We are using power supply of 3.0 to 3.6V for microcontroller. The major part of the system will be installed into the vehicle. It is responsible for capturing the following information for the vehicle

 Current location of vehicle  Speed of vehicle

In vehicle unit is also responsible for transmitting this information to Tracking Server located anywhere in the world. To achieve all these functionalities In Vehicle unit uses modules like GPS receiver, GPRS module and LPC2148. In Vehicle unit uses GPS receiver to capture the current location and vehicle speed. Location and speed data provided by GPS is not in human understandable format. This raw data needs to be processed to convert it into useful information that can be displayed by a beacon on the map. CPU is required to process this raw data. GPS receiver can also provide information of altitude, time of GPS fix, status of GPS fix, and number of satellite used to compute current location information along with location and speed. GPS fix means last reported location. For tracking purpose only location and speed data is required for transmission. Other data provided by GPS receiver is used to determine the validity of location information.

The raw data provided by the GPS receiver is captured by the CPU and processed to extract the required location and speed information. CPU holds all the required information that is to be transmitted to remote server. It also controls data transmission module to exchange information with remote server. It actually acts as a bridge between GPS receiver, vehicle and remote server.

It receives commands sent by server through data transmission/receiving module and performs corresponding action required by server. As the processing required in the In vehicle unit is not computationally intensive therefore any low end microcontroller can be used as a CPU. The microcontroller selected to serve as CPU for In vehicle unit is LPC2148. When all required information is extracted and processed, it needs to be transmitted to a remote Tracking Server which will be able to display this information to the end user. For real time tracking of vehicle, reliable data transmission to remote server is very important.

Wireless network is required to transmit vehicle information to remote server. Existing GSM network is selected to transmit vehicle information to remote server because of broad coverage of GSM network. It is also cost effective rather than to deploy own network for transmission of vehicle information.

For data transmission over GSM network GSM modem is required. GSM modem can send and receive data SMS text messages and GPRS data over GSM network. GPS provides AT commands interface i.e. all functions can be accessed by use of AT commands. AT commands can be sent to it using serial interface. It has built in UART that accepts the AT commands and modem performs the function as required by AT command received.

Once the GPS Tracking Module is connected to GPRS networks, it transmits position information to remote server. The server is a personal computer that receives the information and put it in the database. The database formats the information in a special form that can search and display using Google Map.

II. Global Positioning System

The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a location system based on a constellation of about 24 satellites orbiting the earth at altitudes of approximately 11,000 miles. GPS satellites are orbited high enough to avoid the problems associated with land based systems, yet can provide accurate positioning 24 hours a day, anywhere in the world. Uncorrected positions determined from GPS satellite signals produce accuracies in the range of 50 to 100 meters. When using a technique called differential correction, users can get positions accurate to within 5 meters or less. GPS-634R is a receiver used for receiving data in small applications. GPS-634R” is a highly integrated smart GPS module with a ceramic GPS patch antenna. The antenna is connected to the module via an LNA. It has LED for indicating status of the receiver.

 Non fixed mode : LED is always ON  Fixed mode : LED toggle every second The received data from the satellites is in NMEA format the position, time, speed are extracted from the data. Time, date, position, course and speed data provided by a GNSS navigation receiver is in the following format.


$GPRMC,hhmmss.sss,A,dddmm.mmmm,a,dddmm. mmmm,a,x.x,x.x,ddmmyy,x.x,a,a*hh<C


Fig2: GPS634R receiver IV. General Packet Radio Service (GPRS)

General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) is an enhancement of GSM networks to support packet switched data services such as email and web browser in addition to existing GSM data services such as Short Message Service (SMS) and Circuit Switched Data (CSD) for fax transmission. GPRS operates on the existing GSM network infrastructure that it utilizes available time slots during each frame transmission. Thus, it does not overload the existing GSM network traffic and can efficiently provide data services. The GPRS can transfer data at the maximum rate of 115.2 kbps (with the eight available slots of each frame). Due to a very large coverage area of GSM networks around the world, GPRS becomes the largest data service network available and always-on. thus, it is most suitable for a real time tracking management system. Here we are using SIM900 as a GSM modem. It works on frequencies 850 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz and 1900 MHz. It is very compact in size and easy to use as plug in GSM Modem. The Modem is designed with RS232 Level converter circuitry, which allows you to directly interface PC Serial port .The baud rate can be configurable from 9600-115200 through AT command. Initially Modem is in Auto baud mode. This GSM/GPRS RS232 Modem is having internal TCP/IP stack to enable you to connect with internet via GPRS. It is suitable for SMS as well as DATA transfer applications.

The modem needed only 3 wires (Tx,Rx,GND) except Power supply to interface with microcontroller/Host PC. The built in Low Dropout Linear voltage regulator allows you to connect wide range of unregulated power supply (4.2V -13V). Yes, 5 V is in between !! .Using this modem, you will be able to send & Read SMS, connect to internet via GPRS through simple AT commands.

Fig3: SIM900 GSM modem V. AT commands

Unlike mobile phones, a GSM modem doesn’t have a keypad and display to interact with. It just accepts certain commands through a serial interface and acknowledges for those. These commands are called as AT commands. There are a list of AT commands to instruct the modem to perform its functions. Every command starts with "AT". That’s why they are called as AT commands. AT stands for attention. In our project, the program waits for the mobile number When a ten digit mobile number is provided, the program instructs the modem to send the text message using a sequence of AT commands. AT: This command is used for testing the working of GSM modem. if we send "AT" to the modem. It sends back a result code "OK" which states that the modem is responding. If it’s not working fine, it sends "ERROR".

AT+CREG: This command gives information about registration status and access technology of the serving cell.

AT+CREG=1: Registered home network. AT+CREG=0: Not registered.

AT+CREG?: Network checking.

AT+CMGS: This command is used to send text message

AT+CGATT: This command issues a GPRS attach or detach. This is not an automatic operation and will allow you to determine if the device is able to successfully attach to GPRS service. Once attached, this command will not accurately display loss of GPRS service. In some cases, it is possible to use other commands to bypass this action.

AT+CGATT=1 - For attaching GPRS AT+CGATT=0 - For detaching GPRS

AT+CGDCONT: This command is used to set

PDP(Packet Data Protocol) context. AT+CGDCONT=1,"IP","apn"

It is important that the correct apn be used or your SIM will not be allowed to connect to the Wireless


Network. this string parameter is supplied by the GPRS operator and specifies the gate way to be used between GPRS network and internet realm.

AT+CSTT: This command sets up the apn, user

name and password for PDP context.

AT+CIICR: This command bring up wireless

connection with GPRS.

AT+CIFSR: This command get local IP address. AT+CIPSTATUS: This command query current

connection status.

AT+CIPHEAD: This command add an IP head

when receiving data

AT+CIPSTART: This command starts TCP or UDP

connection. parameters: -"TCP"

-Server IP address -Server port

AT+CIPSEND: This command used to send data

over the TCP or UDP connection.

AT+CIPCLOSE: This command is used to close the

TCP or UDP connection. All these commands are useful while transmitting latitude and longitude information to server through GPRS. the below figure is screen shot of the output on Google maps.

Fig4: current location of vehicle on Google maps.


In this paper, we have proposed an open source GPS tracking system, Goo-Tracking system, using commodity hardware and open source software. The tracking system has shown the feasibility of using it for fleet management. It can also be used for lost vehicle tracking when working with a car alarm system. In the future, we will plan to integrate other related devices in a vehicle such as

sensors. The sensors report vehicle status information to our server, which can be useful for information processing and for intelligent tracking management.


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