Do You Know Where Your Car Is?

GPS technology now allows parents and employers to track their vehicles and the people driving them in real time. It also records the vehicle’s fastest speed of the day

Melissa Moniz
Friday - November 11, 2005
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Amos Tamura installs GPS on Wayne Rhoden’s motorcycle
Amos Tamura installs GPS on Wayne Rhoden’s

Teenagers, beware. And employees, be warned. GPS (Global Positioning System) vehicle-tracking technology has found its way to Hawaii. And a local company, One Track Hawaii, is dedicating its business to provide kamaaina with the latest in keeping tabs on your vehicles - and the people driving them.

With just a few clicks of a mouse via the Internet, the location, speed and direction of a vehicle can now be tracked in real time.

It came in handy recently for the parents of a Kailua teen who wanted to use the family car to go to a party at a friend’s house on the Windward side. When the parents checked later, they found the boy had driven to Waikiki, and on the return trip over Pali Highway reached speeds up to 90 mph.

Guess who didn’t get the car the next weekend?

“Kids and employees hate us,” says Kekoa Ornellas, general manager of One Track Hawaii. “Parents and employers love us.”

In addition, the Internet-based tracking device can notify you when your vehicle’s alarm has been triggered, allow you to unlock your vehicle, remotely immobilize your vehicle once the ignition is turned off, report the top speed of your vehicle for the day, provide a history review up to 30 days, and report when your vehicle’s battery requires service.

Kekoa Ornellas demonstrates the ease of tracking a vehicle with GPS
Kekoa Ornellas demonstrates the ease of
tracking a vehicle with GPS

“On top of what the device features - local servicing, being able to cite local references, proper pronunciation of the street names - that’s what was really important and how the company came to be,” says Ornellas.

“We wanted to bring the most technologically advanced locating and theft-recovery system to the community with local aloha spirit.”

Originally designed for the military, GPS tracking devices allow you to accurately pinpoint your position anywhere on the planet. This is made possible using existing cellular airwaves and the 24 geo-synchronous satellites that were placed in orbit by the U.S. Department of Defense. This provides precise navigation and position information, giving the user the ability to not only receive a graphic map with information including the longitude, latitude, direction, speed and address, but an archived satellite map of the area as well.

The archived satellite mapping becomes very useful in rural areas where no street address is available, or a large area such as a dumpsite. The photos provided to the user via-Internet are archived to take into account days when visibility is limited because of weather or darkness.

“This is why, if you were tracking your car at night, chances are that the archived satellite photo shown will be a day shot of the area,” says Ornellas.

Although intended mainly for automobiles, the GPS tracking device is not limited to just cars, trucks and vans. Motorcycles, mopeds, buses and even boats are equally able to carry one. In fact, the guys at One Track Hawaii have made it their mission to perfect a device especially for boats, so they hopefully never have to hear of a lost fisherman at sea again.

Having just opened its doors in January, One Track Hawaii notes that most of its sales have been to businesses with company cars and to parents of teenagers. For businesses, the benefits include improved customer service, efficient logistics management and, as an end result, profitability. Businesses can use the system to provide customers with more accurate predictions of arrival times, assist lost drivers, eliminate employee downtime, minimize unauthorized use of company vehicles and even save on gas.

“The benefits also include things like safe driving habits for life - for teens and for businesses,” adds Ornellas. “It’s pretty much priceless to improve your employee accountability and improve profitability. And it keeps people a little more honest.”

For most car owners, security is limited to a wailing alarm that acts more like the boy who cried wolf rather than an actual theft repellent. The GPS tracking device has no loud alarm, but instead notifies the car owner when the alarm is triggered and can remotely immobilize the vehicle once the ignition is turned off. In addition, because of the locator you’ll never have to wonder where your car is, in the event your car is stolen. This quick response time gives vehicle owners a better chance of getting their vehicle back in one piece or even back at all.

“We are very serious about privacy and safety,” says Ornellas. “We use dummy units as displays so thieves and crooks don’t know what to look for, and we also don’t disclose the location of the unit. For the most part it’s installed in one area, but you have the option of choosing your own inconspicuous

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