“Several thoughts begin to run through your mind. Did the school close unusually late today? Was there an accident? Did the vehicle break down on the way? Was he arrested for some traffic offence?
“At this point, you are virtually disoriented and cannot concentrate on work anymore. Then you remember the tracking device that was installed in your car two weeks ago. You quickly pick up your handset, type “find” and send by SMS to a phone number in your address book.
“One minute later, you get a text message that reads, ‘Peter’s car: moving 0.5km SW of UniAbuja, Gwagwalada, Abuja, Nigeria with speed 60km/h’. You immediately immobilize the vehicle (by sending another SMS) and calling the Police who then alert their watch post on the Gwagwalada–Lokoja Highway. Your brand new vehicle and child are brought back to you.”
The above scenario is the kind that has been available to vehicle owners only outside Nigeria until now. This GPS/GSM vehicle tracking technology by Tramigo which has been selling in over 120 countries, adds a revolutionary dimension to the idea with the SMS concept.
A user can know the location, nearest to a famous landmark, of his vehicle and immobilize it just by sending a simple text message.
According to Ologunleko, the benefits of SMS-based tracking devices over internet-based ones were numerous. These include: freedom from the complex paperwork of subscriptions/contracts, absence of periodic fees, no requirement of any technical expertise and no need for internet access.
It equally said that SMS-based tracking devices offer the user a great deal of control on the cost of usage. This is because the only cost of using it is the money charged by the GSM service provider for each text message that is sent to and from the device.
“This innovation from Tramigo has successfully demystified vehicle tracking and made it readily available for everybody and every organization, especially SMEs. Apart from vehicle tracking and fleet monitoring, it can be used to track anything from assets in transit to even human beings,” Ologunleko said.
The system is composed of Fleet Management Compact Disk, Immobilising Component which is installed in the engine and the GSM unit which receives and sends text messages to the user’s handset.
The device costs between N75,000 and N90,000 installation fees inclusive, depending on the vehicle type.