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Testing Methodology

The 10-Point Testing Process & Methodology


Tracking System Direct strives to bring products that demonstrate superior quality and excellence in the GPS car tracking systems market to consumers at wholesale prices. Before any product is showcased on Tracking System Direct it must first pass a rigorous hands-on inspection and evaluation process to validate that the product is unique, reliable, accurate, easy to use, and technologically advanced.

Our research process involves thoroughly evaluating over 100+ automotive and security products each year. We gather information from customer reviews, product specifications, competitor analysis, sales data, and auto enthusiast forums to identify reliable and popular products on the market.

The 10-point evaluation and inspection process is comprised of 10 unique categories related to a product’s functionality, quality, and ease of use. Our goal is to provide long-lasting, high-value products that will work effectively in case of an emergency. We take this responsibility seriously and dedicate extensive time and effort to ensure we are only recommending the best auto products.

Testing GPS Tracking Products

Our Methodology -The 10-Point Testing Process

1. Battery Life

Every GPS vehicle tracker will have a different battery life, and most manufacturers provide that battery life information in specification descriptions. We take the battery life information provided by the manufacturer and test it in real-world driving conditions to verify for accuracy. Prior to testing, the GPS tracker is charged to 100% capacity, and then it is placed on the front dashboard of a vehicle that is driven at 14-hour intervals at a time until the battery dies. Once the battery is dead, it is charged back up to 100% capacity and tested again to compare for consistency. Any GPS system that has a +/- differential of over 2 hours in the two tests automatically fails.

2. Hard-Wire Power Option(s)

Some GPS trackers have the ability to be powered by internal and/or external power options. If the GPS car tracker has the ability to be hard-wired or connected to a cigarette lighter adapter for external power connection then each potential power source is tested. The GPS device is connected and then tested to each individual external power option for 90 days to verify that the tracking system will run continuously and flawlessly from the cigarette lighter adapter, hard-wire connection, or any other external power source.

3. GPS Accuracy

Many GPS manufacturers claim that their GPS systems can record a driver’s position anywhere between 1-15 meters with accuracy. We require every GPS car tracker to record data smaller or equal to 3 meters of accuracy, 99.5% of the time when the GPS system is positioned in optimum placement. Tracking System Direct places heavy emphasis on the accuracy of driving data.

4. GPS Antenna Sensitivity

The time an asset tracker takes to receive GPS reception is how an internal or external antenna sensitivity can be determined and measured. We measure only cold and hot starts to measure the sensitivity of a GPS car tracker. The cold start testing process places the GPS monitoring device in optimum placement and measures the time required for the GPS unit to begin receiving a GPS signal. The hot start testing process also places the GPS vehicle tracker in optimum placement and then measures how long it takes for the GPS unit to reacquire a GPS signal after the GPS car tracker has lost its signal for 5 minutes.

5. Placement

Flexible placement options are critical for consumers, businesses, and professionals who may be trying to gather driving-related information covertly. Tracking System Direct tests 5 placement locations and requires GPS data to have at least 84.5% accuracy on those locations. Tested locations include:

  • Inside the vehicle on the dashboard
  • Inside a glove compartment
  • Underneath a passenger or driver seat depending on make and model of the vehicle testing
  • Underneath the vehicle with magnetic mount attachment or specialized casing
  • Inside the center console of the vehicle

Tracking System Direct requires that any tested GPS tracker must function and operate successfully in all 5 locations.

6. Portability

Even though the majority of people using GPS tracking technology use devices to monitor vehicle-related activity, many consumers demand a GPS system that is portable and easy to carry for other applications. Tracking System Direct only chooses and promotes GPS systems that are easily portable so any consumer can benefit from the GPS technology.

7. Size

In the GPS tracking world, size is very important. If a GPS car tracker is too large it will be awkward and noticeable, making it difficult to use for people who prefer to conceal or use the device covertly, and if the GPS car tracker is too small battery life will be weak and undependable, making it unable to track for extended periods of time. Tracking System Direct products must all have the perfect balance of size and battery performance.

8. Tracking System Data

GPS data is viewed differently according to the system being used. Real-time GPS car tracking data can be viewed online over either Google Earth or an alternative form of mapping software. Passive tracking data can also utilize Google Earth or other outside mapping software programs, but can only be viewed when the GPS car tracker is removed from the vehicle and the data is downloaded via USB or download cable. Tracking System Direct requires that GPS tracking data is easily accessible and easy to read, interpret, and understand for any consumer.

9. Ease of Use

Tracking System Direct believes every GPS tracking product should be manageable and easy to use. Consumers should be able to effortlessly record and review the data from a GPS car tracker regardless of technical or computer skills. Tracking System Direct has an independent verification process where people of different ages, and backgrounds all rate a tracking system in the evaluation process based on how easy the data is to record and review. Only GPS trackers that receive the highest markings in categories related to ease of use make their way onto Tracking System Direct.

10. Overall Quality & Appearance

Tracking System Direct believes quality and overall appearance are important to consumers when purchasing a GPS-tracking product. The overall aesthetic impression and design a GPS monitoring system provide a consumer is important from the beginning. People need to feel that when they purchase a GPS tracking system product they are getting every dollar’s worth and more.

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