GPS finds stolen Ferrari ready to be shipped

You’re looking at a $280K Ferrari that was just discovered by authorities on a ship in a container. The papers said the container had used fitness equipment but up on request by the rental agency it was discovered that this Ferrari was on its way to Vietnam. After the first hit U.S. Customs found 14 other luxury cars that were stolen in similar ways.

What saved these luxury cars was the installed GPS tracking system. The rental agency got suspicious when they saw the vehicle was in Port of Los Angeles on a ship. They got in touch with investigators who had the containers inspected. Some cars have been recovered but noone has been arrested yet.

OnStar vehicle tracking for owners

If you’re using the OnStar service, starting mid April this year you’ll be able to test the new feature which lets you track your own car.

The service will be available to OEM installations in vehicle as opposed to after market OnStar products.
The GPS tracking service from OnStar will be part of the Family Link service. For $4/month you’ll be able to log in to OnStar’s website and see the position of your vehicle online, and also setup text and email notifications regarding your vehicle’s position.

Supreme Court says warrentless GPS tracking is against 4th amendment

Supreme Court decided earlier this month that police officers violated the Fourth Amendment which protects citizens against unreasonable search and seizure. The law enforcement attached a GPS tracking device to a suspect’s vehicle and tracked it for a month without a warrant. Even though the ruling was unanimous the reasoning was split in two.

  • some of the justices said it was a violation of reasonable expectation of privacy when the GPS device was physically attached to the vehicle
  • other justices said a person has a reasonable expectations that the details of his movements over a month period should be private

What this ruling doesn’t touch is the tracking of your location by cell towers or other means which doesn’t involve any physical intervention.

on FBI and GPS tracking

Recently a federal decision allowed the FBI to embed a GPS device to a suspected Missouri man’s vehicle. Does this mean they come after the rest of us? That is still up in the air until Supreme Court decides what it thinks about the practice which won’t be until later this year. Supreme Court will actually be hearing a different case, but it is still about warrentless GPS tracking. From the Missouri case for example the federal judge said the suspected person could not expect a reasonable amount of privacy on the outside of his car.

According to the same judge:

“Here, installation of the GPS tracker device onto defendant Robinson’s Cavalier was not a ‘search’ because defendant Robinson did not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in the exterior of his Cavalier. Agents installed the GPS tracker device onto defendant’s Cavalier based on a reasonable suspicion that he was being illegally paid as a ‘ghost’ employee on the payroll of the St. Louis City Treasurer’s Office.

Installation of the GPS tracker device was non-invasive; a magnetic component of the GPS tracker device allowed it to be affixed to the exterior of the Cavalier without the use of screws and without causing any damage to the exterior of the Cavalier. The GPS tracker device was installed when the Cavalier was on a public street near defendant’s residence. Installation of the GPS tracker device revealed no information to the agents other than the public location of the vehicle. Under these circumstances, installation of the GPS tracker device was not a search within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment.”

The results could’ve been different if the case was based on the violation of the first amendment as the defense team had hoped but instead it was about the fourth amendment.

NJDOT catches with times and starts uses GPS tracking

New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) that they will be using GPS devices in their trucks during their annual fight to clear snow and ice from highways. The installed GPS devices will provide storm managers with exact location of their vehicles in their fleet of plow trucks and salt spreaders. This way they’ll be able to quickly adapt to changing conditions of storms.

The data transmitted between the trucks and the headquarters will be monitored at Statewide Traffic Management Center in Woodbridge. NJDOT also gathers valuable information from 180 sensors at 37 locations which provide temperature, wind speed and direction, and info on whether pavement is wet or dry.

NJDOT has about 1,870 state and contractor trucks ready for plowing and salt-spreading operations on the nearly 13,000 lane-miles that NJDOT maintains statewide. They have budgeted $10 million for 2011-2012 storm costs, with supplemental funds available as needed through the Department of Treasury. Last year, storm costs totaled $48 million.

Navstar gets a couple million to develop GPS tracking

Nascent NavStar Technologies just announced that they received 2.4 million dollars to invest in the final development of their GPS tracking and monitoring products. The devices are supposed to be available my March of 2012 - with in 4 months or so.

NavStar Chairman N. Douglas Pritt said “Timing for this funding is ideal as several new GPS monitoring and tracking market segments are in their very early stages of development”.

Navigadget will be waiting impatiently to see what kind of products they’ll be offering.

Garmin GTU 10 available tomorrow

Remember the Garmin GTU 10 live GPS tracking device we announced back in January? ATT just announced that they’d be selling it online starting tomorrow.

GTU 10 tracking device will cost $200 and this will include one year of subscription. After the first year you’ll have to shell out $50/year. This plan is the ‘standard tracking’ which lets you look at the last ten known locations each day. The ‘deluxe tracking’ package is $5/month which remembers where you’ve been for the last 7 days.

We hate to promote large corporations here at Navigadget but you know what - this is not a bad deal at all.

You can track pets, kids, or pretty much anything that moves with the GTU 10, setup geofences, and expect it to last up to four weeks.

Will you be getting one of these? We would like to hear your thoughts on this.

FBI tracking device torn apart

Do you want to know what exactly is inside a FBI GPS car tracking device? Then this is the right place to check out if you want to see full size photos with descriptions of each component. If you want to know how these people got a hold of this custom made GPS tracking device the law enforcement uses then head out to Wired for the longer story.

This is a live GPS tracking device rather than a GPS logger - that is your location information is transmitted to law enforcement in real time. The whole system consists of a battery pack, GPS receiver, a transmitter, and the magnetic mounting bracket. The batteries are quite impressive for one. It uses 4 Li-SOCl2 D cell batteries each of which gets you 13000mAh. The GPS receiver is not very sophisticated though - in fact it uses µ-blox GPS-MS1 which was first released in 1999.

giveaway: QSTARZ Q1000XT GPS travel recorder

We’re giving away one QSTARZ Q1000XT GPS travel recorder. This can be used for vehicle tracking or whatever you want to know the location of.

We’re changing the format just a bit. We’ll be using Twitter this time and all you’ll have to do is follow Navigadget and retweet this. And then we’ll randomly pick one of the retweeters as a winner. That’s all you have to do.

Back to the awesome GPS travel recorder: QSTARZ Q1000XT can record up to 400K points, has a POI to record your favorite spot, uses MTK II chipset which supports -165dBm sensitivity and 66-Channel tracking, has up to 42 hours battery life, uses a vibration sensor to smart power management, has an update rate of 1 or 5Hz, can be used as a bluetooth GPS mouse, and more.

If you want to more about the device go to QSTARZ.

OK, go ahead. Retweet.

QSTARZ CR-Q1100P commercial GPS tracking recorder

QSTARZ just launched a new GPS Tracking Recorder called CR-Q1100P, which is targeted for commercial users. It uses MTK II chipset with -165dBm sensitivity and 66-Channel tracking with a battery life that reaches up to 40hrs. CR-Q1100P has rugged designed that provides IPX-3 water resistance. It has a high quality rubber POI button and USB A type connector to increase its durability. There are 4 LEDs on the front side of this GPS tracker to view device status.

As far as software CR-Q1100P comes with DataViewer and QTravel which can both give you the tools needed for data analysis. Apparently the device is already out but we haven’t seen it on just yet. It supposed to go for $140.