The Global Positioning Systems (GPS) is technology that is being used by most companies to track their rental cars. The technology involves using electronic tracking systems that relay instant information on the route, speed and position of the rented car to the company. These wireless devices and receivers pinpoint the location and also monitor or track drivers. Rental companies say that they use the system to track stolen vehicles but thats not always the case. Therefore, the outcomes of using GPS on the rental cars have increasingly emerged.
The first result is that rental companies can now be able to track vehicles and provision information regarding the driver. Then using the information they can be able to give the drivers the direction while they are on the road. The GPS is able to provide them with the exact positions of their vehicles and at what time. It is mostly useful in remote locations or when moving platforms. Also, they can use the GPS for the sole purpose of determining the return date and time of vehicle to the rental company, and the total driven mileage and the fuel level of the returned vehicle. Additionally, they help find a stolen rental car by continuously transmitting microwave signals regarding the location of the car at a given time.
The most common consequence of using the GPS on rental cars is that it interferes with an individuals privacy. Some rental companies have been found to be installing the GPS tracking devices and failing to inform the individuals renting the vehicle. They only find out when they are slapped with a fine that is so huge for driving with excess speed or for travelling outside of a certain region (Boehmer, 2004). Also, they impose surcharges, penalties or fines that relate to the renter's use of the vehicle. This is an invasion of personal privacy since the monitoring is without the knowledge and approval of the individual. Also, because they give the rental company the geo-location information of the user. Additionally, once all the data is collected it is presumably stored. But, how secure is the stored data? Issues arise on the security of the methods and facilities used to store the data and the measures taken by the companies to ensure that the data is kept safe once it is collected.
Additionally, GPS have occasionally been imprecise. They can provide direction that is inaccurate or indirect leading to time wastage. Roads may change in years and if this information is not updated it results in giving of wrong information to the rental company and the individual renting the car. For instance, when asking for the shortest route, the GPS may give the wrong information. Also, according to Jennifer (2008) the GPS can give an alley as a street or a lane or rail track can be identified as a road which can lead to hazardous results.
In conclusion, the installation of GPS on rental vehicles is advantageous to the company but has some disadvantages when it comes to the individual renting the car. Currently, many more car renting companies are installing this technology and there is a cusp of seeing the future use of the GPS technology. Therefore, it is very important that the ethical issues regarding privacy be addressed and the other abuses the GPS be looked closely to ensure that we prevent the issue from becoming dire.
Drivers trust GPS even to a fault. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://archive.azcentral.com/business/consumer/articles/0318biz-GPSDevices-18.html?nclick_check=1
Retrieved from http://www.businesstravelnews.com/More-News/Franchisee-Slapped-For-Tracking-Car-Renters-W/GPS/
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