Vehicle geolocation

XMPP is well known as an instant communication platform; secure, push-based, and flexible. It can however be manipulated to also be an instant presence system. What is an instant presence system? Typically XMPP systems communicate using message stanzas containing short amounts of text between clients. XMPP also uses presence stanzas to transmit the status and information of a client. The default behavior for presence packets sends specific user information including; client version, online status (away, available, offline, busy, etc...), and resource, if any. Since a single user account can login from many locations (computer, mobile, tablet), resource can provide a way to distinguish where that user is.

We can use this architecture to our advantage when considering something like vehicle tracking. These presence packets can be modified to contain additional information that might be pertinent to that task. We can include GPS coordinates, vehicle type and fuel capacity, even things about the driver like what they are listening too. When this presence packet contains GPS data, it can be automatically parsed and processed on the server. This information can then be delivered to any sort of software that can interpolate the data for human consumption.

The same can work in reverse, allowing the driver’s client to receive messages from a dispatcher, or automatically when a change in destination may occur. These messages do not need to wait for a client acknowledgement and can be pushed to the device immediately using XMPP. Suddenly with the use of this technology, companies can be instantly aware of vehicle locations, conditions, and even safety records. With such a depth of information, management of resources can now be more coordinated and focused to increase productivity with a minimum of effort.

Tigase has already been deployed in this sort of configuration, helping to keep track of fleet vehicles, estimate time to destinations, and keep track of vehicle mileage for maintenance. The use of small special mobile devices provides the data collection point which sends that information over XMPP to data centers to be tracked.

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