Are Your Drivers Using GPS Jammers?
October 28, 2022
Whether we realize it or not, GPS signals are a vital part of everyday life. Everywhere, constantly, we use GPS to navigate the world. From using maps apps on our smartphones, to tracking the miles run on our sports watches, to flying around the world safely, the everyday uses of GPS are numerous and important. While many of us willingly share our location for the benefits and convenience, not everybody is so eager to use GPS.
What is a GPS Jammer?
A GPS jamming device does precisely what it sounds like: jam up GPS signals. These small, high-power transmitter devices conceal one’s location by sending “noise” to interfere with a GPS device.
While GPS is seemingly everywhere in day-to-day life, it is helpful to remind ourselves how it actually works, especially when discussing jammers. GPS, or global positioning system, works when trackers on earth receive signals from satellite transmitters orbiting the earth. When the GPS track gets signals from four or more of these orbiting satellites, its position is determined through a series of calculations. Once the device has its location, it’s sent over a cellular network to a monitoring location, and your real time location is configured.
GPS jammers work by sending radio signals with the same frequency as a GPS device, which warps the GPS satellite signals. The GPS device is overwhelmed by the radio signals and is unable to determine its position.
When a GPS jammer is in use, it interferes with all sorts of telecommunications devices such as cell phones, internet networks, toll readers, and more. Not only are GPS jammers incredibly powerful, they are compact, quick to use, require low power, and are small enough to plug into a car’s cigarette lighter. They are also relatively easy to procure online.
What GPS Jammers Are Used For
Besides simply hiding one’s location, jamming devices are used for many reasons, including:
- Preventing detection by police in order to avoid fines or tickets
- Blocking Wi-Fi connections
- Avoiding vehicle or device theft through concealing its location
- Stopping mobile phones and other devices from being able to send or receive messages, calls, emails, and other notifications
- Preventing devices from being located
- Concealing one’s location from an employer while driving a company vehicle
- Avoiding tolls and mileage charges
While many of the common uses of GPS jammers are questionable at best, they were actually originally created by the government and designed for military and law enforcement use. In a military context, concealing the locations of vehicles or devices can be crucial for the success of a mission and the safety of those involved. The privacy and safety guaranteed by GPS blockers in high-risk situations can prove invaluable.
Outside of a military context, signal blockers and signal jammers are illegal in the United States, Canada, and other countries. Although GPS blockers are illegal, many people find they are easy to purchase online and install in their vehicles. However, users of these devices can face harsh penalties such as fines, loss of equipment, and imprisonment.
Dangers of GPS Jammers
If you’re thinking that the powerful, unregulated interruption of GPS signals sounds dangerous, you would be correct. GPS jammers have no way of distinguishing between different types of signals, which means important communications, such as emergency response calls, get blocked within a wide frequency range. Emergency response is not the only service impacted by interrupted navigation systems. The safe flying and landing of planes absolutely relies on GPS, and jammers can interrupt air traffic control with disastrous effects. GPS blockers can also be used to aid and abet a wide variety of criminal activity.
Drivers and GPS Blockers
Jamming up signals impedes all kinds of vehicle tracking, also known as telematics. A wide range of industries use telematics to track fuel use, engine health, driving behavior, and more, making it a vital part of business. Jammers prevent accurate vehicle tracking, time on the road, and more, which means some drivers use them to hide the fact that they’re using company vehicles in ways that aren’t approved. Some drivers may even use GPS signal jammers for illicit purposes.
While GPS blockers are relatively easy to procure, there are also GPS trackers designed to identify such devices. Telematics solutions and fleet tracking system products often include signal detectors and jamming detection. These products can prevent illicit signal blocking, prevent theft, and more.
There are also numerous other telematic solutions that help truck drivers, and drivers of all kinds, get where they need to go safely and efficiently. As a leader in Connected Truck Services, we work with most telematic companies to integrate our weigh station bypass service, supporting our mission to revolutionize transportation safety and efficiency.
To inquire about the various solutions we offer, contact the Drivewyze support team.