Another dawn and another blog post allow me write on one of the most important issues of subpar performance of the tracking industry in Pakistan. Before moving on to present, my personal analysis on the situation; I would first like to address “What is a car tracker, or car tracking?” To put it simply, a person basically hires a company to keep an eye on their car in exchange for a price. Here I should mention that this tracking technique used to rely on the GSM modules but the ban imposed by the Govt. of Pakistan on the GSM modules, due to the security reasons has forced the companies to switch to GPS modules for this purpose.
Various tracking companies have been operating in Pakistan for more than a decade now. The car tracking systems are designed to monitor the exact location of your car. If your car has been stolen, and you report the theft, the tracking company will kill the engine and electronics of your car remotely. And trying to fool the systems by disconnecting the battery won’t work, as these trackers have their own circuitry. These systems will run on their own auxiliary power, sending the run-time location output to the tracking company. Furthermore, you can predefine the geographical area, also called geo-fencing, where you mostly drive the car. And when the tracking system detects the car is breaching certain coordinates, it will prompt an alert to the tracking company, and they will immediately contact you inquiring about the unexpected trip. And if you say you aren’t in the car, and it has been stolen, they will immediately override the car’s systems shutting it down right there.
But here is the thing, now that we know the functionality of a tracker, the question of “Why many people aren’t getting them installed?” comes to the mind. Not only these trackers provide the comfort, which comes with the knowledge of your vehicle’s location but they also give you the much needed control to act in case of a theft. Only 19% of the 11,000+ people who participated lately in PakWheels.com Auto Industry Survey, admitted to having a tracker installed in their cars, which leads me to seriously question the logic behind this data. Three cups of coffee and 4 hours of research later I can safely say that until the average monthly charges for the trackers don’t drop to under 1000 rupees per month, this service will be out of reach for majority of the Pakistanis.
Now many of you might be wondering, “How can I reach to such a conclusion?” The fact is, like any new technology, trackers were quite expensive initially. In the start, the upfront payment was as much as 50,000 rupees and then there was a monthly or yearly fee for the services. But the times have changed a lot and many companies have realized the potential of this market, which has led to formulation of a competitive market.
I believe that the hefty rental charges are the main issue behind decreased popularity of car tracker in Pakistan. Because paying a few thousand rupees each month for a Mehran or Bolan owner is a lot of financial strain. The truth is, although the car trackers are a great service but the fact remains not everyone can afford it. The tracker companies need to revise their tariffs and make them affordable for majority of the car owners. Furthermore, all credit to the new auto policy; many new cars will have an immobilizer in them, so the effect of these immobilizers on the local tracking industry is yet to be seen.