Skip to main content

The Garmin and Tramigo

By January 15, 2010No Comments

Devices to recover missing persons and vehicles

With the adrenaline of the hunt rushing through their veins, a team of security personnel search for a stolen car in Kingston.

A tracking device installed on the stolen vehicle has provided the co-ordinates of its location to the security company and the information has been relayed to the men in the field. But finding the exact spot is tricky in an area without street signs and numbered lots. The team continues their search, and an hour later they find the car, scrapped and abandoned in a bushy unoccupied lot.

The possibility of recovering stolen vehicles under such circumstances can be improved with help from the Garmin portable navigator, distributed by the Jamaica Automobile Association (JAA), a subsidiary of the Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS).

Emile Spence, JNBS Executive in charge of the JAA, says twinning tracking devices such as the Tramigo T22 with the Garmin portable navigator makes the response and recovery time much quicker and far more effective.

“As incidences of motor vehicle theft, and missing people increase, devices such as the Tramigo T22 and the Garmin navigator are useful to security companies and the police in their work to ensure the safe return of loved ones and valuable property,” Mr. Spence says.

According to the Constabulary Communication Network, in 2008 2,123 motor vehicles were reported stolen and a similar number of thefts were recorded in 2007. The Insurance Association of Jamaica (IAJ) adds that the recovery rate of stolen vehicles is very low, indicating a recovery rate of about 18%. This has contributed to the near $3 billion in losses that the insurance industry suffers annually due to auto theft.

Dr. Parris Lyew-Ayee Jr., Director of the Mona GeoInformatics Institute (MGI), at The University of the West Indies, says the Garmin navigator enhances the recovery process by directing the response unit to the precise location of the stolen motor vehicle. MGI is the creator and owner of the JAMNAV digital maps that are uploaded to the Garmin navigators.

A tracking device produces co-ordinates Dr. Lyew-Ayee says, but is not able to give the proximity of a vehicle or thing installed with the tracking device. It needs supporting data to make it real-world useful.

A Garmin portable navigator, on the other hand, has the capacity to store enormous amounts of mapping data which can guide a security response unit to the precise location of the motor vehicle.

“What usually happens when the tracking device is used by itself is that the security base knows where the client or stolen property is, but not the response team,” says Dr. Lyew-Ayee. “The base spends time talking to the response team   giving them directions, but the team does not have any contact with the client.”

If the response team uses a Garmin navigator, the base can send the co-ordinates to the field team to be uploaded to the navigational device. Once the information is uploaded, the unit can receive turn by turn directions to the scene to execute a recovery.

“By bringing a navigator into the mix, you close the loop,” says Dr. Lyew-Ayee. “It provides data for existing tracking platforms and it also provides another medium through which tracking systems can provide effective response services to the client by providing a direct way for responders to get to the client.”

The data can also be used to identify areas developing trends of notoriety which can help security personnel determine how to deploy their resources.

“You can put data together that gives you a contextual basis for a pattern. You can say a lot of things happened in this area last night and you beef up your resources in that particular area,” he says.

Mr. Spence points out that Garmin is the world’s leading brand in GPS navigation and portable navigation devices. It produces a range of units for the automotive, marine, aviation and fitness industries.

He says the JAA is Jamaica’s authorised distributor for the Garmin navigational devices, which is available at the Association’s offices at 7 Central Avenue across from the Examination Depot in the Swallowfield area.