When Olympic athletes and trainers get the eerie feeling that someone is watching them, someone is.
Jerry Hunter, founder and CEO of US Fleet Tracking, and his crew are keeping a vigilant eye on our nation’s athletes during the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada. The Oklahoma City-based security and tracking company set up a system of devices to track resources and people as they’re driven around the site for the games. Hunter said he’s had men in position for a few weeks, checking out his unique gadget to vehicles.
“The devices are about the size of a bar of soap,” he said. “They hide underneath the dash. “¦ The device basically uses a 16-channel GPS receiver, meaning we are watching 16 satellites at any given time. That gives us absolute longitude and latitude. We translate that information and send it back here to Oklahoma City.”
Hunter said that once received, the data becomes stored on a server and can be displayed on a computer screen to anyone with the correct log-in information.
“It doesn’t matter if that device is in Dubai, Abu Dhabi or Iceland. It transmits the latitude and longitude back (to OKC),” he said. “We then distribute the data, store it and make it available to user online. This takes roughly more than half a second.”
This isn’t the first time US Fleet Tracking has provided its technology to a sporting event. The firm has been responsible for tracking the past four Super Bowls and has even made an impact around the globe, distributing 35,000 devices worldwide. This type of global attention and previous experience helped the company become the tracking provider for the Olympics.
“We were chosen because we’ve done the Super Bowl for the past four years and because our product is the fastest in the industry,” Hunter said. “We luckily hold that distinction. We are very fortunate, and the harder we work, the more fortunate we’ll become.”
Despite what seems to be a large-scale operation, US Fleet Tracking also provides its service on a more local extent. Mike White, fleet management supervisor for the city of Norman, uses the US Fleet’s devices to keep track of everyday things.
“They help us identify our vehicles,” White said. “For example, we use GPS to pinpoint our sand vehicles. It has an option to tell us if it’s sanding or not. (Hunter) wrote an update to give us that function.”
White said the devices have helped his department conserve fuel and optimize their routes. They can also track individual vehicles to make sure they stay within a certain range.
“They have a personal tracker unit if you have certain key people that you need to know where they are,” he said. “We use these to monitor the performance of an employee on a daily basis.”
The 2010 Olympics will provide Hunter and his crew a new challenge. He believes the Super Bowl gave them chances to hone their skills and provide the best product available.
“No one wants to be known for mediocrity,” he said. “We want to be known for producing the best of the best.”“Luke Atkinson
photo Jerry Hunter, CEO of US Fleet Tracking.