Design And Construction Of A Car Tracker System

Project and Seminar Material For Electrical Electronics Engineering EEE

Design And Construction Of A Car Tracker System


The purpose of this project is to design and construct a car tracker system with code using GSM. A good car attracts everyone including thieves. When it comes to the safety of cars, car owners should be very careful. These days, the market is flooded with many safety devices. Typically, the most successful ones among all is the ‘alarming device’. Car alarms are good but they cannot give 100% satisfaction. Smart thieves know how to dismount the smartest car alarm security systems in a car and before the police could start a search, thieves can export various parts of the car to countries like China, and the owner may never come to know if that car ever existed on this planet. In that case, a car tracker system with code using GSM can be a great option to ensure maximum safety.

The car tracker system with code using GSM is designed for its users to control their vehicle anywhere in the world using mobile phone. If the vehicle is being stolen, the user can demobilize the vehicle while the GSM network provider carries out the tracking of the vehicle using GSM tower triangulation network. A registered GSM SIM card with a MODEM is used to get access to the GSM network and as well provides an interface between the vehicle and the owner. Other basic components used in the construction of the project are 9013 bipolar junction transistors, controller IC, electromagnetic relays, 7812 and 7805 DC regulators, and light emitting diodes, (LED). With this project, it does not matter if the vehicle key is there or not, or whether the vehicle is in motion or not the system must stop the vehicle. Therefore, the risk of theft or car missing is highly reduced, or completely eliminated.

Chapter One


1.1 Concept of Study

Over the past years, automobile manufacturers have been integrating all manner of security system, to its automobile, so as to ensure that users are provided with all the security needed to ensure the safety of the vehicle. Considering the lifestyle of most users, the companies realize that its customers are always busy and most times have little or no information about lifestyle beyond their work place. Also from their search it was found that a large percentage of vehicle users use cell phones as their primary means of staying in contact with their family, friends and offices, (Joann Muller (2005-11-28,).This led to the idea of developing a system that allows drivers and vehicle owners to stay in constant communication with the world outside their automobile.

Since the concept of security has become a major concern for our world, and to most vehicle users, automobile manufacturers employed the idea of vehicle security system which do not just help the human agent but could on their own completely provide all the necessary security requirements without supervision.

An Automobile Security System (ASS) as a form of a vehicle security system combines the installation of an electronic device in a vehicle, or fleet of vehicles with purpose-designed computer software to enable the owner to track the vehicle’s location while collecting data in the process. In this kind of security system, a telecommunication system and method is used for instructing a device interfaced with a vehicle’s electrical system to activate or deactivate specific electrical device such as the ignition, car lock system and the electronic fuel injector using a cellular network. This can be accomplished by utilizing a mobile terminal or a unit containing the mobile terminal receiver, herein after referred to as a “GSM MODEM” or “Radio Interface Unit” (RIU), which is interconnected to a “Power Interface Unit” (PIU).

The PIU directly interconnects to the vehicle’s electrical system and ignition. This system enables the vehicle user to access their vehicle’s electrical system from remote places simply by dialing the cellular phone number (a number associated with the RIU/GSM MODEM) from another mobile phone. The RIU when triggered will either send notifications via SMS or call to the vehicle user or receive instructions from the same user to activate or deactivate electrical devices depending on the nature of instruction given by the user.

With ASS the user can perform functions such as locking the doors, switching off ignition, monitoring temperature, turning on light, cutting off the electronic fuel injector and having different reactions for several situations.

1.2 Classification of an Automobile Security System (ASS)

There can be many differentiating factors used to classify Automobile Security Systems but in this work, we will classify them under two major headings;

  • Intelligent systems.
  • Non-intelligent systems.

We could simplify it further as microcomputer based and non-microcomputer based security systems.

intelligent systems: These are security systems that have an intelligent device, which monitor the space area or variable under guard, and provide a response signal when there is a bridge in normalcy. These systems are made up digital devices like the microprocessors and microcontrollers and posses a level of intelligence by which they measure the variables under guard. They can also be completely un-manned or partially un-manned. In the design of these systems, sensors and transducers become a major part of the circuitry. Sensors and transducers are the actual components that work with the processor to achieve a fully automated system.

Non-Intelligent Systems: Non-intelligent systems are systems that do not have any processor in their circuitry. This ranges from the manual crude method that employs human effort and the manually run machines that aid the individual to the monitored cameras and laser monitoring intruder devices which blare alarms.

1.3 Aims and Objectives

The aim and objective of a car tracker systemis to have a reliable and highly precision security means to ensure the safety of vehicles. If the vehicle was snatched, the device can help make searching more efficient. Without a car tracker system with code using GSM, there may be chances of someone not getting a stolen vehicle back. The objective of a car tracker system with code using GSM is to give its users the reassurance that they will definitely have their car restored in a shorter time.

1.3.2 Scope

The car tracker is use to immobilize or demobilize a vehicle when the authorized user calls the vehicle security number through a GSM mobile cell phone. Only the coded users/numbers can control the vehicle through their GSM phone. The GSM hardware system of the car tracker enables the mobile service provider to know the position of the vehicle anywhere in the world through their network using GSM tower triangulation.

1.4 Common Uses of Automobile Security System (ASS)

Automobile security systems are commonly used by fleet operators for fleet management function, such as routing, dispatch, on-board information and security. Along with commercial fleet operators, urban transit agencies use the technology for a number of purposes, including monitoring schedule adherence of buses in services, triggering changes of buses destination sign displays at the end of the line (or other set location along a bus route) and triggering pre-recorded announcements for passengers.

This can refer to the external announcements. Identifying the next stop, as the bus approaches a stop. Data collected as a transit vehicle follows its route is often continuously fed into a computer program which compares the vehicle’s actual location and time with its schedule, and in turn produces a frequently updating display for the driver telling him or her how early or late he or she is at any given time, potentially making it easier to adhere more closely to the published schedule. Such programs are also used to provide customers with real-time information as to the waiting time until arrival of the next bus at a given stop. Some transit agencies provide a virtual map on their website, with icons depicting the current locations of the buses in service on each route for customer’s information.

Other applications include:

  1. Stolen vehicle recovery where both consumer and commercial vehicle can be outfitted with Radio Frequency (RF) units to allow the police to do tracking and recovery. The tracking unit can be activated directly and tracking signals followed by police or vehicle owner to track or monitor the vehicle.
  2. Asset tracking where companies needing to track valuable assets for insurance or other monitoring purposes can now plot the real-time asset location on a map and closely monitor the movement and operation status of the asset.
  3. Field service management companies with a field service workforce for services such as repair or maintenance, must be able to plan field workers’ time, schedule subsequent customer visit and be able to operate this department efficiently. Vehicle tracking allows companies to quickly locate a field engineer and dispatch the chosen one to meet a customer’s request.
  4. Surveillance: here a tracker may be placed on a vehicle to follow the vehicle’s movements.
  5. Transit tracking: here users ensure that the assets do not stop on the routes or do a U-turn in order to ensure the security of assets.
1.4.1 Theft Prevention

Security is the topmost priority of any individual, group. This outlines security focus on cars for mitigating security risks to car owners. The ultimate goal of the security system is to prevent access to intruders thereby protecting the monitored device. This helps safeguard property of individuals, groups and organizations. The alarming increase in theft and related cases of intruders has necessitated the improvement on security infrastructure.

‘Immobilizer’, which is a type of vehicle anti-theft device, reduces a thief’s chances of starting or driving away a target vehicle. Immobilizers usually consist of a switch wired into some parts of the electrical section of the vehicle’s power unit, thus enabling the engine to be easily disabled.

1.5 System block diagram Overview

Figure 1.1

Block Diagram Description

The car security system is defined by the units of functionality as indicated in the block diagram. The block containing the triggering, logic and switching circuits connects all the other blocks and makes them work together. It will provide the link between the user interface and the control of all the other systems. Besides controlling your car the conventional ways using the remote controller to arm/disarm, you can remotely control your car using the mobile phone or any phone from anywhere in the world and alert you when there is an intrusion via a call. One can arm and disarm the car by a phone call, you can lock and unlock the door by a phone call, you can inquire about the car’s status when you dial into the GSM Car Alarm. i.e. whether the alarm is on or not, or if the door is open or not, or if the engine is started, etc., You can remote start your car engine by a phone call, You can immobilize your car anytime/anywhere to prevent hijacking by a phone call.

1.6. Write-Up Overview

The organization of the project report is well detailed and vast in its coverage. It was written in such a way that each chapter is related to the next as shown in the block diagram below in figure 1.2.

Fig 1.2: Project Organization Block Diagram

The first chapter is the introductory chapter. Chapter two presents the literature reviews. Chapter three covers the research methodology. Chapter four presents system design in details including its implementation and testing. The last chapter is the conclusion which includes problems encountered, recommendation and suggestion for further improvement.

Chapter Five

Summary and Conclusion

5.1 Summary

With this project, it does not matter if the vehicle key is there or not, or whether the vehicle is in motion or not the system can track and stop the vehicle. Therefore, the risk of theft or car missing will highly reduce, or completely eliminated. Without a car tracker with code using GSM, there may be chances of someone not getting a stolen vehicle back. The design and development of this project has really been challenging, as I have been faced with choices far beyond what I expected. But in the long run the result paid off. After the complete design of the system, the deviation between the expected result and the actual result was very close.

5.2 Suggestions for Further Work

This project is a description of a GSM based security system used for a car, but it can be used as a base for the study of any kind of security system one can possibly imagine to be possible. The areas of further study are unlimited and they might never be exhausted as technology improves as the years go by. The design for this project is a little limited by time. In this design, we actually wanted to use five different sensors that will sense five different variables and trigger a response, but this was not achievable under the time frame. This is also an area of further work and study.

In this design, a contact sensor and a touch sensor were used, but there is obviously room for more in the design implementation. In the design, you can actually have a battery level sensor, temperature sensor, a speed-limit regulator and many more sensors.

Another major area that helps in the flexibility of the system is the Global Positioning System (GPS): allow drivers of cars and trucks, captains of boats and ships, and pilots of aircrafts to ascertain their location anywhere on earth. GPS cell phone tracking technology is currently available on most cell phones manufactured after early 2005. FCC regulations require all new cell phones produced after that date to have the tracking device within the phone. The GPS technology that is incorporated into the cell phone handset is not the same as the units used in your vehicle that you use to navigate the roads of the country. GPS auto tracker technology is just not the same as the units used in your vehicle that you use in cell phones. Depending on the carrier and the type of cell phone hardware used the location data may be continuous or only available when a location request is made. All these differences make tracking an individual cell phone that you do not own or have a legal interest in very troublesome at best. Now people who have GPS on their cellular phones can find out exactly how to get to where they want to go, one turn at a time. Many of the latest phones have been designed with special GPS receivers in them to be able to provide similar service to what has been available in onboard GPS systems for cars for the last several years. They allow for pinpointing of your specific location, and then provide directions to your intended destination. You can even use your cell phone GPS to discover information regarding the businesses that you will pass. It can also be used as a tracking device, such as in the case of children’s phones, where parents can see exactly where their children are within a few dozen meters. All the parent needs is a home computer, or a computer at work, and they can use the provided software to track their kids to make sure they’re where they should be, as well as discover who has phoned them, who they have phoned, and the phone number behind all text messages.

Another area of study is the inclusion of a GPRS for location detection. This is actually a major area and will move the design a lot further into the present day technology. The addition of a GPRS system was an option but due to the cost effect and the complexity of the technology involved it was dropped. The General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) is a packet-switched data transmission protocol which was incorporated into the GSM standard in 1997. It is backwards-compatible with systems that use pre-1997 versions of the standard. GPRS does this by sending packets to the local mobile phone mast (BTS) on channels not being used by circuit-switched voice calls or data connections. Multiple GPRS users can share a single unused channel because each of them uses it only for occasional short bursts. The advantage of packet-switched connections is that bandwidth is only used when there is actually data to transmit. This type of connection is thus generally billed by the kilobyte instead of by the second, and is usually a cheaper alternative for applications that only need to send and receive data sporadically, like instant messaging. In the area of GSM control, for this design, the phone module is used to control some actions like the ignition and the door locks. More control operations can be added to increase the functionality of the phone module. Operations like GPRS detection and burglar detection can be added to the phone module to enhance its functionality.

5.3 Cost Analysis

The cost of production for the design is appreciable considering its functionality. The components used for the design in this project were not that difficult to find the local market. Basically, every component of the design can be found in your local market at a very affordable price. The only device, which tried to be a problem, was the phone module required for the logic circuit. This did not take much time too to find, as it required a few trips outside school. In the table below is the cost analysis of the entire work.

Table 5.1

Cost Analysis

From the summary of the table, it can be seen that the total cost of the project implementation is N24, 530

5.4 Problems Encountered During Design

In the execution of this project we encountered a lot of problems, although they were not beyond the expected. The first challenge was that the preceding group above us used a different design from the one we have in mind. We actually faced the challenges any pioneer designer would face in inventing a new product. The very first problem was settling on what we actually wanted and the degree of functionality of the device we were producing. There were a lot of times of confusion and revocation as well as reconstruction of already settled design circuitry, most connections were turning out to be shorts and this was a major problem.

The fact that the phone is used to control the system is a major limitation. The system is subject to network problems associated with the various network providers. These Problems included congestion problems at peak periods of the day, service provider problems like maintenance interruptions, connection path problems or disconnection along the connection path. Service provider inefficiencies are also unavoidable as control can only be established when there is real time connection. The system uses the phone ring tone to control the sensors. This is because little factors like a noisy environment can deter the system response effect. This is because an operator may not be able to hear the feedback signal that indicates completion on a command. Another was the time factor as well as the teamwork factor. These are actually unavoidable and could be regarded as constants in all conditions, but God helped us through a series a trial and error attempts. In conclusion, the project was quite tasking but very exciting. It has always been a desire in our hearts to improve the technological stand of the black race, particularly Africa. This project actually helped us to prove that there is a lot of ingenuity in the black race and under assistance and direction; the best can come out of Africa and Nigeria in particular.

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