Even if a vehicle is large and stands out among traffic, however it can be easy to lose track of cars and trucks with they are stowed at vehicle auction lots. Locating and keeping track of these cars can be key to large scale car auction operations.
That's why the two largest U.S. auto auction companies, Cox Automotive's Manheim and KAR Auction Services' ADESA, are rolling out new ways of keeping tabs on the thousands of vehicles on their lots.
The lot tracking initiatives are aimed at better knowing where vehicles are at any one time and eliminating the need for workers to scan them several times a day as cars and trucks make their way through the different areas of an auction. Both auction giants anticipate saving significant chunks of time and money. But the two companies diverge when it comes to the tracking technology they've chosen.
Manheim's Lot Vision, revealed in January, uses a GPS wireless device plugged into a vehicle's onboard diagnostics port, known as the OBD-II port. A vehicle without that port, or certain vehicles built before 1996, use a device hung around the rearview mirror, steering wheel or other spot.
Lot Vision allows the vehicles to be tracked within 10 feet of their location with a directional path pointing to where the car or truck is parked. Tracking devices have individual batteries with a 90-day lifespan; notifications are sent when the battery is running low. The devices — developed by Cox2M, a unit of parent Cox Enterprises' Cox Communications division — are locked into place with a metal key and will send a notification if someone tampers with them. The tracking is controlled via a mobile app or desktop computer.
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