Building my own GPS tracker & vehicle kill switch

Hello all,

I'm working on a project that involves building a GPS tracking system & ignition kill switch.

My only requirements are that the tracking is live, the kill switch is remotely activated and multiple vehicles can be seen/tracked on a single map interface (eg managing a fleet). I know that there are many retail products available, but i need to tweak the software it to suit my own needs.

I have never used Arduino before and am still learning a lot of the basics.

Can anyone point me in the right direction for hardware requirements? Once that's established, I'll need to keep working on some software!

Thanks in advance...

You'll need a GPS receiver. If you're committed to using an Arduino as the controller, it'll need to be an Arduino-compatible one. There are plenty to choose from.

You'll need to provide some communication mechanism. A 3G/4G modem seems like the most obvious choice. Again, it'll need to be compatible with your controller and there are plenty to choose from.

You'll need a mechanism for the controller to kill the vehicle. One option would be to insert a relay into the ignition circuit. You will need an driver circuit between the Arduino and the relay. Note that relay reliability and durability would be an important concern.

You will need to design all the analog electrics to cope with the noisy electrical environment in a car. That means a regulated and filtered power supply, and shielded enclosure for the controller, all incoming signal lines shielded and all incoming analog lines filtered against EM spikes.

You'll need to choose/invent a communication protocol between the management station and each vehicle unit. I suggest that security should be a primary requirement. You will need to choose/develop the management application. If it was me, I'd also be concerned about whether the in-vehicle units lead to any liability issues (cutting power on a moving vehicle may be dangerous) and whether there were any privacy issues in tracking the location of employees without their knowledge and consent.

There are lots of commercial solutions for this problem and the decision to make rather than buy is not an obvious one.

The answer of PeterH it’s very complete and professional. If you need a to design a professional product to sell you need to take care of many, many questions (for example, EMC tests for CE marking if you want to sell it in Europe or FCC if you want to sell it in th US).
One shield for GSM communication and GPS it’s something like this:
http://shieldlist.org/antrax/gsm-gprs-gps

One shield for the relay it’s somethig like this:
http://www.exp-tech.de/Shields/5V-2-Channel-Relay-Shield.html

Note 1: I only google “arduino gsm gps shield” and “arduino relay shield” and pick one of the results (I don’t know if they are good or bad or cheap or expensive, etc.);
Note 2: The relay shield have 2 relays but can even look for one with only one relay.

Is it legal in the uk to have a device which can stop a moving vehicle.
I asked the makers of Cobra some years ago if they could do it for me.
They said no

thanks for everyone's feedback!

Boardburner2:
Is it legal in the uk to have a device which can stop a moving vehicle.

I'm not a lawyer, but as I understand things it would be legal for you to disable a car, but doing it when you could not be certain that it was safe would probably render you liable under tort law if it resulted in damage or injury.

As it was explained to me.
Its legal to disable a stationary vehicle.
If a fuel shutoff is used in the old days the petrol in the carbueretter would allow a short drive before running out of fuel.

If operated while driving, if an accident occoured , the thieves could sue me.