Tracking Couriers Using Android Devices
Enable tracking for PDM App users
To ensure that the user’s location is tracked when using the PDM App for Android, you need to enable tracking on their user account. This can be done in PDM Web as described below.
1. Log into PDM Web using a user account that has access to the "Administration" module.
2. From the "Menu" in the top-left corner, choose "Administration."
3. In the Administration module, click on "User Accounts" and select the user you want to enable tracking for.
4. Underneath the Entity Membership menu, there is a check-box entitled "Enable Tracking." Check this box to ensure the user has location tracking turned on.
Enable tracking on the device
To ensure that the user’s location can be tracked by PDM App on Android, you need to ensure that "Location Services" is enabled on the phone or tablet being used. Follow the steps below to check that "Location Services" are enabled:
1. Open the "Settings" app on the device.
2. Under the "Security & location" section tap on "Location"
3. In the location screen check that Location Services are switched on and that the "mode" is set to "High Accuracy." See the example below:
If tracking of the user does not work or is sporadic there are several possible causes.
We recommend that you initially check that tracking is enabled on the user account and on the device as described above.
If you are still experiencing issues, please see the possible causes below.
1) App user disables tracking on the device
There are several ways a user may try to prevent tracking without your knowledge.
App user disables tracking on the device
The user may log out of the app if he does not want to be tracked for a period of the day. He will then log back in to continue with deliveries or when returning to the branch.
Each time a user logs in or out of the app, this is logged as an "App user event." You can view these events in the "Events" module in PDM Web. For a full list of log in / log out events see the "Events" tab by going to Menu > Tracking, Routes & Events > Events. You can filter this list by date and user to check whether the user logged out of the app during the day. These events are also usually shown in the Tracking tab at the location where they occurred.
User turns off location services on the device
The user may switch off Location Services in the device settings to prevent tracking. He will then re-enable Location Services before returning to the branch.
Each time the status of Location Services is changed by the app user, this is logged as an "App user event" (this is only recorded if the courier is still logged into the app). You can view these events in the "Tracking, Routes & Events" module in PDM Web. For the full list of location services events see the " Events" tab. You can filter this list by date and user. These events are usually shown on the tracking map at the location where they occurred in the Tracking tab. You can select which user to view as well as the date and even which type of events to show.
Left click on any icon that appears on the map and select ‘View Event’ to view more information about the Event.
User disables location permission for PDM App
Note: This applies to Android 6 (Marshmallow) and above only.
The user may remove the location permission for PDM App via the "App info" screen which is part of the Android operating system. This will prevent the app from accessing the location of the device. Generally, this will cause PDM App to crash. This in turn will cause a "log out" and subsequent "log in" App user event to be logged, which you can then view in PDM Web as described above.
2) Tracking data is not synced to database
PDM App will attempt to sync tracking data with the main database every 5 minutes. However, if the device has no internet connection available you may not be able to see the tracking information in PDM Web.
There are several possible reasons why the device may not have an internet connection:
• No 3G/4G coverage in the area where the user is working
• Mobile data limits have been exceeded in your contract (or top-up balance has expired for pay-as-you-go contracts)
• The user has turned off mobile data in device settings
Although the above may cause an issue with real-time tracking all tracking data will be stored in the device's cache, even after the user logs out of the app. The next time the device has an internet connection (WiFi or mobile data) and the app is running the cached tracking data will be synced and will then be available for viewing, as normal, in PDM Web.
3) Device cannot detect locations accurately
PDM App only records tracking data when the device's location can be detected with a reasonable level of accuracy. If you find that the tracking is somewhat sporadic it is possible that your device is struggling to get an accurate location fix.
The device will generally use GPS technology to get an accurate location fix. This works best if the device is mounted on the van's dashboard and not kept in a pocket.
If the device cannot get a GPS fix it will use cell phone-mast triangulation and WiFi to detect the location, so ensure that WiFi is enabled on the device to achieve the most reliable level of tracking.