Dude, there’s your car! A GPS tracking device for your ride

There is no feeling that rivals the hopelessness you possess when returning to where your car was parked and it is nowhere to be found. The crew over at Cooking Hacks has developed their own tracking device to prevent this dire situation from ever happening again using an Arduino Uno (ATmega328).


Using a cleverly concealed Arduino, a GPRS+GPS SIM908 Quadband Module and a GPS antenna, the team has devised a way to track a vehicle in real-time, no matter who is in the driver’s seat. Quite similar to the Atmel based bicycle lock recently featured on Bits & Pieces, the device’s GPS communication capabilities will transmit coordinates to a paired smartphone whenever a theft occurs.

“It’s very simple: a GPS module to get position data and the 3G module that sends the HTTP request with the coordinates of the car. It starts to send the HTTP request every few seconds with data of the position,” the Cooking Hacks team explains.


“First of all you have to call the police of course, but you can help them a lot. If your car is not parked where do you think, something is wrong… Call immediately to your Arduino, hidden in your car, and it will send you an SMS with the location, longitude and latitude at the moment, and it also sends GPS data to a web server with the real-time position (Google Maps).”

The GPS+GPRS shield is programmed to only recognize the user’s number and only will relay the whereabouts when correct. Along with their communication program, the team suggests various spaces within a car to hide this tracker from potential thieves — these include the trunk, glove compartment or even spare tire area.

Writing for MAKE Magazine, Cabe Atwell notes that the device is powered by a 9V alkaline battery, making it quite small yet not small enough to plant on someone’s body undetected. “But, perhaps you are aware – keeping track of the kids for example. The device is great for those living in high-crime areas where vehicle theft is rampant as well as keeping tabs on your significant other. Jealous boyfriends are already placing orders…”

If you are worried about your own car’s security or simply want to bolster your ride’s protection, head over to Cooking Hacks for a step-by-step tutorial.

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