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Fleet Tech: AX7/AK7 Comparison

AX7 and AK7 GPS Vehicle Trackers

Reviewing the differences between the new devices and where they fit in the world of GPS tracking.

Having recently added the AX7 and AK7 GPS trackers to our line-up of telematics devices, we thought it would be helpful to shed some light on what makes them unique and the role they play in fleets. As the two main solutions that provide in-depth intelligence for fleet vehicles, the AX7 and AK7 have very distinct applications and both fill important roles in any modern day fleet with an eye towards efficiency.

We are going to cover what makes these two devices different from a technical and applications perspective, what kind of similarities exist in their features and uses, their potential limitations, and how they relate to the other types of tracking devices that are available.

Differences

Connection Type

How these devices connect with an asset is the main factor that sets them apart and is the basis for many of the differences that exist between the AX7 and AK7 trackers. The AX7 uses the OBDII connector and a simple plug-and-play design to connect to a vehicle, while the AK7 relies on a 3-wire connection which requires the device to be hardwired into the vehicles power, ground and ignition cables.

Feature Set

While both the AX7 and AK7 are black boxes that provide the ability to send and receive GPS location data, their functionality beyond that differs slightly due primarily to how they interface with a vehicle. Because the AX7 connects with a vehicles OBDII port, which has access to all forms of data being passed around regarding the vehicles performance and status including engine data, odometer readings and ignition status, it can relay a ton of valuable vehicle performance data along with the GPS location. The DSi Mobile application can utilize this information for system alerts and reports. The AX7 also provides Bluetooth functionality which can be used to transfer data to nearby devices. We are currently developing new features to fully utilize this functionality.

Comparatively, since the AK7 only connects to an assets power and ignition wiring, it is capable of relaying a vehicles ignition on/off status but outside of that however, it does not capture any vehicle data or performance information.

OBDII Port

An OBDII port used to connect an AX7 tracking device.

Similarities

Service Providers

Both devices are compatible with a variety of service carriers and networks providing users with the flexibility to equip assets with tracking devices that will work best in their areas of operation. Currently both devices accept SIM cards from the leading coverage networks including: AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint and Raco Wireless. In addition, the AX7 and AK7 also come in variants which are capable of functioning on the Verizon Wireless network. More importantly, both devices operate on the more modern 3G networks as opposed to the somewhat dated 2G alternatives which are currently in the process of being phased out.

Limitations

While the feature set of these two devices may differ significantly in terms of capabilities, they both share similar limitations in comparison to other types of tracking devices. As suggested by the term “black box”, both the AX7 and AK7 are designed to do one thing: transmit vehicle data, whether that is location, engine or performance data, these black boxes are ultimately designed for the sole purpose of transmitting information.

This may be perfect for fleets just looking for simple information about the comings and goings of their daily operations, but for those looking for additional functionality (driver navigation, load management, electronic logs, etc.) such as that available in an in-cab terminal like the MX7, these black boxes may not work for those applications.

Additionally, the AX7 and AK7 are limited to what they are able to track, in that they have to be connected to a vehicle or some other constant source of power to function. So for those looking to slap a device on to something and track it without the need to plug it in, the GL505 will likely be better suited for your needs.

AX7 and AK7 GPS Black Boxes

The AX7 and AK7 require a constant source of power.

Bottom Line

AX7

The AX7 is quite simply the easiest way to get robust vehicle tracking for anything with an available OBDII port. The OBDII port is mandatory in all cars manufactured since 1996, so the AX7 is likely the best choice for fleets with a lot of cars, vans or pickup trucks. For fleets operating primarily diesel trucks and other pieces of powered equipment or that just need a more discreetly placed tracker, the AX7 may not be the right option. Though, there are more discreet installation methods available that add a level of concealability to these devices if desired.

AX7 GPS Vehicle Tracker
  • Bluetooth capabilities
  • OBDII plug-and-play installation
  • Verizon Wireless SIM compatible
  • 3G CDMA and GSM network compatible
  • Vehicle diagnostic and engine data
AK7

The AK7 is the ideal choice for tracking most powered assets, including diesel trucks and even construction equipment. The 3-wire installation makes the AK7 an incredibly versatile device and also perfectly suited for concealment, making it more difficult for device tampering especially in cases involving unauthorized use or equipment theft.

AK7 GPS Vehicle Tracker
  • 3-wire installation (ground/power/ignition)
  • Verizon Wireless SIM compatible
  • 3G CDMA and GSM network compatible
  • Highly discreet and concealable
  • External device antenna
For fleets looking to gain real insight into their daily operations, the AX7 and AK7 play essential roles in gathering the necessary data to understand how assets can be utilized more efficiently and bring even more value to the business. Make sure you have a thorough understanding of how these device technologies compare so you can determine which device is the best fit for your organization.
Click here to learn more about the AX7 and AK7 devices and how they could be implemented in your fleet.
Posted in DSi Mobile
Written by: admin