Presented here is a GPS based vehicle tracking system based on the ATMega16 microcontroller using global positioning system (GPS) and global system for mobile communication (GSM).


  • An introduction to GPS based vehicle tracking system
  • GPS based vehicle tracking system: applications and benefits
  • Components
  • Circuit explanation
  • Software
  • GPS based vehicle tracking system: construction and testing

This is a cheaper solution than a two-way GPS communication system wherein communication is done in both ways with GPS satellites. This project uses only one GPS device and two-way communication is achieved using a GSM modem. GSM modem with a SIM card used here implements the same communication technique as in a regular cellphone.

Fig. 1: Block diagram of the GSM and GPS based vehicle tracking system
Fig. 1: Block diagram of the GSM and GPS based vehicle tracking system
GPS based vehicle tracking system
Component list for GPS based vehicle tracking system

The system can be mounted or fitted in your vehicle in a hidden or suitable compartment. After this installation, you can easily track your vehicle using your mobile phone by dialling the mobile number of the SIM attached to the GSM modem. You will automatically get the location of the vehicle in the form of an SMS (short message) on your mobile phone.

This system allows you to track your vehicle anytime and anywhere. Whether you own a company with a fleet of hundreds of vehicles or you have expensive piece of equipment and you want to keep an eye on them, this tracking system can inform you of the status without you having to be actually present on the site.

Fig. 1 shows the block diagram of the GSM and GPS based vehicle tracking system.

Applications and benefits

1. You can locate your stolen vehicle easily using your mobile without any extra cost.
2. It can be used for trucks carrying valuable goods, to keep track of the status of delivery and location of the truck at all times.
3. The device ensures vehicle security and smooth fleet management.
4. You can easily install it in any vehicle such as cars, boats and motorbikes. An SMS will inform you whether the vehicle is stationary or on the move.
5. You can also use it to keep tab on your driver. It reduces vehicle abuse and ultimately results in significant cost-savings for individuals, fleet owners and the like.

Before delving into the detailed working of the project, let’s discuss some basics of GPS and GSM technologies.


  1. Download Source Code does not contain any source code. It points to the same file as “Download PCB and Component Layout PDFs”.

  2. very interesting article. Thanks for sharing. But the given attachments are the same files. I can’t find the source code for the software part.

    • Dear Vibin Varghese,

      The article is updated now with correct source code. You can download the source code from the link given within the article.

  3. yesterday i have checked latitude and longitude of my place, today also checked, but both are very different, it was changing every second, how can i compare with pre-recorded map with new one?, why longitude & latitude are not constant for a particular location?

  4. Hi i have a vehicle tracker that boots normaly but the sim card is off on calling. ive checked the tracker for any other faults but that is now my main dead end. please help

  5. We connected this circuit in breadboard i was not getting any out put then i try again also in PCB also its not working

    Please confirm the requirement
    Is 9V is enough for the all circuit, here not mention “Amp”
    can I use gsm SIM900 instead of gsm SIM300 ?
    If in case I use gsm SIM900 is there any change in the circuit.

    • You can use any 9V PP3-size battery like Duracell, Energizer or HIW can be used. Normally, these batteries have ampere hour rating between 550mAh and 620mAh and some do not have these rating marked on the cover. SIM900 was not used during testing but may work in this project. So no changes required. For any other specific query please contact

  6. When i came to change mobile number in the source code. I came to know that the source code is having some error (.c file). I hope someone will help me with this. Errors are listed below:-

    unable to open avr/io.h
    unable to open avr/pgmspc.h
    unable to open delay.h

    and which software did you use to compile the code.

  7. Sir can u please sent me the correct c file
    The given source code cannot build please help us .
    We are trust your article and we are build it but unfortunately it was not done. i think it’s our fault please help us to fix the source code error.


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