GPS tracking systems are like "having your boss in the seat next to you" and are becoming a business standard, says a world-leading Kiwi-founded firm.

NavMan wireless vice president Ian Daniel said GPS trackers in cars were essential health and safety equipment for businesses.

But he said it also had a commercial pay-off for companies because it allowed managers to measure the time staff spent traveling to and from appointments, and the amount of time spent on the job.

"It's like having your boss sitting in the seat next to you."

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The use of GPS tracking systems in fleet vehicles has come into sharp focus after the revelation NZTA staff were tracked traveling more than 110km/h on 8500 occasions over nine months, ending June this year.

Read more:
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The data, released under the Official Information Act, was particularly embarrassing for the company given its role as a champion for road safety - best signalled by its motto: "Speed Kills."

At least a third of NZTA's 145 branded vehicles were tracked exceeding the speed limit and some staff were shown to have driven as fast as 145km/h.

Mr Daniel said the value in the GPS was in the information which was provided to the businesses which owned the cars, with some companies having large digital screens on walls to monitor staff movements and driving.

It allowed a culture of behaviour to grow around the detail which was given about staff movements, he said.

"GPS delivers so much information so it becomes about how you manage that information."

Commercially, the devices were also giving companies the opportunity to support contracting staff over the time they spent on the job.

He said many commercial contracts required some sort of "telemetrics" like the GPS devices provided.