Vehicles are designed to operate up to a certain altitude. Vehicle altitude data is used to prevent any damage, locate vehicles and ensure the safety of occupants in an incident.
Typically, altitude data is calculated using pressure. The air pressure reduces by around 1 millibar during 10-meter increases in height. Pressure sensors in vehicles can accurately determine the altitude measured against sea level for a vehicle.
Other ways of measuring altitude data are by overlaying contours onto maps and combining this with accurate GPS coordinates from the vehicle's GPS device. Altitude data is typically measured in meters or feet.
Knowing the altitude of a vehicle can assist emergency services during breakdowns. If a vehicle is high up a mountain and not working, it may be due to the low air pressure and not enough oxygen being fed into the engine to produce a spark.
Altitudes can be dangerous for humans, with alerts being sent to fleet management operators showing that a driver is about to enter a high altitude area, and warning of any issues that may occur as a result.
Altitude data can be used when testing vehicles. As electrical components are designed to adhere to standards that simulate high altitudes. Going over this may void the warranty and identifies the root cause of vehicle breakdowns.