Wireless connectivity has become a great enabler in defined stationary locations like business parks and warehouses. But, what about the industries and services that are constantly on the go?

Increasingly, says Hubert Da Costa, VP EMEA, Cradlepoint, they need connectivity too.

Research by the GSMA supports this view. It has predicted that by 2025 the majority of the world’s cars will be built with some form of connectivity. In addition, the European Parliament has voted in favour of eCall regulation, which requires all new cars to be equipped with eCall technology from April 2018. In the event of a serious accident, eCall automatically dials 112, Europe’s single emergency number.

Transportation technology has developed rapidly over the past decade, and wireless connectivity has played a large role in this. Fleets now require reliable and always-available Internet connectivity to keep up with these innovations, and to enable improved productivity, fleet management, and extended services for passengers and public servants.

The benefits delivered by an in-vehicle network are diverse and numerous. These applications can lead to value-added passenger services, streamlined work processes, increased fleet security, and access to essential information on the road or rail.

Wi-Fi is table stakes for luxury limousine provider

As one of the premier providers of limousine services in the New York area, Broadway Elite faced stiff competition from dozens of other companies. Critical to the company’s success and growth was its ability to provide superior service and safety to its clientele and to gather data about its vehicles in order to make smart business decisions.

Broadway Elite’s early adoption of a 4G LTE solution through Cradlepoint has kept it at the top of the list of limousine service providers. Cradlepoint’s network management and application platform has enabled it to offer Wi-Fi to its customers, configure in-vehicle devices, implement industry-leading vehicle avoidance and accident reporting systems via video streaming, and gather vital information about its fleet.

As an aside, in most areas in the U.S. and around the world, in-vehicle Wi-Fi has become ‘table stakes’ for limousine companies — those that don’t provide Wi-Fi are passed over by most modern travellers. Thanks to its 4G LTE solution, Broadway Elite was one of the first limousine services in the New York area to implement in-vehicle guest Wi-Fi across its entire fleet.

Emergency in-vehicle connectivity

While smart apparel that monitors fire fighters’ locations, body positions, heart rates, and body temperatures are still some way off, a range of in-vehicle IoT applications are already achieving significant usage in the emergency services including:

    • Computer-Aided Dispatch (CAD) and electronic record transfer systems being used by police and ambulances services.
    • Connected dashboard cameras are being used to enable remote incident examination and collaboration. Emergency scenes can be assessed in real time to accurately determine the right number of officers or paramedics to deploy. Connected cameras are being used to remotely spot stolen vehicles, theft, illegal dumping, and suspicious activities.
    • Connected ambulances are giving paramedics access to electronic health records (EHRs) for more effective decision-making. Information including treatment plans, potential drug interactions and previous health history is critical to ensuring patients receive personalised, accurate care regardless of their location. Records can also be updated with new information, ensuring A&E departments have all the stats they need when the patient arrives.
    • GPS location services allow ambulance units to be tracked and located quickly and accurately, even if the paramedics are too engaged to respond to communicate via phone. Knowing where each and every ambulance is at any moment in time means dispatchers can more quickly route response vehicles to the most critical scenes, and notify hospitals about arrival times.

There’s no doubt that transportation technology has advanced in leaps and bounds. With the proliferation of 3G/4G/LTE networks, the adoption of cloud-connected vehicles has increased exponentially year over year – and will continue to increase.

Whether it’s mass transit Wi-Fi, real-time connectivity for first responders, or service fleet database access, in-vehicle networks are transforming how organisations connect from the road.

The author of this blog is Hubert Da Costa, VP EMEA, Cradlepoint

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