4G LTE in-vehicle networking is without a doubt one of the most common and powerful applications for cellular routers today.
In this article we take a look at how end users are leveraging this technology already, and the possibilities it holds for the future as the pace at which organisations adopt more field-based technology increases.
The exponential growth of 4G LTE in-vehicle networking deployments has been driven primarily by the need for field workers to remotely and securely access central systems from the road over the Internet. A long-time aim, many organisations first employed tablets and laptops with built-in cellular modems, or otherwise used USB modems, but the connectivity delivered by these solutions was not always reliable and required additional measures to try and make them secure.
To achieve more reliable, secure and powerful connectivity on the road, organisations have since turned to 4G LTE in-vehicle networking routers – such as those offered by Cradlepoint and Sierra Wireless. Purpose-built for use in a vehicular environment, and offering full enterprise routing capabilities, this solution has proved highly popular for creating mobile WiFi hotspots in and around the vehicles they are fitted within. Combined with enterprise-grade antennas, signal strength is much improved and achievable in even remote locations – keeping field teams online and their productivity higher as a result. With advanced VPN capabilities and other security features built in, organisations can simply roll out their corporate policies to the road as well.
While 4G LTE in-vehicle networking solutions are already delivering clear benefits to companies today, by connecting their remote teams wherever they are, the value proposition goes far beyond this.
Connecting multiple technologies on the road
As noted above, Westbase Technology in-vehicle networking solutions from Cradlepoint and Sierra Wireless are enterprise-grade routers. As such, they can be used to connect not just field workers and their various devices, but can also be used to connect other multiple technologies in and around the vehicle.
Transportation and mobile technology has developed rapidly in recent years, and the wealth of this is opening up new possibilities to organisations across the board who are looking to adopt this at a rapid pace. Whether it is to drive operational efficiency, improve customer service, deliver new revenue streams or increase health and safety, one thing which can be almost certainly counted upon today is that it will require connectivity to work at full capacity:
Emergency services: Already keen adopters of 4G LTE in-vehicle networking to connect field teams to central systems, emergency services can leverage the same enterprise routing solution to connect wider applications such as facial and number plate recognition, in-vehicle and body-worn CCTV, asset tracking solutions and more. Using 4G LTE these applications can provide extensive information to both field and central emergency service teams in real-time, allowing them to improve the service they provide while also ensuring the safety of their own teams. For example, by being able to transmit CCTV footage from the scene, central teams can identify teams in distress situations without them having to call it in – speeding time to response.
Company fleets, e.g. roadside assist, utilities and delivery services: Many companies have rapidly adopted in-vehicle networks to connect their fleets using 4G LTE. Like emergency services though they’re also keen to deploy additional technologies such as asset tracking, CCTV and vehicle telematics to enable them to better monitor vehicle, employee and asset health. By connecting these applications using the same 4G LTE vehicle router, field-based teams and assets can be monitored in real-time to ensure that; the driver is behaving responsibly and appears to be well, the vehicle has no faults and is safe to use, all of the equipment which should be on board the vehicle is in place, and so on. This ultimately builds a real-time picture of the fleet’s status which can help to inform business decisions, streamline operational efficiency and improve employee safety.
Passenger transport services: Passenger transport services, whether public or private, are striving to improve their customer experience and satisfaction and therefore frequently utilise 4G LTE in-vehicle networking solutions to deliver on-board passenger WiFi. Like EMS and other fleets though, the same connectivity solution can be leveraged to connect other applications such as in-vehicle CCTV, telematics, payment and e-ticketing solutions, plus more – all of which further enhance the customer’s experience by making their journey more flexible, informed and safe.
As can be clearly seen, 4G LTE in-vehicle networking is being used today to connect just a small proportion of what it could be used for, and has a much broader value proposition to offer. As such, companies investing now should focus on selecting a leading solution that will not only meet their current requirements, but is also able to deliver to their future needs. By putting in place a connectivity solution which can achieve this, the pace at which companies wish to invest in more field technologies can be easily met.
Check out our range of 4G LTE in-vehicle routers on our online store by following the link, or find out how organisations are already using the technology today by watching our “In-Vehicle Networking: Transforming Field Operations” video below…