Cellular Connectivity for First Response In-Vehicle IoT Devices and Applications

Cradlepoint Australia Pty Ltd
By Tim Evans, Regional Sales Manager, Cradlepoint Asia Pacific
Thursday, 15 September, 2022

Cellular Connectivity for First Response In-Vehicle IoT Devices and Applications

First responders that operate a set of vehicles such as police cars, ambulances, and fire trucks use IoT technology to constantly improve fleet management, rider safety, and operations. These technologies and applications include sensors for vehicle data, traffic signal priority, video cameras, digital signage, and more. Reliable and secure mobile connectivity is an essential aspect of enabling the influx of IoT aboard fleet vehicles.

Networking challenges

Inconsistent connectivity

Frequent connection drop-offs make real-time data sharing impossible, which can be disastrous for many applications. These include the transmission of digital sensor feeds with remote ER staff, GPS data for auto vehicle location (AVL) systems, and traffic signal priority (TSP) systems. Dual-modem LTE or 5G solutions enable active connections to multiple cellular carriers and/or public safety networks, greatly improving reliability.

Managing many IoT devices

Most IoT devices and applications require connectivity in order to improve in-vehicle operations — from connected fire hoses to police car surveillance cameras and mobile data terminals (MDTs) or automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in ambulances, with many vehicles spread across an entire state. As the number of connected on-board technologies continues to rise, IT and fleet management teams often don’t have time for one-off troubleshooting or on-person management of configuration changes, security updates, and other adjustments. They need centralised, cloud-based access to online dashboards and the ability to make network adjustments from anywhere.

At-risk IoT information

The transfer of in-vehicle information from any sensor, camera, or device can be a security risk in the absence of a secure mobile network solution. In particular, valuable information such as patient health data or criminal records in a police scenario must be protected from security breaches.

Need to enable edge computing

Sending volumes of IoT data into the cloud for processing, analysis and storage is impractical and does not provide sufficient real-time responses and low latency needed for the growing number of IoT devices in first responder vehicles. Edge computing performs by processing data close to where it originates and allows IT teams to add custom functionality to their routers.

Extreme conditions

Equipment used by first responders needs to be durable and ruggedly functional, as does their on-board network connections. First responders depend on flexible mobile solutions that just work, irrespective of high and low temperatures, varying moisture levels, and physical shock. The demands for high availability in these applications are not only mission-critical but can also be life-saving.

Benefits of LTE and 5G for IoT devices in vehicles

Reliable connectivity through cloud-controlled routers

Cradlepoint’s NetCloud Service for Mobile and wireless in-vehicle routers — delivered with built-in Cellular Intelligence and ruggedised metal form factor — enable reliable connectivity and centralised management for IoT devices, which saves the IT team time and money.

Comprehensive in-vehicle security for IoT

Whether information is sent to the cloud or a data centre, Cradlepoint’s wireless in-vehicle routers provide secure connectivity, with a built-in firewall and support for easy creation of VPN tunnels. It makes the transfer of sensitive personal information safer and more secure.

Real-time response at the edge

Cradlepoint’s in-vehicle routers provide edge computing functionality that can run dynamic applications that save time, conserve bandwidth, and reduce latency. Edge computing is well suited for IoT situations which require the immediate feedback provided by fast local decisions.

Learn more at cradlepoint.com/mobile.

Image credit: iStock.com/Julia Gomina

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