A practical guide for in-vehicle connectivity
The early 1990s saw the mass adoption of mobile technology by both consumers and businesses on a scale never seen before.
This allowed users to have significantly clearer voice calls and send text or multimedia messages from their mobile devices. And even though completing these tasks may have taken a bit longer than we are used to nowadays, this level of global access to mobile technology revolutionized the way we would operate forever.
Fast forward to today and our reliance on mobile technology has grown enormously, particularly for businesses that are looking to expand their presence or set up shops in a remote or temporary location. Regardless if a fixed-line can reach them or not, their business still needs to operate – and mobile broadband is the ideal answer to this challenge.
Another key area where wireless connectivity has played a large role is the rapid development of transportation technology. In partnership with Cradlepoint, Expereo has launched a new whitepaper that provides buyers with a guide for in-vehicle network connectivity solutions.
In this blog, we summarize the uses, benefits, challenges and solution options that are explained in detail in the whitepaper.
IN-VEHICLE CONNECTIVITY TODAY
Many vehicles now require reliable and always available Internet connectivity to keep up with new innovations and to enable improved productivity, fleet management, and extended services for passengers and employees. As such, connectivity has become a key feature that is being incorporated into most of today’s vehicles as part of the Internet of Things (IoT) market.
In 2020, Gartner forecasted that the enterprise and automotive Internet of Things (IoT) market would grow to 5.8 billion endpoints in 2020, a 21% increase from 2019.
Organizations of all types require constant and dependable in-vehicle connectivity to keep up with changing business requirements. But, as the number of vehicles incorporating wireless connections continues to rise, we must ask ourselves the question: how exactly can we utilize in-vehicle connectivity effectively?
1. Real-Time Updates & Remote Management
Organizations can deploy network connectivity in vehicles to handle data entry and process credit card payments immediately. Internet of Things systems makes it possible to automatically update and track inventory. GPS tracking gives businesses the ability to monitor mileage and recognize safe drivers — all from a remote location using cloud-based software.
2. Video Streaming & Digital Signage
With constant mobile connectivity, vehicles can deploy digital signage that can be configured and updated from a remote location. For enterprises and agencies with security concerns, video-streaming capability offers the advantage of real-time surveillance, making it possible to monitor security from a remote location and alert authorities immediately when problems arise.
3. Secure, Efficient Remote Database Access
First responders and emergency services use mission-critical mobile connectivity to monitor, analyze, and diagnose patients on the road. Paramedics can access vital information and update records immediately, while law enforcement officers use secure connectivity to check drivers’ licenses and vehicle registrations, and file digital incident reports in real-time.
3. WiFi for Passengers
Today’s transit commuters and leisure travelers want Internet access almost as much as they want a seat and an on-time arrival. Offering guest Wi-Fi is simply part and parcel of creating a good rider experience. Enterprises must be able to offer commuters heightened productivity while blocking undesirable content and managing bandwidth usage.
THE BENEFITS AND THE CHALLENGES
Having consistent and dependable mobile connectivity allows businesses and organizations to better serve their customers in a multitude of ways. Operating a connected fleet bolsters efficiency, promotes safer driving habits and manages a more reliable return on assets and vehicles.
The benefits delivered by an in-vehicle network are diverse and numerous. These applications lead to value-added passenger services, streamlined work processes, increased fleet security and management, improved public safety and response times for first responders, and access to essential information on the go.
However, transportation can present a slightly unorthodox challenge when compared to the traditional office environment. Travelling along bumpy roads, traversing service areas, and powering devices using a vehicle battery are factors requiring special consideration and planning. You need to optimize a comprehensive solution to extend your network to the road.
Decision makers should move strategically when deploying mobile connectivity solutions, following industry best practices and viewing the fleet network not as a separate technical endeavor, but rather as an extension of the organization’s existing systems. The network should be deployed to integrate seamlessly with existing infrastructure.
THE RIGHT NETWORK SOLUTION OPTION FOR YOU
There are three predominant options available on the market right now and we’re going to take a look at the pros and cons for each one.
Network Solution Option 1: USB Modems
These devices provide the user with plug-and-play access to mobile wireless connectivity. Sold as part of a mobile data contract, they’re widely available for consumers and businesses.
Although this may be a more affordable option for in-vehicle connectivity, the connection is not overly reliable and is not designed to work in this kind of environment. Security is also a concern as the lack of cloud access means that deploying updates cannot be achieved remotely.
Network Solution Option 2: Single-Modem Mobile Router
Wireless routers provide secure, reliable, and super-fast connectivity over a choice of cellular networks, enabling extended features and capabilities. They offer enterprise-grade mobile connectivity anywhere, anytime.
A solid option for in-vehicle connectivity, but there are important requirements to keep in mind. For example, choosing an enterprise-grade router is key as it will have been built specifically for the demands of in-vehicle applications. You should also take into consideration your potential future needs and choose a solution that allows for field upgradable dual-modem integration.
Network Solution Option 3: Dual-Modem, Dual-SIM Mobile Router
In addition to all the benefits of options one and two, some dual-modem routers can take advantage of Software-Defined WAN (SD-WAN), which enables a slate of features for in-vehicle applications with advanced requirements. Dual-modem solutions can also offer dual-SIM functionality, adding flexibility for load balancing, quality of service, continuity, and multi-WAN functionality.
Having a mobile network that is scalable, secure, reliable, automated, and agile is paramount. A dual-modem device allows for cloud access and augmented bandwidth for applications. There is also the ability to take advantage of SD-WAN, so be sure to identify solution providers that can offer advanced SD-WAN capabilities.
Choosing the right network solution for your in-vehicle connectivity needs can be challenging, but Expereo and Cradlepoint are here to help.
Take a look at our full in-vehicle connectivity buyer’s guide with Cradlepoint.