Driving Intelligent Transportation, Onboard Computers Embrace Diverse Integrations

The recent rise of the Internet of Things (IoT) has brought some new innovations to the development of intelligent transportation began 20 years ago. The main components of the onboard computer, intelligent transportation, and have been widely used to improve transport efficiency, improve transport safety and meet monitoring, entertainment, and more demand. Fulfill the requirements of the expansion of intelligent traffic, combined with communications technology and industrial design of the onboard computer is the key to success.

The technology of communication devices in intelligent transportation has been evolving continuously. To keep up with the technology and establish a firm footing in intelligent transportation, the new generation onboard computer requires the ability to collect, store and analyze data, as well as include communication, tracking, and navigation mechanisms. However, unlike conventional computers, 

Onboard computers need to adapt and interoperate with different automotive electronics in various vehicles. Therefore, there are complex design issues concerning power management, communication, and navigation that require careful thought.

System Integrators Favors the High-Tech, Connected, Rugged Platform

The characteristics and behavior of the automotive battery are different than municipal electricity not only in the unstable voltages and amplitudes but also in the power surges that occur during vehicle ignition and can damage onboard computer.  In addition, the automotive electrical systems vary from vehicle to vehicle. In view of the above, combined with a wide range of DC power input, low-voltage detection/protection, power ignition delay on/off control, idle mode and Power over Ethernet (PoE) are key design elements to provide a viable and rugged power management mechanism that allows the onboard computer to work in conjunction with each type of automotive electrical system.

Wide range DC power input, low voltage detection/ protection, and power ignition delay on/off control enables onboard computer to overcome problems caused by low voltages and power surges and maintain ongoing data communication and integrity when the vehicle is turned off. In addition, instead of shutting down completely, entering idle mode allows remote wake-up of the onboard computer. Lastly, with PoE in place, data and power can be shared on a single cable, simplifying cable installation for IP cameras or other peripheral devices.

In terms of communication, as data are transmitted over Wi-Fi and 3.5G networks, additional roaming costs may incur when used in large geographic countries such as Europe and America. To save cost and maintain optimal connection when traveling between different regions operated by different telecommunication service providers, system integrators often turn to onboard computer with Dual-SIM support. In addition, the wake-on-SMS feature allows remote power-on over a cellular network, enabling administrators to upload work-related information or software updates in advance, thereby improving work efficiency.

For seamless integration with the vehicle’s components, apart from supporting general network communications, an onboard computer needs to support Controller Area Network (CAN bus) standards such as SAE J1939/ J1708 in order to collect data on fuel consumption, mileage, engine temperature and traveling speed as well as control vehicle components.

Navigation wise, onboard computers need to consider the positioning systems in different country regions and offer support for the following systems: GPS (U.S.), Galileo (Europe), GLONASS (Russia), and Beidou (China). Furthermore, advanced functions such as Dead Reckoning is required to offer position tracking when vehicles enter tunnels or areas where satellite signals are blocked, and immediately re-establish positioning and navigation after the vehicles exit the tunnels or receive satellite signals.

World-board computer connected to the ubiquitous intelligent transportation

Onboard computers are primarily used for fleet management, in-vehicle surveillance, infotainment, and intelligent transport. Fleet management improves transportation efficiency by assisting road transportation, emergency service, and waste management operators in dispatching vehicles, recording drivers’ behaviors and working hours, tracking vehicles, and optimizing routes. For example, a major U.S. carrier uses an onboard computer to assess the signal strength of various regions and provide improvements. Onboard computers are also used by another major US carrier to enhance field engineer coordination and strengthen the efficiency and quality of customer service.

On the other hand, in-vehicle surveillance is applied in public transportation and transporting valuable goods or hazardous materials to ensure transport safety. Security administrators can monitor for suspicious activities in real-time from a remote location and take proactive measures, or store the surveillance data and use it as evidence when required.

For intelligent transportation, in addition to public transit arrival information system, vehicle and pedestrian collision avoidance systems as well as emergency traffic notifications are emerging as the norm.

The “intelligent” of intelligent transportation will span across a wide area of subjects, from pedestrians, vehicles, roads to roadside infrastructures as IoT expands. Onboard computers will adopt WAVE/ DSRC technology to provide intelligent roadside functions. The low-latency transmission characteristic of WAVE/ DSRC can satisfy the communication needs of vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V), vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I), vehicle-to-any (V2X) and provide real-time alerts to notify drivers about the changes in the surrounding roadside environment.

By integrating WAVE / DSRC, the onboard computer can retrieve real-time traffic conditions to guide the driver to find the fastest driving route, or notify the vehicle speed drives within a one-kilometer radius. This gives drivers more time to react and prevent traffic collisions, which provides security and improve the overall transport efficiency.

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