In recent years, both commercial vehicles and vehicles in public fleets have become more and more computerized. Fleet managers in particular are constantly having to search for better connectivity solutions in order to boost efficiency of their vehicles on the road.
Hardware networking companies such as Cisco sell products, which are also available at discounted prices through online businesses like BrightStar Systems, which can lead to greater response times, improved GPS tracking for more effective navigation, and greater vehicle to infrastructure and vehicle to vehicle communication.
When the time comes to replace or improve your in-vehicle hardware, there are certain practices that you will want to follow as part of your evaluation process. Here are the top four tips for evaluating your vehicle’s networking solutions:
- Pay Attention To The Router
There are certain scenarios where you will want your vehicle’s router to stay powered on. One example is when the driver of the vehicle will be turning the car on and off throughout the day.
You just have to ask yourself whether you will want the router to be powered on 24/7. That’s one option, or as an alternative, you can also set the router so that it will be automatically powered on when the car turns on (thanks to an ignition sensor), or you can set it so that the operator of the vehicle needs to manually turn the router on and off themselves.
- Know The Capabilities Of The Car’s GPS
Practically all new vehicles produced today have a GPS installed in them. They are particularly important for vehicle fleets so that managers can easily monitor the vehicle’s location, speed, and route.
When determining the needs of your fleet vehicles’ GPS, ask yourself who you will need to send reports to, and in what format those reports will need to be sent.
- Can Your Networking Solutions Handle The Car’s Electrical Environment?
Since automotive networking technology has been quickly evolving, a general wireless router is no longer sufficient for an in-vehicle setting. You will need to choose a router with a voltage range of 9V to 36V, and also look for networking solutions that will protect the vehicle against power fluctuations.
- Install An Antenna On The Vehicle
There are a variety of things on your vehicle that can impede the cellular signal, including the window tinting, glass, and the metal body panels. This is why it would be smart to install an external antenna to improve the reliability and performance of your networking solutions and radio efficiency. An antenna in the 1000 to 2000 MHz range should be sufficient for most uses, with Sprint generally needing less MHz and Verizon needing more.
Evaluating Your Vehicle’s Networking Solutions
Automotive networking is a complicated topic, but hopefully this article has helped simplify things for you so you will know how to more effectively evaluate your vehicle’s networking solutions. If you still need professional help, don’t hesitate to go looking for it.