Cambridge software proves arresting proposition for US police
Pioneering in-vehicle technology from Cambridge company VNC Automotive is being used in America to help first responders answer emergency callouts with more efficiency and enhanced safety.
The technology is already in use in thousands of vehicles across multiple US states thanks to VNC Automotive’s integration with the Dodge Charger Pursuit’s UConnect 12.1 IVI system.
Space is at a premium inside a US police car: A laptop that provides access to mission-critical systems leaves little room for the officers. It also poses a safety risk in a collision.
VNC Automotive has developed proprietary software that allows officers to stow the laptop in the trunk, accessing mission-critical systems via the IVI touch screen. Integration is seamless, space is optimised and safety is enhanced, the Cambridge company says.
The company says in a web blog: “The results are transformative. Imagine trying to squeeze two officers, in full protective uniform, into the front of a patrol car when half of the passenger side is occupied by a ruggedised laptop.
“At best it’s uncomfortable for an 8-12 hour shift, at worst it’s a significant safety risk. The move to remote access via the IVI touch screen, with the laptop now stowed in the trunk, radically enhances safety for both officers, mitigating the risk of injury in a collision.
“And because it’s now easier and more intuitive for officers to access mission-critical systems via the touch screen, drivers are better able to concentrate on the road. Safer, smarter and more streamlined. And that’s just the start of the benefits.”
The company says that more officers are killed in road traffic accidents than by attacks from assailants. In an emergency response or pursuit situation, the ability of the officer to focus on the road is a matter of life and death.
VNC Automotive’s software allows mission control centres to connect with patrol vehicles in real-time, controlling certain systems such as sirens and providing crucial navigation information to its officers driving the vehicle. Contact agents at mission control can even send CCTV footage to the vehicle to be played back on the IVI screen.
And if an officer has to leave the car suddenly the contact agent can use the cloud technology to lock the vehicle; as well as being able to control cameras and make announcements via the vehicle PA system.
Using VNC Automotive’s software, emergency responders can also connect their smartphone to the head unit – enjoying full access to smartphone-native content, applications and services from the IVI system.
VNC Automotive writes: “Whether it’s making calls, taking calls or interacting with smartphone-native content that’s unavailable on other devices, it’s now simpler and safer for emergency service operatives to use their smartphones on the move.
“The opposite is also true, with drivers having the ability to control mission-critical vehicular systems using their smartphone. Imagine, for example, that an officer has left their vehicle to pursue an assailant on foot.
“With an integrated device they have the ability to control vehicle systems using their smartphone – even sirens, door locks and more. It’s revolutionary, and it can save crucial seconds during an emergency situation.”
VNC Automotive will be exhibiting at the Emergency Fleet Exhibition, Stand 88, 11-12 June, Telford, UK.
Having just spun-out of another successful tech firm – RealVNC – the company’s software is already deployed in over 25 million vehicles across 20 of the world’s largest automotive OEMs, including VW Group, Toyota, Honda, PSA and many more.
VNC Automotive develops and supplies software across the automotive ecosystem to equipment suppliers such as Bosch, Panasonic, Clarion, Pioneer and device vendors such as Sony, HTC, LG, and Huawei.