This post focuses on the use of industrial computers in intelligent transportation systems (ITS). Industrial computers and PCs are utilized to bring intelligence to transportation systems. Efficient transportation systems are essential to the global economy. Commercial vehicles, cars, buses, planes, ships, and trains are essential for moving passengers and goods across the globe. Industrial computers are being deployed to make transportation systems smart.
As the number of goods and people utilizing the transportation system increases, transportation intelligence becomes more critical to make systems more efficient. Industrial PCs are transforming the transportation industry by connecting vehicles, traffic signals, and other devices to one another, as well as the internet.
The use of industrial computers results in intelligent vehicles, intelligent traffic management systems, intelligent toll collection, intelligent ticketing systems, and a wide variety of other benefits. Intelligent transportation systems ease congestion, prevent accidents, allow vehicle tracking, and reduce emissions, adding to the efficiency of transportation systems around the globe.
We will discuss the role of industrial computers in passenger information systems, vehicle monitoring, CCTV surveillance systems used in transportation, transportation automation, ticketing systems, and autonomous transportation vehicles.
Different Types of Intelligent Transportation Systems
We will now discuss the different types of intelligent transportation system components that can benefit from industrial computing solutions.
1. Passenger Information System (PIS)
Industrial computers are often deployed to power passenger information systems. Long gone are the days of static maps showing passengers at what time trains and buses will arrive. Commuters and passengers can now access real-time information about the status of their bus, train, fairy, or other transportation vehicles via their phones or digital signage displaying the information at transportation stations. However, providing passengers and commuters with real-time information is not an easy task. It requires rugged industrial computers to be deployed in vehicles to push vehicles’ status and location to the cloud, providing passenger access to transportation information.
Industrial computers are able to gather all of the relevant information from sensors and cameras located on the vehicle, process the information, and send it to the cloud, allowing passengers to access the information using their mobile devices. This assists passengers by alerting them about any delays the transportation vehicle may be experiencing, allowing passengers to better plan their commute or trip. Also, industrial computers are able to provide commuters and passengers with arrival/departure times.
That said, deploying industrial computers in vehicles, such as trains, buses, or ferries is a challenging task. That is, the industrial computer must be rugged enough to survive the volatile conditions of the vehicles in which they are deployed. The solution is a simple one: deployment of rugged vehicle computers. Rugged vehicle computers are engineered and built to withstand deployment in the world’s harshest environments. Rugged in vehicle computers are able to withstand frequent exposure to shocks, vibrations, dust, debris, extreme temperatures (cold & hot), humidity, and water.
Rugged industrial PCs are able to withstand such volatile environments because they are passively cooled and built using wide temperature range components that have been tested and validated to operate under the harshest environmental conditions.
Additionally, for rugged vehicle computers to send information to the cloud for remote monitoring, they must be connected to the internet. As such, rugged in-vehicle computers are equipped with Wi-Fi and cellular connectivity, allowing systems to connect to the internet even if stable internet connectivity is not always available. In-vehicle industrial computers come equipped with dual SIM modules, allowing two internet carriers to be activated on a single device, providing reliable connectivity even in the event that one carrier does not have internet, the system has the ability to switch to a second carrier to offload critical data to for redundant data telemetry.
Overall, intelligent transportation systems are becoming more sought after as more and more transportation agencies are seeking to provide reliable and efficient services to commuters and passengers utilizing their transportation vehicles. The best way to keep passengers informed is to deploy rugged industrial computers in vehicles to relay information concerning the status of the vehicles to passengers, enabling them to know when vehicles, such as trains, buses, and ferries are arriving/departing. Passengers love real-time information because it allows them to better plan their trips, wasting less time waiting for vehicles to arrive at stations and eliminating the guesswork as to when a bus or train will arrive.
2. Vehicle Monitoring & Management System
Intelligent transportation systems enable transportation agencies and truck fleet operators to remotely monitor transportation vehicles. In-vehicle computers are able to collect vehicle data via the CANBus network and relay that data to the cloud for remote monitoring. Information that can be collected includes vehicle speed, vehicle ignition status, engine status, airflow, fluid level, and much more vehicle information.
Additionally, intelligent transportation systems can be used to monitor vehicles such as buses, trains, vans, emergency vehicles, and many other types of vehicles. Intelligent transportations systems are able to monitor vehicles thanks to industrial in-vehicle computers. Industrial vehicle PCs are rugged enough to withstand deployment in vehicles thanks to their rugged design and build quality. They are able to gather, process, and analyze data in real-time for real-time decision making. They can also connect to the internet via rich connectivity options, allowing them to send and receive data for remote monitoring and control.
Rugged vehicle computers are able to communicate data to the internet either by utilizing the onboard Wi-Fi capabilities or via cellular communications since vehicle computers come equipped with Dual SIM modules, allowing redundant internet carriers to be set up in order to send and receive data. Moreover, all vehicle PCs can also be equipped with Wi-Fi and cellular connectivity, allowing vehicle computing solutions to be deployed in environments where reliable internet connectivity is not always available.
The durability, flexibility, and expandability of rugged vehicle computers make them the perfect solution for organizations and businesses seeking to add intelligence to their vehicle monitoring and management systems.
Vehicle monitoring and management systems enable organizations to effortlessly perform tasks, such as real-time GPS monitoring, routing vehicles, and vehicle dispatching.
Additionally, intelligent transportation systems enable organizations to perform predictive maintenance. That is, the information gathered by vehicle computers can be used to predict when a failure will occur, allowing organizations to perform maintenance or replace parts before they fail, allowing organizations to avoid detrimental downtime.
Furthermore, intelligent transportation systems allow fleet owners and vehicle managers to monitor their vehicles via onboard cameras and sensors. Vehicle computers can be configured to collect data from vehicle sensors and cameras, only uploading data that set off specific triggers to the cloud for remote monitoring.
Learn about how a major public transportation company in Europe deployed industrial pcs to manage transportation fleets for Passenger Information System (PIS) and Vehicle Monitoring & Management
3. CCTV Surveillance of Transportation Vehicles & Stations
Intelligent transportation systems improve passengers’ safety via the deployment of camera systems in buses, rail, ferries, vans, and other transportation vehicles to monitor passengers, employees, and vehicles, making for a much safer environment. Industrial computers are often deployed to connect the various cameras and sensors to one another, as well as connect them to the internet. Furthermore, GPU powered inference computers can be used to perform tasks, such as license plate recognition to facilitate toll collection, identification of vehicles of interest, and monitoring traffic patterns for better route planning.
Moreover, industrial computers can collect, process, and analyze video feeds for unusual activity; when the video feed sets off certain programable triggers, only the portion of interest is uploaded to the cloud for additional analysis.
This is different from the traditional model of video surveillance, where the entire video feed was uploaded to the cloud for remote monitoring. The new model of only sending video snippets that set off certain triggers significantly reduces the amount of internet bandwidth for surveillance systems to function. For businesses and organizations that use metered data plans where they pay for the data they use, industrial edge computers will significantly reduce internet bandwidth costs. Additionally, by processing and analyzing video feeds locally, industrial edge computers for intelligent transportation reduce the burden placed on data centers and the cloud to process and analyze such videos.
Industrial computers are great for CCTV surveillance systems because they are compact enough to fit in space-constrained environments. Also, they utilize efficient low powered processors, which makes them ideal for remote deployments where stable power is not always available. Low powered industrial computers are capable of running off of battery packs when stable power is not present, making them ideal for deployment in remote environments.
Furthermore, industrial PCs can be deployed indoors or outdoors, so whether you have an indoor surveillance system or outdoor surveillance that you want to connect to the internet for remote management and monitoring, industrial computers are capable of managing such systems.
Industrial computers are able to withstand deployment in outdoor environments because they are resistant to dust, debris, and water, thanks to their unqique fanless design. The fanless design of industrial PCs for intelligent transportation permits manufacturers to create completely closed systems that rely on heatsinks to cool down the internal heat-generating components. Heatsinks operate by transferring heat from the internal components to the PC’s outer enclosure, which then dissipates the heat into the air surrounding the system.
4. Transportation Automation
Industrial computers for intelligent transportation are often used in autonomous vehicles. Autonomous vehicles include autonomous road cars, autonomous mining vehicles, autonomous farming vehicles, autonomous warehouse vehicles, and many more. Industrial computers enable autonomous vehicles because they can gather, process, and analyze enormous amounts of information fed to them from the various sensors and cameras located on autonomous vehicles.
Autonomous vehicles and fleets require real-time data processing and analysis, so relying on the cloud is not feasible as it often takes a few seconds for the data to be sent to the cloud, processed there, and returned to the origin of the device. Industrial computers deployed at the edge are able to process and make decisions locally in as little as a single millisecond, making industrial computers a must for applications such as autonomous vehicles that require computations to be performed in real-time with minimal latency.
Additionally, industrial computers are great for autonomous vehicles because they have rich connectivity options, allowing vehicles to connect to the internet, even in environments where reliable wireless connectivity is not always available. Rugged industrial PCs come equipped with cellular connectivity via Dual SIM modules, permitting organizations to install two wireless carriers for redundancy and connectivity in remote or moving environments.
5. Intelligent Traffic Management Systems
Industrial computers can be deployed to enable intelligent traffic management. With the number of cars continuing to increase, local and federal governments are always thinking about ways to enhance the efficiency of road and traffic conditions. Industrial computers for smart transportation can be deployed to automate the transportation system and make more efficient use of the existing infrastructure.
Sensors and industrial computers can be deployed across cities, collecting real-time data that can be used to analyze traffic conditions, such as the flow of traffic, congestion, speed of vehicles, traffic at specific signals, and much more data. The data can then be processed and analyzed locally on edge industrial computers, producing valuable insights that can be used to enhance the transportation system’s efficiency.
Industrial computers can be deployed as IoT gateways, collecting, processing, and analyzing the information provided to the system by the thousands of sensors and cameras deployed across the city. Industrial computers can be used to run machine learning algorithms to enhance the efficiency of the transportation system by, for example, optimizing routes to reduce the amount of time that vehicles need to reach their destination. This reduces the amount of fuel used by vehicles, as well as reduces the amount of emissions produced by them, making smart transportation systems better for the environment.
Deployment of Rugged Industrial Computers
Industrial computers that are deployed outdoors or in vehicles must be rugged enough to withstand the environment in which they are deployed. For example, industrial computers that are deployed outdoors must be able to handle exposure to dust, debris, extreme temperatures, and exposure to water. Moreover, industrial PCs deployed in vehicles must be able to handle frequent exposure to shocks and vibrations. The solution is a simple one: deploy rugged industrial computers.
Rugged industrial computers are engineered and built to withstand exposure to frequent shocks, vibration, dust, debris, and water. Rugged PC makers were able to create industrial-grade computing solutions that are capable of handling such environments by making fanless industrial computers. Such computers are cooled via the use of heatsinks. Heatsinks are used to move heat away from the internal heating-generating components to the outer enclosure of the PC, which then dissipates the heat into the air surrounding the systems. Fins are added to the external enclosure, improving the efficiency of heat dissipation.
1. Dust Protection
Furthermore, since rugged industrial computers are fanless, there are no openings or vents in the systems, eliminating the possibility that dust, dirt, or debris can enter the system, causing components to fail. The fanless design makes deploying industrial computers in volatile environments ideal, especially if the system is deployed where it will be exposed to dust and debris.
2. Shock & Vibration Resistance
Moreover, rugged industrial PC for intelligent transportation are made to withstand frequent exposure to shocks and vibrations. Rugged computers are better able to withstand shocks and vibrations because they employ a single-piece design that eliminates many of the screws and joints used in such systems, adding to the reliability of the system. The less moving parts that systems have, the fewer parts that can fail. Additionally, rugged PCs utilize SSDs (solid-state drives) instead of traditional HDDs (hard drives) that use moving parts. The utilization of SSDs makes systems more reliable because SSDs store data on NAND chips vs. HDDs, which store data on spinning metal platters, which are more likely to fail than SSDs when exposed to shocks and vibrations.
3. Wide Temperature Range
Industrial PCs for smart transportation must be able to handle a wide temperature range, allowing them to be deployed in scorching hot and freezing cold environments alike. Industrial computers have a wide temperature range, ranging from -40⁰C to 85⁰C, allowing them to be deployed in extremely cold environments such as Antarctica during the winter and in oil fields in the middle of the Sahra Desert. Furthermore, industrial systems are configured using wide temperature components, adding to the system’s ability to withstand deployment in volatile environments that experience extreme temperatures.
4. Rich I/O
Industrial computers used in intelligent transportation systems must be able to communicate with both new and legacy technologies, as such they come equipped with both digtal USB and analog COM ports as an example. Furthermore, additional USB and COM ports can be added to the system by adding daughterboards to the system, depending on the design of the industrial computer.
5. Industrial Grade Components
Although industrial computers share some of the same components as consumer-grade desktop PCs, such as CPU, GPU, RAM, and Storage devices, industrial computing solutions utilize industrial-grade hardware that has been tested and validated to endure deployment in the world’s toughest environments.
6. Compact Design
Industrial computers for smart transportation are compact, having a small footprint. Their small footprint allows them to be deployed in space-constrained environments where regular desktop PCs cannot fit. For example the RCO-1000 Series of rugged industrial computers comes in at 150MM (W) x 105MM (D) x 37MM (H), making the system so small that it can fit in the palm of your hand.
Rugged industrial computing solutions have a small footprint because of passive cooling technology, which allows components to be placed closer together all without the use of a physical active fan to circulate air through the system. So, if you want to deploy a rugged industrial PC in a small space, such as the trunk of a vehicle, cabinet, small enclosure, under furniture, or you want to mount it on a wall or ceiling, rugged industrial computing solutions provide you with flexible mounting options in space constrained environments.
7. Wide Power Design & Protection
Industrial PCs for intelligent transportation employ a wide power design, ranging from 9 to 50 VDC, allowing industrial computing solutions to run off various power input scenarios. Furthermore, industrial rugged computers come equipped with overvoltage protection, power surge protection, and reverse polarity protection; these features are all built-in and provide another layer of protection from unwanted electrical currents.
Overvoltage protection cuts off the power to the system if the voltage exceeds safe levels for the system. Power surge protection diverts electricity into the ground when the system detects a surge in power. Finally, reverse polarity protection protects the system if the power supply polarity is reversed. All of these power protection features add to the ruggedness and reliability of rugged computing solutions.
8. Low Power Consumption
Industrial computing solutions for intelligent transportation are efficient and use little power, enabling systems to be deployed in remote environments where stable power is not always present. Furthermore, industrial PCs consume less energy than regular desktop PCs. Industrial computing solutions are able to consume less power because they can be configured with efficient low-powered CPUs such as the Intel Celeron J1900, which has a TDP of 10 watts. Although the savings associated with deploying a single rugged industrial PC are negligible, if you’re deploying hundreds or thousands of these devices, you will notice a significant reduction in your energy costs.
9. EN50155 & EN50121-3-2 Compliant
Premio offers a number of industrial computing solutions that are both EN50155 and EN50121-3-2 compliant. EN50155 compliance means that our industrial computing solutions meet the requirement for shock, vibration, power, reliability, EMC, and ESD sepcfically for railway deployments.
Where Can You Buy Industrial Computers and PCs for Intelligent Transportation?
You can buy industrial computers and PCs for intelligent transportation from Premio. Premio has been manufacturing and offering industrial computers for smart transportation for over 30 years in the United States. So, if you want to buy industrial PCs from a trusted U.S based manufacturer of industrial PCs, explore the industrial computing solutions that Premio has to offer.