Transforming Commuter Rail Travel with Ruggedized In-Vehicle PCs


The Company 

In the rapidly evolving landscape of commuter rail travel, one company has emerged as a trailblazer, revolutionizing the passenger experience and setting new standards for efficiency and comfort. This transportation innovator has successfully redefined the commuter rail experience, seamlessly blending technology, sustainability, and customer-centric design. 

The company entered the market with a vision to transform traditional commuter rail travel, aiming to address longstanding challenges such as congestion, reliability, and passenger dissatisfaction. The focus was to provide a sophisticated and streamlined travel solution that would help redefine the expectations of commuters. To provide the smoothest and secure experience for riders accessing the rail services, the company needed a solution that could elevate its digital infrastructure for travelers throughout the entire journey.  

With current operations in the southeast region of the United States, the company is focused on providing easy, efficient, and eco-friendly routes that connect the top cities. As of 2023, there are 18 daily trips covering up to 235 miles, with a total ridership of up to 2 million customers. The company has also turned its efforts to expanding its current services to cover a western route that connects Los Angeles to Las Vegas and is seeking to construct new infrastructure to expand on its current commuter rail route.   

The Challenge: 

  • Finding an 110V solution to power their access gateway solution for enhanced rider experience 
  • Other vendors were unable to meet the high voltage, I/O, and dense storage demands 
  • Industrial computing solution also required M12 PoE connections for proper safety and rugged reliability   

 The Solution: 

  • Premio’s ACO-6000-CML In-Vehicle Computer featuring powerful processing and railway certifications to tackle the unique challenges in railway applications. 
  • Configured with Intel 10th Generation CML processor for high performance edge processing 
  • Up to 8 POE M12 connectors for ultimate safety connectivity with multiple access gateways throughout train 
  • High Density Storage SATA SSD with Hardware RAID for redundant IoT data storage 
  • Critical EN50155 Railway certifications with EMC compliance to support 110V voltage power protection, and shock/vibration. 

The Benefit: 

  • Established partnership with strategic, localized supply chain management 
  • Certified and compliant industrial computer to ensure reliable and safe solution 
  • Industrial computing engineering and turnkey manufacturing support for mass production for commuter railway 

The Challenge 

The key challenge that was faced by the company was their need for a robust access gateway solution to be installed onto the railway passenger cabins. They required a system that could efficiently manage passenger data, enhance security, and seamlessly integrate with the company’s existing technology stack. The goal was to create a user-friendly platform that would facilitate ticketing, provide real-time updates, and offer personalized services to passengers throughout their journey.  

The most important challenge for the company was the fact that the system they were looking for required a power voltage of 110V to operate flawlessly within the rail system. As many industrial computer options were low power, they were unable to meet the 110V demand. The company was very strict with their requirements, and any part that was unable to meet the voltage demand was immediately passed over. The 110V demand also meant that the solution they were seeking must be EMC compliant under EN50155 – satisfying the tough standards that are often met in railway deployments 

In addition to the voltage requirement, the system also required a minimum of 8 M12 PoE ports that were to connect to multiple IoT access gateways placed in various locations throughout the train. Many other choices, despite meeting the first voltage demand, were unable to provide the necessary I/O ports in ruggedized connectors needed for IoT connectivity. 

The final piece the company was also searching for was a system that could collect and store the large amounts of data being generated in the rail system. Data was crucial to enhancing the rider's experience, and the system required as much possible high-density storage as possible.  

Railway travel falls within a unique space within the United States. As more and more initiatives are set to provide consumers with more options to travel outside of traditional automobiles and airfare, this company is setting their sights on revolutionizing the overall experience.  

The Solution 

After several attempts with various vendor options, Premio's ACO-6000 Series emerged as the ideal solution to address the various requirements needed to power the solution. The ACO-6000-CML is a high-performance embedded computer designed for applications demanding reliability, durability, and advanced computing capabilities.

The ACO-6000-CML was selected due to its unique properties that allowed for increased voltage and critical certifications that allow it to function within a moving vehicle, all while providing high performance processing. By leveraging 10th Generation Core Processors (or even Intel Xeon), it ensures reliable performance that is capable of handling the numerous IoT gateway deployments.  

The ACO-6000-CML can also support up to 16 POE ports through its modular EDGEBoost I/O daughterboards that easily met the high IoT connectivity requirements for the multiple access gateways placed throughout the train. By using M12 connectors instead of the traditional RJ45 ports, it ensured that all cables are securely locked and connected to the ACO-6000-CML throughout the entirety of travel, when shock and vibration are constant.  

Finally, the ability to include high-density storage and hardware RAID provided a relief for data collection. The inclusion of external, hot-swappable drive bays also allowed the solution to offload data seamlessly without hassle. Through this data, the company would be able to always stay up to date in providing the best overall rider experience and services. 

The EN50155 EMC compliance ensures the ACO-6000-CML Series can support 9-48VDC and 48-110VDC of power supply inputs to cover all voltage levels, including the most common 24V, 72V, and 110V in electronic railway and rolling stock equipment.

The Result

With the ACO-6000-CML, the company was able to satisfy all their strict check marks through an embedded system for their railway solution. Premio’s ACO-6000 unique design and certifications enabled the company to overcome the challenges associated with power voltage, IoT connectivity, and data storage in their commuter rail travel initiative. The implementation of this solution resulted in several significant benefits for the company with multiple deployments on actively running commuter railways.  

Premio's ACO-6000-CML In-Vehicle Computer emerged as the transformative solution that enabled the company to redefine the commuter rail travel experience. This in-vehicle computers’ innovative technology laid the foundation for a modern and efficient commuter rail service. The successful implementation of this solution positioned the company as a true leader in the new, rapidly growing landscape of commuter rail travel in the United States.