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Date: 3/29/2011

Take a Ride into the Future on the Intelligent Taxicab

Advantech-DLoG, system integrator, and local government team up to build an intelligent eTaxi solution in Asia.

Introduction
Advantech-DLoG was tasked with developing an intelligent vehicle system for a large urban city's taxi fleet. The goal was to increase customer service and safety by introducing a computer display for passengers that would allow them to connect to the internet for messaging; find nearby services and attractions; and see route and traffic conditions, flight information, and other important information. The system had to be rugged, and capable of surviving the jarring and extreme temperatures commonly faced by taxis. It needed WWAN connectivity to enable 24/7 internet connectivity, and a display that was capable of delivering video and other multimedia. The system also needed to be able to send vehicle/driver information back to central dispatchers, and provide GPS location and routing information.

Solution
Advantech-DLoG chose its award winning TREK-550 Mobile Data Terminal to meet the challenge. Designed for industrial use, and powered by an Intel® Atom™ processor, it fits in a chassis surviving harsh environments, temperature extremes and the shock and vibration inherent in changing road conditions. TREK-550 is equipped with I/O connectors for vehicle diagnostics, built-in WiFi, and AGPS (assisted-GPS) with dead reckoning. It supports dual independent display output ports and dual independent audio output ports. Coupled with the TREK-303R, a smart and rugged 7" touchscreen, the system serves the driver in the cab, and a second display mounted over the front seat headrest serves passengers. Passengers can notify friends of their whereabouts, look up nearby shops and attractions, pay fares, send instant messages, surf the web, verify routes, and find up-to-date airport information. Drivers benefit as well: a rear mount IP-camera enhances safety; traffic and route planning information is available to driver and dispatch; and vehicle diagnostic information such as tire pressure and engine conditions are transmitted to a central location for vehicle maintenance management. Safety and customer service are greatly improved by the new system.

System
The team rolled out a pilot installation in forty taxi cabs, with plans to roll out the successful systems throughout the city and other municipalities. Advantech-DLoG's TREK-550 and TREK-303R configuration is shown below:

Benefits
Advantech-DLoG technology created an intelligent taxi system. The new system improves safety, enhances customer experience, and showcases the future of urban transportation. The pilot program has been successful, with several key benefits:
 n Improved two-way communication between driver and dispatch
 n Improved safety for passengers
 n Efficient routing and traffic planning with GPS features
 n Integration with a cash card payment system for easy payment
 n Proactive vehicle diagnostic reporting, including a TPMS system
 n Safer driving with a rearview mounted camera