Vauxhall is taking its technology offerings to the next level, by offering fleet customers the option of a built-in Panasonic Toughbook in the Vauxhall Astra model. The Toughbook CF-19, market-leading, rotating screen, convertible notebook, which sets a benchmark in rugged mobile computing, is aimed at field-based professionals and uses WiFi and 3G broadband to enable users to share information rapidly with staff back at the main office.
The custom Vauxhall Astra was launched last week at Millbrook, and is primarily aimed at those in the police service.
Dick Ellam, Vauxhall Special Vehicles Manager, said: "The Astra has long-since been a trusted model within the police, which is why we have opted to make this feature available. Toughbook rugged mobile computers are already in use by several police services across the country, and are proving to be a revolutionary resource to police; at a time when spending cuts are rife, a device that enables the force to save time and money will be invaluable."
Previously, logging a crime report was a lengthy process and would usually start with a home visit. The officer would then have to take notes in a notebook and then write up a crime report. Typically, the report would then be faxed back to the office to a crime input team who would then have to type it up. This system was not only lengthy, but also prone to errors in typing and reading faxes. The Toughbook eliminates these problems with police describing it as one of the greatest innovations since the two way radio.
Dick continued: "The Toughbook enables the police force to operate a mobile office system. Before, built-in Toughbook systems were available, an officer would have to spend about a third of his or her time in the office."
The Toughbook fits into a docking station, which is mounted in the glove box of the Vauxhall Astra. The Toughbook can be easily removed and this allows the laptop screen to be viewed in both upright and downward positions. When out on the road, officers can use it to access the same systems that are available in the office, so they can be alerted to incidents as soon as they are reported, and can therefore respond in the quickest time possible. The Toughbook is linked to an 8.4" high resolution touch screen positioned in the Vauxhall Astra dashboard. Not only is the screen located in easy reach of the driver or passenger, it's mounted flush in the dash to meet all legal and safety regulations.
Amongst invitees to the Millbrook launch were fleet managers from the UK Police Authorities, as well as those from service and maintenance companies.
"Toughbook rugged computers are ideal for professionals working in mission-critical or field-based environments, so their potential use extends beyond that of the police" continued Dick. "Service and maintenance is another good example of an industry that requires its workers to be constantly out on the road responding to customer call-outs. Communication and access to information is critical so a built-in system that can save time and maximise staff efficiency would be an asset. Also, Toughbook has the ability to cope with the harshest of working conditions making it ideal for those working in engineering, transportation, construction, military, field-based service and many other working environments where technology is exposed to most extreme working conditions."
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