Vauxhall decided iPads are not enough as an in-car computing needs. So they went one step further and installed a rugged PC in the dashboard of the Astra! Mind you it’s not for everyone, just fleet customers.
The computer they’ve put in the Astra is a Panasonic Toughbook CF-19, market-leading, rotating screen, convertible notebook, which sets a benchmark in rugged mobile computing. It is equipped with WiFi and 3G broadband which makes it a perfect tool for field operations. Using this system staff can be always connected to the main office. It becomes very handy for law enforcement, for example they can log crimes in real time, or check status of a person or a car in the database.
The Toughbook fits into a docking station, which is mounted in the glove box of the 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 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.
The custom 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.”