Next-Gen Passenger Wi-Fi System for Buses

Private and public bus companies are looking for reliable and cost-efficient smart bus solutions to help them provide passenger’s safety, optimize travel time, and improve overall customer satisfaction. After all, happy and safe customers lead to business growth.

Providing a passenger WiFi system or WiFi hotspot service is one of the best ways to keep passengers happy and improve ridership. Passengers will enjoy the wireless Internet connection, as they’ll be able to access streaming, video conferencing, browsing, and do more within the bus. There are other benefits as well. Access to the Internet within a moving bus can also help specific applications such as fleet management, video surveillance, vehicle telematics, tracking, and more.

Next-Gen Passenger Wi-Fi System for Buses

We will be reviewing Lanner’s passenger WiFi system for buses. We will review the challenges faced by bus and coach companies when implementing the WiFi hotspot service on buses. Then, we will discuss Lanner’s solution to address such challenges with V6S, the in-vehicle multi-modem fanless and rugged design to provide Vehicle Area Network with access to the Internet.

Challenges.

Implementing a reliable and scalable WiFi-based Vehicle Area Network (VAN) or vehicle Wireless LAN (WLAN) with Internet access can be pretty challenging. First, the moving buses rely only on wireless technologies for Internet access, which tend to be unreliable and unavailable. Second, it is also difficult to provide the proper network scalability and maintain high-speed Internet to buses providing WiFi to many clients.

a. Reliable and available wireless access.

Moving vehicles face constant weak Internet spots, varying degrees of coverage, and unreliable Internet access. A fleet of buses dispatches their units through different routes. Such routes might have different types of Internet access. One route may have more nearby cell antennas that allow stronger signal over a particular Internet Service Provider (ISP) or different types of Internet access such as 3G, 4G, or 5G. While other buses taking a different route may face constant weak Internet coverage and low speed. So, it can be challenging to ensure a reliable and continuous Internet service to passengers to all buses when fleets are distributed through different parts of the city and rural areas.

b. Network scalability and speed.

An in-vehicle Internet gateway with a single modem might be capable of providing a WiFi hotspot to a cab with 2-3 passengers. But providing a WiFi system with Internet access to a minibus with 20 passengers or to a coach with 55 passengers is a different story. The traditional in-vehicle routers with a single modem attached to buses can’t provide the proper scalable Internet speeds when buses are constantly moving. So, it can also be challenging to scale VANs or vehicle WLANs without compromising Internet speed.

Solution: Multi-modem in-vehicle computer.

V4G is a multi-modem and mobile vehicle-enhanced SD-WAN platform. The appliance comes with an IoT-enhanced CPU, Intel Atom® x6000E processor (codenamed Elkhart Lake)—a processor suitable for the smart bus evolution.

 

V4G

 

V4G is a multi-modem and mobile vehicle-enhanced SD-WAN platform. The appliance comes with an IoT-enhanced CPU, Intel Atom® x6000E processor (codenamed Elkhart Lake)—a processor suitable for the smart bus evolution.

V4G can establish cost-efficient, high-speed, and reliable connections to the Internet. It provides onboard SD-WAN capabilities and allows internet bonding with multi-WAN routing for increased bandwidth and reliability. The appliance is optimal for a passenger WiFi system because vehicles can combine cellular data from multiple network carriers, bond Internet connections, and provide WiFi access.

Features

  • Fanless and rugged computer.  The V4G is a fanless in-vehicle SD-WAN with environmental endurance. Its fanless design with corrugated aluminum allows it to withstand an operating temperature of -40~70°C (-40~158°F). The appliance is also certified MIL-STD-810G anti-vibration & shock and the E13 standard.
  • Multi-modem aggregate wireless networks. The V4G also comes with support for LTE and WiFi communications. It comes with one M.2 3042 B key socket with a dual nano-SIM slot for 4G LTE and WiFi support with one M.2 2230 E key socket for WiFi. The in-vehicle computer also includes three PGN removable caddies. The V4G can be expanded with PGN-600, a 4G LTE-Advanced Pro Radio Modem with LTE Cat-12 embedded module, certified with PTCRB, AT&T.
  • IoT-enhanced CPU. The V4G comes with an Intel Atom® x6000E processor (codenamed Elkhart Lake)— a new generation 10 nm process SoC (System-on-Chip). The processor is designed to consume low power and deliver the right performance for all vehicle computing needs, such as establishing Internet connections or synchronizing inputs from multiple sensors and cameras.
  • Rich I/O functionality. V4G provides an abundance of I/O peripheral connectivity. It includes one native CAN bus, which can be used to collect driving behavior or vehicle data. V4G also comes with two serial COM ports, two video output by HDMI, USB, and MIO ports, three RJ45 GbE LAN ports, and SATA/mSATA storage options.

Benefits.

One of the highlights of the V4G’s in-vehicle WiFi hotspot system is the high reliability and availability of Internet access. The multi-modem appliance broadens the wireless coverage to rough terrains, rural areas, or dense city areas and provides unmatched connectivity without interruptions. V4G delivers this level of reliability by intelligently routing traffic or bonding Internet connections. The appliance can also serve as an Internet gateway to WiFi clients riding the bus.

 

Below are some of the benefits of using the in-vehicle gateway to provide WiFi Internet access.

  • Increase ridership. The WiFi passenger system with high-speed Internet access helps improve customer satisfaction and ridership. With it, passengers should be able to not only browse the Internet but also access real-time audio and streaming video. Whether a passenger is communicating through video conference or enjoying an online streaming movie, the in-vehicle WiFi system will continuously improve ridership.
  • Connect explicit applications. Reliable internet access can also be used by drivers or onboard staff for sharing logistics information such as fleet scheduling and routing with the central management dispatch. In addition, the VAN with reliable Internet access can also be used by onboard systems for data collection and transfer. For instance, the in-vehicle gateway can collect driver behavior or vehicle stats from the CAN bus and then transfer it to the central station for further analysis. With the V4G, you can provide other benefits such as video surveillance, vehicle telematics, and bus signage. An in-vehicle computing onboard SD-WAN can even enable reliable communications for first responders.
  • Improve branding and advertising. Allowing free internet access to the bus passengers will also help showcase your brand and advertise services. For example, you can do this via an Internet portal. Once passengers connect to the WiFi, you can show the portal with information on the brand, schedule, offers, deals, or show advertising from other onboard service providers.

 

Next Steps.

For more information on the Passenger WiFi system for busses, please contact Lanner’s sales representative.

 

Photo by Ant Rozetsky on Unsplash