Mobile workforces are fantastically useful things. By coordinating these workforces with mobile devices, business productivity, effectiveness and efficiency can easily be further enhanced.
Enter the tablet computer. Now, it’s by no means a new thing to provide your team of field service personnel with a tablet computer to do their work. Nor is the idea of fitting that same device into your fleet of vehicles to provide a mobile office, in addition to integrating a method of keeping the tablet computer charged and even connected to other equipment to improve what it can do for your field team.
But, as we all know, the roads can be highly dangerous and unpredictable places. With fleets of personnel working day-to-day in these environments, safety is paramount. This is especially true when introducing new items into their place of work, with the risk of driver distractions and crashes well-documented. However, this shouldn’t stop you from realising the productivity gains made accessible by installing a tablet into a vehicle – but like all safety risks, they need to be minimised or mitigated entirely.
So what can you do to address and solve these problems?
By now, you’ve probably had a go at putting your own mobile phone in your car, or perhaps a sat-nav. Maybe you tried some anti-slip matting or a cradle from a high street retailer in an attempt to keep your device locked firmly in place. However, the chances are that it’s fallen off while you were happily driving along, preventing you from taking the direction you needed for the next turn, but hopefully not causing you any serious harm. But in the event of an accident, that accidental dismounting could easily turn the device into a dangerous projectile, not good! So how do you mitigate this problem? The simple answer to this is professional and permanent installation of a dock specifically designed for the tablet you are using.
Typically, this will mean the dock is mounted in a way, that even in the event of an accident; it will neither become detached nor be in a position where it could come into contact with the driver or passenger. The tablet is prevented from slipping out of by the mechanical design of the dock, which is crash tested to provide additional reassurances this can’t and won’t happen.
Drivers being distracted by their own personal devices is a huge problem, with several deaths caused a result receiving heightened attention in the media, which in turn is being given ever greater emphasis by the law.
When we introduce mobile technology, it’s important to consider the potential distraction this could become, as well as consider the implications of an accident caused by what was supposed to be a handy business tool.
There are several software solutions in existence that can effectively mitigate this problem. For example, in applications where the tablet doesn’t have to be operational while the vehicle is in motion, a sensible approach would to be use a solution that blanks the screen when the device is docked.
For applications where navigation aids are provided, building in touch-prevention while the tablet detects motion so that it can’t be operated is a very good way of enforcing safe working practices.
All in all, in-vehicle tablets are a great way to help your workforce get things done more efficiently and effectively, but the right installation and deployment is key to doing this safely.
At Captec, we understand this better than anyone. Click here to take a look at how our in-vehicle installation service can help you optimise your application for performance, reliability and safety.