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Rugged Android fleet computer offers 3G, GPS, CANbus

Apr 15, 2014  |  Eric Brown
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Micronet announced a rugged touchscreen fleet computer that runs Android 4.x on a TI Sitara AM3715 SoC, and features optional GSM 3.5G, GPS, and CANbus.

Micronet’s A-317 fleet computer updates the A-307 device that shipped last August. Both of these software-compatible devices are low-end complements to the long-haul oriented CE500 series fleet computers, says Micronet, a subsidiary of Micronet Enertec Technologies¬†(MICT). The devices support fleet management and mobile resource management (MRM) applications, says Micronet.



Micronet A-317 Android touchscreen fleet computer
(click image to enlarge)

The A-317 dispenses with some of the OEM-optional features of the A-307 and instead offers both a standard model, as well as an “all-in-one” model that incorporates many of those options. The base model is designed to interface with third party telematics units (AVL boxes). The all-in-one model adds GSM 3.5G and EVDO cellular modems, as well as GPS and a pair of CANBus interfaces.

Both of these “fix-mount” vehicle computers are also smaller, and almost half as thick, as the earlier device. They’re also significantly lighter, weighing in at 498 grams. Space savings were found by removing the buttons that previously flanked the screen on either side. A backlit rubber tactile keypad and mono speaker sit to the right of the screen, and a microphone is also available.



Additional views of the A-317 touchscreen computer
(click images to enlarge)

The A-317 uses the same ARM Cortex-A8-based Sitara AM3715 SoC from Texas Instruments provided by the A-307, but RAM has been doubled to 512MB. Flash memory stays the same at 512MB, and as before, an SD slot is available for expansion.

The A-317 provides the same 7-inch, 800 x 480, 4-wire resistive touchscreen with multi-level backlight. A multi-touch capacitive screen is said to be optional, and the previously optional light sensor is now standard.

The once optional Ethernet port is gone, but you get WiFi and Bluetooth as standard features. Other I/O is similar, including a pair of USB 2.0 host ports, a USB 2.0 OTG port, and a pair of serial ports. You also get DIO and analog inputs as standard features. As before, there’s IP54 compliant ingress protection, and J1455 compliant vibration and shock resistance. The operating range is said to be -20 to 70°C.

The A-317 supports Android 4.0 (“Ice Cream Sandwich”), and is enhanced by Micronet’s in-house implementations of telematics-specific features and functions, says the company. A software and hardware development tool kit is also said to be available.

The device is available with Micronet GSD, a cloud-based advanced remote device management system. GSD equips MRM service providers and end user fleet customers with MDM technology used for corporate policy compliance, remote device access for online training, support and trouble-shooting; and over-the-air (OTA) functionality for secure upgrades. Micronet GSD can be used with all Micronet Android based products, as well as with any other standard Android based mobile devices, says Micronet.

Specifications listed for the Micronet A-307 include:

  • Processor — TI OMAP 3715 (1x ARM Cortex-A8 @ 1GHz with 3D GPU)
  • Memory:
    • 512MB RAM
    • 512MB flash
    • SD/MMC slot (up to 32GB) and optional removal protection; SDIO interface
  • Display:
    • 7-inch, 800 x 480 TFT display
    • 4-wire resistive touchscreen; optional multi-touch capacitive touchscreen
    • Multi-level backlight with light sensor
  • Wireless:
    • 802.11b/g/n
    • Bluetooth with OEM-optional voice support
    • GSM 3.5G and EVDO CDMA modems on all-in-one model with optional SIM card removal protection
    • GPS on all-in-one model, with high-sensitivity, 50-channel, -160 dBm, NMEA 0183 output
  • Other I/O:
    • 2x USB 2.0 host ports (500mA max.; only 1x on device panel)
    • USB 2.0 OTG port
    • 2x RS232 (1x 5-wire, 1x 3-wire); can replace 1x port with OEM-optional RS422
    • 2x automotive input (DIO)
    • 2x open collector outputs (DIO)
    • Analog input (0 to 30V)
    • 2x CANBus V2.0B J1939 ports (all-in-one version only)
  • Other features:
    • Backlit rubber tactile keypad
    • Mono speaker (1x x 3W 90 dB nominal @ 0.1m) with multi-level volume control
    • Microphone
    • RTC, watchdog
  • Other options:
    • Dallas 1-wire ID memory button support
    • RAM Mount mounting arm
    • Front-panel labeling
    • GSDTM SaaS remote management, diagnostic, and OTA services
    • Mono microphone (OEM option)
    • External speaker mono amplifier (OEM option)
  • Power — 12V/24V from vehicle battery (ISO 7637); super capacitor protection against abrupt power cut-off
  • Ruggedization:
    • IP54 compliant (ingress)
    • Vibration and shock resistance — J1455 compliant
    • Operating temperature — -20 to 70°C
  • Weight — 498 g (17.5 oz.)
  • Dimensions — 221 x 133 x 30mm (8.7 x 5.2 x 1.2 inches)
  • Operating system — Android 4.x; available SDK includes tools, API, and docs for custom app development

 
Further information

The Micronet A-317 touchscreen fleet computer appears to be available now at an undisclosed price. More information may be found at the Micronet A-317 product page.
 

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PLEASE COMMENT BELOW

One Response to “Rugged Android fleet computer offers 3G, GPS, CANbus”

  1. Ramilies says:

    Well

    What do surprise me a little, despite the quality of the sitara family, is the use of a cortex A8 core and the limitation to 512 mb for such device with the risk of the same level of latencies as the ones which are encountered on low level tablet embedding the same family of processors. (Cortex A8)

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