Mini-PCs in vehicles? How does this work?

A normal desktop PC is not the best solution to use in a car, which should be clear to everyone. We have summarized, why Mini-PCs are the better choice and what special features they need aside from that.

What are features of a Vehicle-PC?

A Mini-PC that is suitable for the use in vehicles is characterized by various factors. First, Vehicle-PCs should have no moving parts to endure shock and vibration easily. Therefore, they have fanless cooling, and ideally an SSD is installed instead of an HDD. The robust design and a completely enclosed housing also protect against dust and moisture. In order to bear the voltage spikes of starting the engine of a car, a Vehicle-PC requires a wide range input of 9-36 volts, sometimes even up to 48 volts. Furthermore, a compact design is advantageous because the space available in vehicles is limited. Mini-PCs are therefore always the first choice. An extended temperature range is also important as Vehicle-PCs are used outdoor and thus should be able to withstand minus degrees and heat.

Depending on the area of application, Vehicle-PCs can additionally be equipped with various extensions. These include GPS as well as 3G or 4G modules. Some PCs even offer two SIM card slots, which significantly improve the availability in the mobile network. If you want to prevent a sudden shutdown of the PC, for example, by stalling the engine, you can get a battery pack, which supplies the PC for another 10 minutes of power and thus can prevent data loss.

Where are Vehicle-PCs used?

The application areas for Vehicle-PCs are diverse. Examples are emergency vehicles, such as ambulances, police cars or customs vehicles. In addition, mobile operating centers and mobile monitoring platforms can be equipped with vehicle-compatible Mini-PCs. Vehicle-PCs are also used in vehicle development. In prototypes, for example, they can monitor, measure and check the processes while driving. Autonomous driving requires Vehicle-PCs with enormous computing power. Images of several cameras as well as measurement results of different sensors have to be evaluated and processed with artificial intelligence and deep learning. Another area of application is digital signage and infotainment. On buses, trains, subways and even taxis, screens with news, weather forecasts and advertising are commonplace.

Which Vehicle-PCs offers spo-comm?

In spo-comm’s product catalogue everyone finds the suitable product for his specific vehicle application. The Vehicle-PCs include the models of the MOVE series: the MOVE N3160 and, for those who need a bit more power, the MOVE QM87. The newer models of the RUGGED series are as well suitable for the use in vehicles: the RUGGED Q170, the RUGGED Ryzen on AMD basis and our RUGGED GTX1060 Ti, which is equipped with an NVIDIA Geforce graphics card and allows multi-monitor applications.

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