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How AI-based fleet management arms police to the teeth

How AI-based fleet management arms police to the teeth
Here is a closer look at different ways in which AI-enabled fleet management solutions can benefit police forces worldwide.
Two industries where artificial intelligence (AI) is making steady inroads are security and transportation. On the security front, the technology is increasingly making surveillance cameras and related devices smarter. In transportation, the effects are more evident with smartphones providing maps and navigation tracking systems with real-time traffic and other information.

Now solution providers are trying to integrate the power of AI in these two industries as they seek to strengthen the fleet management systems of police forces. In a blog post, Amin Amini, Associate Director of Global Solution Engineers at Verizon Connect, pointed out that police vehicles and drivers often have to face more dangerous situations than the average motorists.

Here is a closer look at different ways in which AI-enabled fleet management solutions can benefit police forces worldwide.

Predictive maintenance of vehicles pushed to their limits

The nature of their job requires police to drive their cars faster and more aggressively compared to other users. This could be when they are trying to urgently reach a scene of crime or emergency, trying to catch a speeding motorist, an escaping felon, etc. Police cars are often pushed to their limits, not just in terms of speed, but also in terms of handling.

This means police cars are potentially more at risk of having maintenance issues or breakdowns than other cars. And this means high maintenance costs and low operational efficiency. Since police budgets across the world are often inadequate, this is a major issue of concern. 
“Due to the increased wear and tear from increased driving hours and aggressive driving, vehicle maintenance plays a crucial role in the fleet – and driver – safety,” Amini said. “Budget-strapped police forces must get the maximum number of miles and service out of each patrol car, but it shouldn’t be at the expense of those operating the vehicles (often at high speeds).”

This is where AI-enabled predictive maintenance systems have a role play. By proactively keeping track of the vehicle condition, unexpected issues can be avoided, and costs minimized.

Integrating tracking systems with operations

The use of GPS to navigate the vehicle is no longer a new practice. However, police cars would be better off with a GPS that can integrate vehicle diagnostics, geographical tracking of crime, and adherence to schedules.

Amini points out that these are just a few of the advantages that fleet management software can bring to police cars. Other benefits include data gathering to promote safer driving and better driver performance, real-time data of vehicular conditions that enable better support for forces on the ground, better visibility of daily operations, and ensuring that the personnel do not indulge in unsafe driving behavior.

“Police fleet vehicles are essentially standard consumer trucks and cars customized to handle the demands of police work – and the enhanced connectivity hitting mass-market vehicles has likewise made its way to police transports,” Amini added. “With built-in WiFi (4G and even 5G) set to become standard on most cars and trucks in the next few years, vehicles will increasingly act as modes of transportation as well as workplaces and mobile hotspots on wheels.”

Helping a multi-tasking industry

These developments will further simplify the job of the police, as other agencies can facilitate data access to enable data review at a level that is as real-time as possible. Another key advantage is that a connected car could also come with a computer built into it that can help the police in their operations.

Currently, driving a police vehicle involves a lot of multitasking. Typing down license plate details, names and sending search queries on dash-mounted laptops are only making things more difficult than it should be.

“Having a connected in-vehicle network enables the ability to build displays right into the car, which connect to a computer in the trunk, versus having a standalone laptop take up space in the front seat, distracting drivers and becoming a potential danger/projectile should the vehicle be involved in an accident,” Amini said.

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