Core Services Pressure
The emergency services, along with other public sector organisations, are facing significant pressure to maintain core services with significantly reduced budgets.
One way of achieving this is through efficiency savings on the purchase and use of all services, including vehicles, through standardisation and the use of technology. Traditionally, the emergency services operate a large number and range of vehicles. These are mostly normal production vehicles that have been retrofitted with a wide array of aftermarket equipment, according to their role. Previously, this equipment has been fitted in a variety of ways and to no common standard.
Airmax has been working to develop its own compliant “One Box Single Vehicle Architecture” (SVA), required by the Home Office / Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) and the National Association of Police Fleet Managers (NAPFM), in relation to the future fitment of police vehicles. Its aim is to ensure commonality of approach, together with providing a safe and efficient working environment for officers. Furthermore, this approach will deliver cost efficiencies across the police service as well as providing a link to the standardisation of all types of police vehicle currently being undertaken by ACPO.
Standardised Police Vehicle
The Home Office / ACPO aim is to produce a standardised police vehicle, which is safe for the occupants and provides efficiency savings for the police service, with the possibility in the future of transferability to other emergency service vehicles. The requirement to comply with the One Box / Single Vehicle Architecture (OB/SVA) criteria will be included as part of the ACPO Fleet Procurement Technology Standardisation work for future police vehicle specification
Currently there is no universal standard for fitting police and other emergency vehicles with equipment; they are simply adapted for purpose and use varying forms of the same technology. The criteria set out in this document hopes to change this, so that every police vehicle follows a common standard, ensuring a commonality of approach, providing a ‘safe and efficient working environment for officers’ whilst simultaneously reducing costs across the police department.
Police Vehicles in the future
In future, all police fleet vehicles will be required to comply with the ACPO criteria laid out in the document. The OB/SVA Criteria however will not specify individual systems as ‘nominated’ or accredited, but instead indicates standard protocols for specific components. The example given in the report is the instalment of a CAN (Controller Area Network) wired LAN (local area network):
CAN bus interfaces connect devices in Electronic Control Units (ECUs) on vehicles. This reduces the amount of wiring needed when fitting a device, therefore reducing manufacturing costs.
Co-operation with vehicle manufacturers will be essential in deploying the criteria laid out by One Box, and this will be instigated through ‘connection with relevant OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturers) where applicable, through agreed access points via the…firewall’
Systems will be reviewed on their performance in the following areas: safety; operation; effectiveness; interference (with vehicle systems and emergency service equipment); human-machine interface; distraction; reliability; ease of use; power management and data management.
OB/SVA compliance will become mandatory for all future procurement police vehicles and equipment by September 2012.