When first-generation video monitors and digital signage began appearing in taxis, buses and other commercial and municipal vehicles, it seemed like we were on the verge of a major shift toward ubiquitous in-vehicle multimedia and signage. Surely, in just a few short years this technology would be everywhere and we’d be surrounded with immersive, engaging multimedia entertainment and helpful real-time information whenever and wherever we travelled by fare.
But this evolution has been slower than many anticipated. While this technology is getting more pervasive as older transportation fleets give way to newer ones, financial challenges are slowing upgrade cycles for fleets and the equipment within them. Plus, transit operators have concerns about the reliability and shelf life of in-cabin electronics, which can be vulnerable to some pretty harsh conditions. Lingering questions about ROI are an issue as well.
However, these doubts are increasingly being neutralized with continued technology development. Indeed, progress is beginning to accelerate – very quickly – in this domain.
Innovative companies such as Sintrones are demonstrating how high-performance, low-power systems based on AMD embedded processors can be harnessed to achieve visually stunning, in-vehicle multimedia capabilities, with features that promote greater system reliability. Thanks in part to the extremely small footprint of the AMD G-Series APU (Accelerated Processing Unit), the Sintrones VBOX-3200 in-vehicle system measures in at an ultra-compact 250mm (W) x 150mm (D) x 55mm (H) – small enough to tuck inside a vehicle cabin without exposing it to passengers or the elements. The AMD G-Series APU processor’s low-power attributes also helped enable Sintrones’ designers to cool the system passively – no mechanical fan cooling required – further enhancing overall system reliability and ruggedness. And Sintrones achieved these features without compromising overall system performance. In fact, the VBOX-3200 is powerful enough to feed two independent displays in crisp HD!
But Sintrones’ innovation didn’t stop there. Each VBOX-3200 is equipped with an onboard GPS transmitter, enabling a ”location awareness” capability that local vendors can tap into to trigger their advertisements to display whenever a VBOX-3200-equipped vehicle approaches their place of business. Enabled by these high-proximity advertising capabilities, local businesses are increasingly vying for available in-vehicle digital advertising space – and this revenue may be enough to offset the CAPEX and OPEX expenses associated with these systems.
Arvin Wu is a Business Development Manager in Taiwan for AMD Embedded Solutions. His postings are his own opinions and may not represent AMD’s positions, strategies or opinions. Links to third-party sites and references to third-party trademarks are provided for convenience and illustrative purposes only. AMD is not responsible for the contents of such links, and no third-party endorsement of AMD or any of its products is implied.