Mobile data terminal


Mobile data terminal

A mobile data terminal (MDT) is a computerized device used in public transit vehicles, taxicabs, courier vehicles, service trucks, commercial trucking fleets, military logistics, fishing fleets, warehouse inventory control, and emergency vehicles to communicate with a central dispatch office. They are also used to display mapping and information relevant to the tasks and actions performed by the vehicle such as CAD drawings, diagrams & safety information.

Mobile data terminals feature a screen on which to view information and a keyboard or keypad for entering information, and may be connected to various peripheral devices. Standard peripherals include two-way radios and taximeters, both of which predate computer assisted dispatching. MDTs may be simple display and keypad units, intended to be connected to a separate black-box or AVL (see below) computer. While MDTs were originally dumb terminals most have been replaced with fully functional PC hardware, known as MDCs (Mobile Digital Computers). While the MDC term is more correct, MDT is still widely used. Other common terms include MVC (Motor Vehicle Computer) and names of manufacturers such as iMobile or KDT.

Contents

Technology

In the earlier days of computer-aided dispatching (CAD), many MDT's were custom devices, used with specialized point to point radios, particularly in applications such as police dispatching. While applications like taxi and package delivery often still use custom designed terminals, many CAD systems are switching to common (or ruggedized) laptops and Wide-Area Wireless IP communications, utilizing the Internet or private IP networks connected to and over it.

For many industrial applications, such as commercial trucking, GIS, agriculture, mobile asset management, and other industries, custom electronic hardware is still preferred. Custom terminals use I/O interfaces that connect directly to industry-specific equipment. They are usually environmentally hardened packages with power supply protection and robust memory file systems that greatly improve reliability and task efficiency. MDT solutions that are based on ruggedized consumer products or consumer available software will typically not have the life cycle duration expected in industrial applications, over 5 years.

Typical MDT features

    • 9 VDC to 36 VDC input power.
    • SAE J1455 compliant
    • Electrical transient protection, such as described in ISO 7637, Electrical disturbance on road vehicles.
    • Serial port to connect to a satellite or terrestrial radio transceiver.
    • Digital I/O to monitor external events.
    • Removable medial or I/O port of retrieving data or upgrading software.
    • Wide operating temperature -10 C to 60 C or better.
    • Drop tested to MIL-STD 810E, which specifies multiple drops from 48" to plywood over concrete.
    • Sealed against dust and liquid.
    • Connections to industry specific equipment, such as J1708 data bus for commercial truck applications.
    • Display technology specific to viewing conditions for the intended industry (LCD, TFT LCD, Vacuum fluorescent display, CSTN).
    • Integrated un-interruptible power supply, which will ride through electrical brown-outs typical in vehicle installations.
    • Internal 802.11b transceiver (depending on target application), possibly with external antenna connection.

A related device classification, specific to the transportation industry, is called automatic vehicle location (AVL). Mobile data terminals are often used in conjunction with a ¨black box¨ that contains GPS receiver, cell phone transceiver, other radio devices, or interfaces to industry-specific equipment. AVL devices may be simple stand-alone modems or may include operating systems with application space for the system integrator.

Use in-vehicle

MDTs are most commonly associated with in-vehicle use. This requires the MDT to be anchored to the vehicle for driver safety, device security, and user ergonomics.

Mounts are designed for attaching MDTs to mobile workspaces into most notably automobiles, forklifts, boats, and planes. Specialized manufacturers such as Gamber-Johnson and LEDCo build mounts for the specific MDT brands and models and for specific vehicles. Specialized regional metal shops and mount design integrators design MDT mounting hardware for low volume specialized applications such as forklifts and commercial boats.

MDTs generally require specific installation protocols to be followed for proper ergonomics, power and communications functionality. MDT installation companies such as PCN Strategies, USAT Corp. and TouchStar Pacific specialize in designing the mount design, assembling the proper parts, and installing them in a safe and consistent manner away from airbags, vehicle HVAC controls, and driver controls. Frequently installations will include a WAN modem, power conditioning equipment, and a WAN, WLAN, and GPS antenna mounted external to the vehicle.

See also


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Portable data terminal — A portable data terminal, or PDT, is an electronic device that is used to enter or retrieve data via wireless transmission (WLAN or WWAN). They can also serve as barcode readers, and they are used in large stores, warehouses, hospitals, or in the …   Wikipedia

  • Terminal Mobile — Un Terminal mobile (en anglais MDT, Mobile data terminal) est un appareil informatisé utilisé par les voitures de police, les taxis, les coursiers, les flottes de camion, les flottes de pêche, les services militaires de logistique et les services …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Mobile radio — This article is about professional equipment. For mobile radios used in amateur radio, see amateur radio mobile operation. Mobile radio or mobiles refer to wireless communications systems and devices which are based on radio frequencies, and… …   Wikipedia

  • Mobile computing — The Galaxy Nexus, an example of a smartphone capable of tasks such as web browsing, e mail access, video playback, document editing, image editing, among many other features common on smartphones …   Wikipedia

  • Mobile device — A mobile handheld device See also: Portable communications device and Mobile computing A mobile device (also known as a handheld device, handheld computer or simply handheld) is a small, hand held computing device, typically having a display …   Wikipedia

  • Terminal mobile — Un Terminal mobile (en anglais MDT, Mobile data terminal) est un appareil informatisé utilisé par les voitures de police, les taxis, les coursiers, les flottes de camion, les flottes de pêche, les services militaires de logistique et les services …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Terminal (telecommunication) — For other uses, see Terminal (disambiguation). In the context of telecommunications, a terminal is a device which is capable of communicating over a line. Examples of terminals are telephones, fax machines, and network devices printers and… …   Wikipedia

  • Mobile Internet device — Not to be confused with Standard MIDI File. A mobile Internet device (MID) is a multimedia capable mobile device providing wireless Internet access.[1][2][3] They are designed to provide entertainment, information and location based services for… …   Wikipedia

  • Mobile Access Protocol — MAP27 Mobile Access Protocol for MPT 1327 equipment This standard specifies an interface between a mobile radio and a data terminal equipment. This interface gives access to and defines network layer procedures for call set up and data transfer… …   Wikipedia

  • Mobile, Alabama — Mobile   City   From top: Pincus Building, Old City Hall and Southern Market, Fort Condé, Barton Academy, Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Co …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.