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By Beth Bacheldor

Fujitsu Outfits Work Van With RFID, GPS, Sensors and More

Fujitsu is marketing a futuristic, hyper-connected van fitted with state-of-the-art technology, including RFID, that turns it into a mobile office and digital hub, the company reports. The vehicle is equipped with high-end routers that use high-gain, sensitive antennas so it can stream data through 3G and 4G from multiple connections, giving it the ability to channel a much stronger data signal. This allows the van to act as a mobile hub for work sites. By using a connected van as a digital hub, Fujitsu explains, a site can be online within hours, rather than weeks.

The van is available in different sizes and with various suites of technology offering a variety of benefits. It features built-in RFID readers that allow any tagged item in the van to be recorded and managed centrally. According to Fujitsu, the readers ensure that the correct items are placed in the van so that they are there when needed. For example, the company says, creating a link between specific tools and parts in the van—tracked by RFID tags—with back-end inventory and logistics systems can transform operational efficiency. This can help ensure that engineers or field technicians do not arrive at a site or job without the tools or parts required, according to the company, and can reduce the number of failed visits, thereby saving fuel and costs, as well as improving customer service. Fujitsu is using an RFID platform that can integrate a wide range of readers and can use high- and low-frequency passive tags and readers.

GPS and dashboard cameras record events and stream information to a cloud service, allowing the vehicle to be tracked and monitored remotely. The cameras can record while the van is in motion, so that in the event of an accident, it can show footage of the situation, potentially affecting insurance costs.

The GPS system can also be used to map the day's working schedule. In addition, the van is fitted with various sensors that can test the atmosphere for pollutants and influences, such as gasses, liquids, heat, sound and radiation.

The high-tech vehicle has been visiting a number of locations in Scotland, including Oban, Portree and Inverness. That van was using an ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) reader with passive tags on spare parts. Fujitsu's work van is available now, according to the company, and has been tested with a number of customers. The vehicle is designed to be tailored to specific customer needs and requirements.

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