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Smart Security Vehicles Leverage IoT to Capture and Share Data

With Internet of Things sensors and connectivity from MetTel, Brosnan Risk Consultants is monitoring the conditions in and around its security trucks, then sharing that data with customers to provide greater visibility into work being done by each of thousands of officers throughout the United States.
By Claire Swedberg
Jul 05, 2019

Thousands of Internet of Things (IoT)-enabled security vehicles from Brosnan Risk Consultants are patrolling parking lots, malls and other properties throughout the United States. A security officer operating each vehicle provides real-time patrolling, while the sensors and IoT technology act as another set of eyes and ears, forwarding the collected data to a command center in real time. The company's SmartTruck system, commercially released this spring, employs technology from IoT connectivity firm MetTel.

Brosnan, a full-service security provider, protects private and public properties like retail stores, malls, data centers, distribution centers, office buildings and bank parking areas after hours. Officers are trained to proactively identify safety and security risks, respond to such incidents accordingly and record these activities in Brosnan's mobile app. The firm employs 3,000 security officers across 38 states.

Pat Brosnan Jr.
Before the IoT-based system's launch, the company faced some challenges related to managing a fleet of this size and the officers who operate the vehicles, according to Pat Brosnan Jr., Brosnan Risk Consultants' VP of operations and technology. Challenges included managing the fuel, maintenance and repair of each vehicle, as well as oversight of driver activity, dealing with accidents and coaching drivers about their work. The company sought a technology-based solution for fleet management that would prove vehicles were in service when and where they should be. However, it also wanted a system that would capture data in real time, both in and around a vehicle, and that could be used if an officer left the immediate vicinity of his or her truck.

Brosnan began working with MetTel about 18 months ago to develop a system that would capture and wirelessly transmit sensor-based data from vehicles across the company's fleet, says Ryan Crandell, MetTel's director of IoT and mobile solutions. The resulting SmartTruck system consists of a wireless gateway device onboard each vehicle that captures and manages data collected from sensors, cameras and the vehicle's own system to identify what is taking place in and around it. It also comes with a cellular connection to MetTel's cloud-based software platform, which interprets the data and makes it available to the company's analysts viewing content at Brosnan's command center in New York. Data can be provided to the field-management team via Bronan's app.

As a guard goes about rounds in his or her vehicle, the wireless gateway device collects information. Staff members at the command center can view this data to determine where a particular vehicle is located, how it is being driven and what kind of activity might be taking place within its vicinity. Each vehicle is fitted with two cameras inside the cab, one facing forward and a second one at the driver's position. Two more cameras are installed facing outside the vehicle in order to track what is happening around it. That data can provide a real-time view into what is happening. However, the sensors make it possible to add a level of intelligence.

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