AA rolls out diagnostic laptops for breakdown patrols


AA rolls out diagnostic laptops for breakdown patrols

A Computer Weekly reporter

The AA is equipping 4,000 breakdown patrol vehicles with Panasonic Toughbook laptops running advanced diagnostic software for quickly and accurately pinpointing electrical and mechanical problems.

The Panasonic CF28 Toughbooks are robust, with magnesium alloy cases and shock-mounted hard discs. To ensure physical security, they are locked in a metal cradle in the patrol vehicle. The machines communicate with diagnostic probes via Bluetooth.

The laptops contain call receipt and dispatch technology, plus global positioning satellite tracking, and full nationwide mapping systems.
They also dispense with the Windows shell in favour of Clam, a customised, locked-down centrally managed desktop interface from Midlands-based access specialist Centralis. 

Chris Bailey, head of business systems at AA road operations, which is deploying 4,000 of the laptops, said the technology “allowed the AA to maintain the build quality, integrity and resilience of the patrols' laptops, improving the reliability and availability of systems for the patrols. This in turn has helped to maintain a low cost base for the general support of the laptops.”

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