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Devon County Council Highways Maintenance (PCs)

Devon County Council’s Environment, Economy & Culture Directorate is, amongst other things, responsible for ensuring that the roads in Devon are safe to drive on. One of the tools that it uses to do this is a piece of equipment called a Griptester, which is a trailer-mounted device that is towed behind a van.

The Griptester used by Devon County Council

This device has a PC interface capability so that data gathered by the Griptester can be recorded straight to a PC. Devon County Council were using a tablet PC to record this data, but contacted us because they needed a more effective solution. As well as recording data directly from the Griptester, the system also needed other complementary data to be entered by an operator, such as when a different type of road surface was encountered. Under the old system two people were required in the vehicle whenever the Griptester was used – one to drive the vehicle and the other to record occasional complementary data using the tablet PC.

Our solution was to install a dedicated PC in the vehicle, complete with a 10.2” touch sensitive display and a small remote control device that we mounted on the rear of the steering wheel. By liaising with the manufacturers of the Griptester we were able to set the system up so that human-generated data could be entered into the program by pressing on the steering wheel buttons, without having to interact with a display. Because the remote control buttons are very distinctive to the touch, the driver is now able to enter data by touch alone, without taking his eyes off the road or hands off the wheel.

Keith Grant, County Scientific Officer, says “Using In-CarPC’s built-in computer has been a far better way of doing things than using a tablet PC. I was pleased with the way that In-CarPC were prepared to experiment and develop their product so that it did exactly what we wanted. The system has greatly improved the efficiency of using the Griptester.”

Client’s website: www.devon.gov.uk