Jaguar Cars has been providing vehicles to Team Sky Pro Cycling since 2010, with a 3-year global partnership being agreed in 2012 to coincide with the launch of Jaguar's XF Sportbrake. Jaguar cars provide invaluable support to the team during the races – not only in carrying over £100,000 of cutting-edge cycling equipment on the roof alone, but also in acting as the nerve centre of the team on the road, where all vital strategic and split second tactical decisions are made.
Jaguar approached us with a requirement to install robust 3G routers, with Wi-Fi hotspot capability, into a number of XF Sportbrakes which were already in use by Team Sky and operated from their logistical headquarters in Belgium.
Due to race commitments there was a limited window of opportunity for the installations to take place, and the logistics of getting the cars back to the UK for installation were too problematic. So our installer travelled to Belgium to fit the equipment on-site in time for the start of the 2013 Tour de France (won by… Team Sky rider Chris Froome).
Despite a considerable amount of existing communications and other electronic equipment already being present, the routers were successfully installed out of sight behind a panel so that the boot space, which is used heavily during races, was left completely free.
The XF Sportbrake uses a roof-mounted antenna pod for most radio communications (e.g. FM and GPS), and although the antennas currently fitted to the cars did not support 3G, Jaguar was able to provide replacement antenna pods with 3G support. Using the Jaguar antennas ensured that there was no physical interference with the roof rack (which may have been the case with a larger antenna), and that the car's aesthetics were not compromised.
Carl Smith from Jaguar Land Rover's Connected Car Telematics Product Management Team, said: "The 3G routers that were supplied and installed by In-CarPC were an invaluable addition to Team Sky's Jaguar XF Sportbrakes, enabling the team to make the strategic and tactical decisions they are required to make quickly and easily. The dedication and flexibility of the team at In-CarPC meant that the 3G routers were fitted on budget and on time, which was vital for a project such as this."