by Paolo Valpolini
Handling large police patrol car fleets means installing on them numerous items, ranging from radios to light bars, etc. Thales and Gruau unveiled at Milipol the Connected Roof Box, which allows to quickly transform a standard vehicle into a patrol car equipped with state-of-the-art subsystems. This allows optimising the fleet handling, vehicle maintenance and repair being separated from those of mission systems, optimisation meaning cost savings, a key element in reduced budget periods.
The roof box is connected to the car as a standard lightbar but includes many more functions. The box itself is made of composite materials and inside it, we can find all standard items such as radios, emergency lights, loudspeakers, cameras for plate reading. Beside those, new functionalities can be added, such as high data rate connectivity used i.e. to exchange high-resolution images with the command post, video analysis tools, 360° situational awareness cameras and other. The roof box seen at Villepinte exhibition area also hosted a rotary wing UAV that could be controlled from inside the vehicle. Another positive factor is that only human-machine interfaces are installed into the car, all the rest being fitted inside the roof box, thus ensuring more space inside the vehicle. The roof unit comes with a range of support services, which range from standard maintenance to through-life support, these being decoupled from similar services provided by the vehicles manufacturer. This allows reducing the unavailability of platform cars, which of the platform being decoupled from that of mission systems.