NEC Software Solutions has teamed up with critical communications specialist Handsfree Group to develop a new mission critical platform for use in emergency services vehicles.

The R5 Fixed Vehicle Device comprises a control unit, user interface and associated accessories such as telephone handset, speakers and antenna.

As part of the collaboration, Handsfree has designed and developed a Home Office-approved system involving a single in-vehicle touchscreen UI (user interface). Alongside this NEC, which acquired the former APD Communications portfolio of dispatch devices in 2019, has allowed the R5 system to integrate its control room software solutions, including Dispatch and Maps.

According to Handsfree, the R5 solution offers secure PTT, voice and high-speed data to “improve the communication, collaboration and response of blue light teams”.

Emergency services workers using the new system will automatically receive actions, locations and other information from control rooms on one single screen within their vehicle.

Matthew Johnson, managing director of Handsfree Group, said: “It is truly a pleasure for Handsfree to be working together with NEC Software Solutions on an invention that will revolutionise the way that mission critical users communicate.

“Our joint vision to empower frontline emergency service staff and control room teams, and to offer reliable technology in times of need, is what makes this an ideal partnership.”

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Author: Richard Hook