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CAN keypad

On patrol with CiA 447

Opel now uses a fast-response operating unit from Miunske for its police vehicles. The unit is based on a CAN keypad with six fields.

Opel with Miunske on patrol (Photo: Werner Pluta)

Around a quarter of a million police officers are deployed in Germany. And they have their hands full: An offence is committed every five seconds and a road accident happens every 13 seconds. In order to be able to perform their job conscientiously as a friend and helper, the officers depend on reliable technology. Miunske now takes part in operations in the federal state of Brandenburg.

Since the end of last year, the first new police vehicles have been in use between Uckermark and the Elbe-Elster district. They stand out even from afar: the Opel Zafira Tourers have been painted white instead of the previous silver, with blue and yellow stickers. And the special signal system on the roof is also state of the art. But it is not only in terms of appearance that a lot has changed: new technology is being used under the bonnet of the interactive police patrol cars.

The cars are equipped and retrofitted as high-performance operations vehicles in the factory of the car manufacturer Opel in Rüsselsheim, Germany. The equipment includes not only lockable containers for the service weapons, special holding devices for signaling disc and torch, but also digital radio and a multi-function PC. This PC can be used to control all relevant functions of the roof bar. While that offers police officers convenience and security, it has a crucial disadvantage: Once it has been switched on, the system needs almost one minute to power up and be ready for operation. Valuable seconds elapse, which may decide on life and death. One of the requirements of modern patrol cars, however, is that their immediate operational readiness must be guaranteed.

Bernhard Floeth, responsible at Opel for the integration of the roof bar, therefore contacted Miunske. He already knew from specialized trade fairs that the company in Großpostwitz, Germany develops and sells CAN systems that meet the CiA 447 standard. After three weeks of development time, the solution was ready; the necessary fine-tuning was done within a week on site at the factory in Rüsselsheim.

The unit is integrated in accordance with CiA 447 (Photo: Miunske)

Opel now uses a so-called fast-response operating unit from Miunske, based on a CAN keypad with six fields. This can be used to control all operation-related functions while the standard on-board computer is still powering up. Special signals like blue light and siren are immediately available, and the horn facility has also been integrated. This enables the driver of the patrol car to activate the siren briefly by pressing the horn. The accident data recorder, indispensable to emergency operations, also documents the functions controlled via the CAN keypad.

Moreover, it is possible to use the control unit to switch the computer itself and the radio device on and off. The development also took the exchange of settings between the on-board computer and the CAN control unit into account. The possibility of a failure of the special signal system or the radio device once the on-board computer has taken over can thus be ruled out.

CAN keypads for utility vehicles

Miunske keypads are available with 4, 6 or 12 fields, which can be defined as switches, buttons, indicator or pulse buttons. Bit-rates of 20 kbit/s up to 1 Mbit/s are possible, adaptable to existing CAN systems. CAN messages can be freely parameterized bit-by-bit and be assigned both to the receive and the transmit side.

An integrated light sensor automatically adjusts the lightning intensity. By using multi color LEDs, the individual display elements can be illuminated in any color. Also possible is the implementation of individual color schemes or predefined product designs. With the keypads of the second generation, vertical or horizontal bar graph elements can be integrated. For more operator safety, the company offers CAN keypads with doming, which makes individual keys discernible from each other. CAN keypads are designed to fit standard panel dimensions.


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