The NBN Road Muster is perhaps the ultimate NBN slash smart vehicle. It is state of the art smart car technology, with all terrain driving, and mobile NBN with Wi-Fi capability on wheels. It is better suited for travel of all sorts, from major cities to far away locations in the rural to remote locations across Australia. The Road Muster has complete connectivity to the NBN, while being able to deliver wireless access via a Wi-Fi hotspot good for 60 devices all at once. In order to showcase its NBN powered capabilities, it has two touchscreen monitors and computers for all online apps and services.
The Road Muster isn’t for sale, but we are aware that it is a modified and customised vehicle that fuses the latest smart car features with NBN capabilities in this fusion. It is entirely possible to create our own version with all of its features. We do have the smart cars of today with the available optimal features from top shelf car dealers, but at a rather high price. In order to realise this goal, we have to look at its complete roster of features.
These important smart car functions include smartphone / phablet connectivity and control via apps, overall security, drive and park assistance; speed, drive, and torque adjustments; road and surround sensors; car, dashboard, and engine statuses; dashboard screen controls and monitoring, among many others. The NBN is the network and power behind all of these, which makes it into a powerhouse smart car than normal smart cars.
A smart car vehicle from scratch will be a more time exhaustive and rather expensive endeavour, unless one already has one in the garage. But we would need to have a bigger model that can fit the crucial facilities, and drive through most Aussie terrains, as well as weather conditions, and heat, and still with enough power and durability. These and other reasons are why the original Ford Ranger truck is the only choice.
By collating all of these with the key features of the NBN’s official smart vehicle, it shows us what we need for our own super complete version. This is if we manage to integrate all of them, if at all possible. The good news is that this is possible with a lot of extra work, and testing. The bad news is that it would cost a fortune as well. But let us pre-suppose we do have the budget needed, and the time to build the ultimate Australian smart truck vehicle. After the jump are the steps needed to be done.
A Basic Road Muster vehicle should have the following facilities:
A. Wi-Fi hotspot
B. Its own power source
C. Portable satellite antenna
D. Carbon-fibre satellite dish
E. Two large touchscreen monitors and computers
F. GPS and Mapping across Australia
G. Always on connection, mainly Satellite NBN
H. Four wheel drive
I. Tough, resilient engine and exterior, for both urban and rural realms
J. Complete smart car system
To closely follow its specs to a T: we would need the latest Ford Ranger Four Wheel drive model with smart car features. This would take care of letters A (basic Wi-Fi only), F, H, I, easily. The Ford models have the Intelligent AWD and 4WD system, which is a complete smart car system that helps with driving, navigation, car status, external and internal conditions; it also has the SYNC with MyFord Touch, which then connects the smartcar system with the smartphone or phablet of the owner for an automated and smartphone operated system.
Although these systems are good and have the advanced smart car features, the overall re-construction of our own Road Muster involves NBN standard devices and connections. This would take care of letters A (according to NBN standards, which would be good for at least 60 connected devices), B, C, D, E, and G. After which, we can apply modifications after consulting with technicians and broadband experts. The important NBN connections have to be made in order to provide its speed to all online connections, apps, and services. This will power up its Wi-Fi service and provide up to 60 connections at once.
This is where we need to install compatible NBN modems (Fixed Wireless and Satellite NBN), the NBN antenna, carbon fibre satellite dish, network and power connection ports for the computers, other needed devices, and a reliable, long lasting power source enough for long drives and tours across Australia. Power can even be dual sourced, to include solar panels which will significantly extend batteries. This will become the main online connection of all the smart elements of the car. This will need extra work in making the NBN satellite dish and antenna work together with the integrated smart car features.
The NBN Road Muster in the remote regions: top portion is equipped with the carbon fibre satellite dish and antenna, with the left side dedicated to the two touch screen monitors and computers, the right side for the other services, with all NBN equipment and power source encased in a custom shell frame that opens from all three sides for public use and demo purposes.
From here we go on with the “modification” of external parts, especially the half of the truck. This rear half part houses the public demonstration facilities, with the main one being the left side showcasing two touchscreen monitors and computers. All three sides feature opening hatches for public that can convert the truck into a Wi-Fi powered smart car, but these will carry the basic features.
The public demo side will service a number of key functions, through two main touch screens and computers, preferably with higher RAM and large enough data storage space. This will be mainly for analysing NBN connections, locating these wireless sources, and providing Wi-Fi for up to 60 devices simultaneously. It also acts as a general information and data exchange hub through fast wireless NBN.
The front dashboard will house the integrated car navigation systems, and will include GPS, mapping, all automated car functions, statuses, monitoring, checking external weather conditions, automated adjustments, as well as all the latest tools for assisted driving and parking, navigation. It will also bear online entertainment options and all apps and services that are compatible with smartphone remote controls.
Most smart cars today already bear most of these features. The usual set up is a dashboard touch screen monitor with GPS, mapping, all automated navigation, driving, parking, and overall status and monitoring functions. While The Ford Car Company systems in place already provide its own Wi-Fi connections, the system is not wholly compatible with NBN equipment. Any Wi-Fi access for public use is by default through the NBN system in its back hub, and the Ford Wi-Fi turned off when this is in use.
The focal point of the Road Muster is a tough, all terrain, NBN all-purpose smart vehicle that carries all the latest features needed for a high functioning smart car. It is both a milestone for the smart automotive industry, and also an exhaustive project. From here we can appreciate all the work that went into the Road Muster trucks that NBN deployed for their roadshows to support their campaigns.
There are more advanced smart car options now available. While these are welcome additions to a Road Muster type truck, they are not widely available yet. These higher end cars feature detailed sensor, app, GPS and mapping-assisted smart drive, auto drive, and auto parking systems that may point to an AI-assisted future for cars and motorists of all levels. While the Road Muster does not have these, a future version will most likely be released someday, along with any other enhancements available in the future.
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