Panasonic supplies the AA with 3,000 new Toughpad tablets for the road

Panasonic has teamed up with the AA in the UK to provide the vehicle roadside breakdown specialist with 3,000 advanced and rugged Toughpad series tablets. The Windows-powered mobile device will help enhance patrol communication and service to customers, responding to the 10,000 breakdown calls the AA receives on a daily basis.

This isn't the first time Panasonic has supplied the AA with Toughbooks. The new FZ-G1 units are actually replacing older CF-19 models already in use. The successor tablets offer improved 4G connectivity, better display tech and enhanced features like signature capture. Everything is powered by Windows 8 and the on-board Intel Core i5 processor.

The roll out is currently under way and is expected to be completed in early 2016.

Press Release

BRACKNELL, UK. 15th March 2016 Panasonic is supplying the AA, the UK's largest recovery breakdown service, with 3000 of the latest rugged Panasonic Toughpad tablets to help patrols enhance communications and service to customers. The Panasonic Toughpad FZ-G1 tablets will be used by patrols to respond to the 10,000 breakdown calls that the AA receives daily on average. The roll-out is underway and scheduled to be completed in early 2016.

Replacing the existing Panasonic Toughbook CF-19 notebooks, the new tablets will be lighter and easier to use, offer improved 4G communications and enhanced features such as on screen forms and signature capture.

Arran Simms, Motoring Innovations Manager at the AA, said: "The move to a Panasonic Toughpad tablet was a natural evolution for us. With the latest 4G communications and touchscreen capabilities via the Microsoft Windows 8.1 Pro operating system, our patrols will be able to respond faster and more effectively than ever before."

The Panasonic Toughpad FZ-G1 tablet is the primary device for patrols when responding to breakdown calls. The patrols accept jobs via the tablet, locate the breakdown using GPS and let the customer service centre know when they have arrived on site. They can also search online for specialist knowledge and order replacement parts before completing the task and closing the job.

The AA has also ordered specially designed Panasonic dashboard-mounted vehicle docking stations to hold the tablets when on the move, which enables the devices to be used for job dispatch and route guidance. The Panasonic ProServices team of in-house CAD designers worked with the AA to refine the existing docking station and produced a solution which not only met the requirements of the AA patrol vehicles but also addresses the wider market. The ProServices team are also responsible for the testing and installation of the docking stations in the vehicles throughout the roll-out.

"This latest deployment will ensure the AA patrols continue to have access to the very latest ergonomically designed, easy to use and reliable mobile technology on the market. The enhanced communication features and touchscreen capabilities will ensure drivers in need receive a faster and more efficient service than ever before," said Paul Davidson, Corporate Sales Manager for Computer Product Solutions at Panasonic.

Ergonomic design and reliability

Panasonic Toughpad tablets are designed to operate outdoors in a variety of extreme and remote environments, helping to drive efficiency and productivity in ways that were never previously possible.

The fully rugged Toughpad FZ-G1 tablet sets the benchmark for outdoor viewable tablets incorporating a 800cd/m² IPSa display. The capacitive 10-finger multi-touch display and digitizer pen makes it extremely user friendly. The FZ-G1 runs on Windows 8 Pro and is equipped with the Intel® Core™ i5-3437U vPro Processor. It also benefits from connectivity options to ensure data is available to the user whenever needed. The compact, fully rugged and lightweight design is a popular choice for businesses looking for a tough and mobile tablet that runs Windows 8.

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.