By David Hampton
Self-driving cars, virtual assistants, spam filters, and online shopping. We may not realize it, but our day-to-day lives are flooded with artificial intelligence. As you would expect, it was only a matter of time before Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology landed in the smart controller industry, and Feniex Industries in Austin, Texas is leading the charge. They are calling it the Feniex ONE, the emergency warning industry’s first autonomous controller. What is autonomous exactly? Essentially, it is completely changing how first responders communicate while on the job. Paired with Feniex Web, an industry-first live fleet health monitoring software, The Feniex ONE has the potential to be a great leap for officers on the road, fleet managers in the office, and vehicle upfitters in the garage.
“Vehicle downtime can cripple a fleet and keep officers off the road,” said Hamza Deyaf, CEO of Feniex Industries. “With this amazing new technology, we can reduce vehicle wear and tear and prevent maintenance issues before they even occur.” Imagine a police officer who may be starting a shift on tires with tread damage or low fluid levels. These types of problems often go unnoticed, significantly increasing the chances for irreparable damage to the vehicle or, even worse, the officers themselves. If a police cruiser is in the middle of a high-speed chase or a firetruck is barreling through traffic toward a raging fire, the last thing those first responders should be worried about is their safety inside their vehicles. The Feniex Web software bridges that gap between the fleet manager and the responder behind the wheel. Managers can now see if a car needs servicing before the officer even notices. Hold an EMT accountable with automatic daily notifications right to the controller screen in the console. With this new autonomous technology, a manager can see live diagnostics of each vehicle’s equipment like lights, sirens, and relays. “Building a vehicle is one thing, but maintaining a fleet is an entirely different level of work,” according to Deyaf. “And how exactly is that done today? Excel sheets, emails, texts, and calls between maintenance shops and fleet managers. Even third-party software is not specific enough to meet the emergency industry’s demands.” The goal of the Feniex ONE is to simplify the already-complex maze of communication across every department, be it a smaller county’s ambulance supply or a capital city’s entire reserve of dump trucks.
Designed with a five-color programmable 18-button panel and a military-spec industrial touchscreen with three additional LED buttons, the Feniex ONE controller is remarkably versatile and covers every possible application for an emergency vehicle. Color coordinate your most frequently used flash patterns, program specific commands for individual LED modules, and organize an interface specific to your needs. From patrol cars escorting a convoy through busy intersections to work trucks blocking off highway lanes around a traffic accident, the controller has enough features for users across the globe. With its accompanying relay, the Feniex ONE also offers eight programmable inputs as well as an OBD2 plug-in, giving the user access to over 50 automatic vehicle triggers like high and low beams, cruise controls, fuel levels, and door locks. Every Feniex ONE system will also come standard with a lightning-fast ARM A9 quad core processor and an integrated GPS timing chip for vehicle-to-vehicle flash pattern sync. Even more, there are an impressive 32 programmable outputs for equipment and light control and a simple two-wire daisy chain serial connection to all Quad lighting products, also an industry-first innovation from Feniex. That feature alone will reduce wiring by 80 percent, a major upgrade for vehicle upfitters. If time is money, install shops would see a hefty increase in productivity and a considerable decrease in turnover times. That gets our patrol units back out on the streets quicker, and in turn, leads to our cities being safer.
“On the back end, the Feniex ONE software makes programming all of these features visually simple and remarkably easy to navigate,” said Deyaf. As the number of smart controllers continues to flood the market, one of the biggest concerns among first responder units is the laborious amount of time it takes to learn how to program them. It is common for a department to require month-long training courses to grasp the complexity of the interface, consequently keeping those officers from getting back on the road. Feniex Industries is tackling that problem by designing a minimal and intuitive platform for the Feniex ONE. Programming your siren tones or directional flash patterns is as straightforward as shopping for boots on Amazon. There is even a free online educational video series titled Feniex University that offers quick and uncomplicated tutorials for the controller, the relay, and the software. It is updated regularly with new videos on added features and frequently asked questions (FAQs) among users.
For a relatively new player in the emergency lighting market, Feniex Industries has quickly made a name for themselves as industry disruptors, pushing what is expected of products like LED lightbars and amber surface mounts and coming up with innovative solutions. They are also known for being competitively priced among their peers despite being an American-made manufacturer, a task much easier said than done within our modern lens of online shopping. We look forward to seeing what is next on the horizon for Feniex, and if the Feniex ONE controller is any indication, we are sure it is going to be an exciting one.