A. F. Donfack Kana, A.a. Obiniyi, O.o Ajibose Deployment Of ...

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Nov 24, 2013 (4 years and 6 months ago)



Deployment of Information Technology in Vehicle

Control and Monitoring


A. F. Donfack Kana
, A.A. Obiniyi
, O.O Ajibose

Department of Computer Science

Department of Mathematics
University Of Ibadan

Ahmadu Bello University Zaria




This work identifies
the causes associated with

the high rate of un
recovered missing
vehicle in Nigeria and proposes a solution to address the issues by deploying information
technology to assist the police in road check point. Two main issues

were identified to be
related to the above matter. First, inadequacy of police officers to properly identify the
authenticity of vehicle particulars and ownership and secondly the low speed and
inadequacy of the media used in information spread when there

is an act of robbery. To
address the above issue, with the low cost of telephony equipment and the availability of
mobile telephony service throughout the federation,
a system is developed based on

logical structure of the multi

tier architecture supp
orting the service of mobile telephony
provider to enhance the control. A central online database is developed for vehicle and
road controller. This gives the police the capability to properly identify the authenticity of
vehicle by querying the central da
tabase through a simple text message sent through a
mobile telephony service provider.

the vehicle owner side, a simple text message is
used to alert all the appropriate road controller of a given area, or the whole federation
if there is a need when an

act of robbery has occurred. The system was tested with some
sample data and the obtained results show the efficiency of the system in effectiveness
and the time of information retrieval and spread limited to the speed of mobile telephony

service used for

delivering messages.

Keywords: multi
tier architecture, SMS, Missing Vehicle, Information Technology

1. Introduction

Despite the effort

and resources spent

the government

to improve
the standard

of security of the populace

the i
ssues of robb
ery, especially that of


remains an


open issue that has not yet gotten a viable solution. All effort

made in
curbing its



not to

an efficient result. ThisDay on his daily news of May 5, 2008
reported that:

“One of the m
ajor worries of the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr. Mike Okiro
in his drive to stem the rising profile of armed robbery gangs includes a systematic
plot to put an end to the sudden disappearance of exotic cars allegedly snatched
from their owners by

notorious armed robbers at gun point across the country.

These worries stem from the fact that these stolen vehicles at times are never
recovered by the police or resold to unsuspecting members of the public after the
cars' features may have been altered
by some gang of robbers who operates illegal
auto workshops

From this report it appears that even if the issue really worries the police administrators,
they do not have at hand a short term solution for this issue. Although the possibility of
altering t
he car’s feature can be a cause of non proper identification of the original state
of the vehicle, such altering is possible if the robbers had an opportunity of moving the
car from their robbery point to the illegal auto workshop. Generally, this can not
without them crossing a police check point in their way where police operating there are
not yet aware of the act of robbery. It appears that, without neglecting the above
mentioned fact that, the main reasons for the high rate of un
recovered missin
g vehicle
remains related to the inadequacy of police officer to properly identify the authenticity of
vehicle particulars and ownership,

the low speed and inadequacy

of current media used
by the police
in spreading information

when there is an act of robb
ery. For instance,


radio used by the police only broadcasts at a limited radius. This coverage area is not

with regard

to the distance a car can cover per unit of time. Added to this is
the time and means for the vehicle owner to report th
e robbery. If current means of
addressing this issue have failed (since there is no effective result), the solution may rely
in upgrading the broadcasting medium to meet current technologies with the hope that,
effective alerting of police and in timely
manner coupled with proper identification of
authenticity of vehicles particular and ownership may address the problem.


This work seeks to address this issue by developing a Vehicle Control and Monitoring
System (VCMS) in order to enhance the control and m
onitoring of vehicle in Nigeria.
The web based tree tier architecture is extended to interoperate with the service of mobile
telephony provider in order to achieve effective control through real time information

2. The

multi tier architectu

Many application systems today have three majors layers: the presentation layer, the
business or application layers and the service layer[2]. The presentation layer provides
the user interface and is responsible for the interaction between the user and
the devices.
The application or business logic layer contains the business rules that drive the given
enterprise. The service layer provide general services needed by other layers, usually
including database services, file services, print services and comm
unication services[4].

Fig. 1 The VCMS multi tier architecture


UMTS, etc


Handover Between ISP and Mobile telephony service provid

Web based


Mobile telephony service two

Mobile Devices Front
end tier

Base Station and Network
Subsystem tier



Front end tier

Application tier

Data tier


The architecture of the VCMS segments the application into two physical locations, both
related by a handover zone. Each physical location providing some specific s
ervices that
are properly combined to achieve the effective functionality of the system

The mobile telephony
service provides


to cellular phone users and any other
related terminal devices using the mobile services based on Global System for Mobil
communication (GSM) technology. The service here is generalized to any wireless
devices either using circuit
switched or packet
switched mode of connection such as
General Packet Radio Service (GPRS), Universal Mobile Telecommunications Service
(UMTS) as

well as any other advanced technology.

The type and quality of service at this level depend largely on the efficiency and the
application supported by both the telephony service provider and the user’s terminal
device. For instance, the efficiency both i
n time and service of a user sending a request
and receiving the response depends on the technology used by the telephony service
provider(s) in which the message is routed and also on the service supported by the
telephony service provider and those suppo
rted by the terminal used by the users. The
services at this level of application are handed over the
nternet based level application.

The I
nternet service tier application provides the online service and web based services,
which ensure constant executio
n of requests of front end tiers users. Applications at this
level ensure proper storage of data

oper identification of users,

their medium of
communication and respond to their request accordingly.

tier architecture model provides the fundamental

framework for the logical design
model. The logical model segments an application's components into N

tiers of services.
These tiers do not necessarily correspond to physical locations on various tiers on a
network, but rather to logical layers of the ap
plication. The multi tier architecture of the
VCMS combines the three tier web based architecture and the two tier mobile service
into a single model related by a handoff zone. A layer may be embedded simultaneously
in the two architectures or in one of t
he architectures only.

The front end tier or user services layer either in the telephony tier or the web based tier
gives a user access to the application.

This tier ensures the presentation of data to the user


and also permits data manipulation and data
entry. The interfaces at this level are the

Short Message Service

based and the Web
based application.

The mobile telephony service provider tier provides the basic services to ensure constant
connectivity of mobile user to the

based part o
f the system. The request from
user’s mobile telephone is received at the Based Station Subsystem, is routed to the
appropriate Channel trough the Mobile service Switching Center (MSC). The service of
the mobile telephony provider ends by the message bei
ng delivered to the handoff zone
between the

service and the telephony service providers.

Web based three tier provides the logical functionality provided at the web level.

The application tier layer at this level setup functionality that reli

the client
application and database server of some of their processing duties by translating user’s
requests received through the user front end or through the handover zone into database
queries and translating data from the database into user’s data
in appropriate format in

The data tier, or data services layer, interacts with persistent data stored in the database. It
provides the data access components to aid in resource sharing.

3. The Design structure of the VCMS.

Fig.2 Functionality structure of VCMS

User’s access

Web page




Online Central

File Format



The functionality of VCMS is divided into four main layers: the access layer, the file
format converter, the content access engine and the data repository layers.

The access layers provide the users access to the sy
stem. The design of the access layer
took into consideration the variety of means of accessing the system which match the
current mobile technology of exchanging information. With phones supporting from
simple SMS to more advanced wireless application, we
have designed different format
for delivering and receiving information from user depending on the type of media used
by the users. Two main methods of accessing the VCMS are adopted:

The first approach uses SMS, in which, a simple text message is sent to
the VCMS. This
technique provides the possibility of easy access to any type of mobile phone supporting
SMS. The second approach is through the browser. The system received information
from users’ through forms and transmits the feedback to the users in fo
rm of web page.
This allows mobile phone supporting the browser and computer users to access the

The file format converter ensures interoperability between users devices and the
remaining part of the system. Since the world of mobile computing use
rs can access
information through different types of devices, the file format converter receives
information either from html format or SMS format decode and translate it into a format
understandable to the Content Access Engine also receive the result fro
m the Content
Access Engine and translate it into users’ devices format.

The content access engine operates directly on a VCMS database. It receives queries
from the File Format Converter, transmit the query to the online database and receive
result from
the database and transmit it back to the File format converter. The
functionality of the content access engine ensures the connectivity of the rest of the
system to the central relational database and the updating and manipulation of the stored
in the data
base which provide the repository of data of all parties involved.


4. Implementation and result

The VCMS consist of user’s interface and associated control engine built based on the
above described technique. It provides the possibility to mobile user’s
to connect to the
central system to issues their request and to retrieve requested information. Due to the
diversity of terminal mobile devices, for each functionality requiring user’s interaction,
we develop interfaces for text line message for issuing
query and receiving result and a
web based interface for WAP
(Wireless application protocol)

enabled user’s and portable
computers. To achieve effectiveness of the system, two main level of functionality are

The first level is to achieve effec
tive user’s alert in case of a missing vehicle and a proper
spread of information to the police of a given area in a timely manner. interfaces are
developed that allow users to alert police of a given area on the missing of a vehicle
through and SMS or ot
her medium sent to the VCMS system which examine the request,
and spread it accordingly using SMS. Fig.3 below describes how the user’s SMS is
routed and processed to finally obtain the alert notification message broadcasted to the

Fig. 3 SMS broadcast routing in VCMS.

WEB System Applications’ End

Switching center

User’s End

into Police

Police and

Data Store

User Sending an
Alert message


Police GSM


Base Station


The format below describes how a text message alert is composed.

MISSING <Registration number>STATE<State where vehicle was stolen>DATE<date
robbery occurred>TIME<time robbery occurred >CODE<owner identif
ication code>

Fig.4 and fig.5 show an alert message through an html form and through SMS
respectively. The message received by the VCMS

based part is processed and the
output alert received by the police men counterpart in their mobile telephon
e appear
similar as shown in fig.6

The second level of functionality ensures a proper investigation of vehicle ownership by
police officers. One of the unique vehicle identification means (Registration number,
chassis number or engine number) can be us
ed to retrieve the real data of the vehicle
through an SMS send to the VCMS. These data provide the identification of the real
owner of the vehicle as well as any characteristics of the vehicle. SMS are composed
using the format below:

CONTROL <Identifica
tion mean><Identification number>

Fig 7 and fig.8 show sample control messages respectively from the browser and as SMS
message with the identification mean is the vehicle’s registration number.

Fig.4 SMS alert from user’s

Fig.6 Alert SMS received by

Fig.5 SMS alert from user


The output is presented different format dependi
ng on the medium used for sending the
query. Fig.9 and fig.10 below show the results obtained from requests message sent
through a browser and through SMS respectively

The functionality of the system was tested with the major mobile telephony serv
operator in Nigeria (MTN, GLO, CELTEL) at different time and different day, and
compared the result with that of a an usual SMS from user to user. The obtained results
did not show any significant delay in delivery of message added by the web based tie

Fig. 7 Vehicle
control Interface through a

Computing medium supporting Browser

Fig. 8 vehicle control SMS


SMS output of a vehicle control

Fig.9 Web based output of
a vehicle control


part of the system. However, it was noticed that the timely delivery efficiency of the
system in information retrieval and spread depends largely on the network used. The
efficiency of the network in delivering messaging appears to be the main constrain
t as
none of them appear to guarantee fast service any day and any time.

5. Conclusion

The vehicle control and monitoring system provides a new approach to manage vehicles
in order to alleviate the burden of police control and un
recovered missing vehicle

Nigeria. With the obtained result, which show the effective information spread and
effective control, it is hoped that the above mentioned problem will be overcame.
However the effective uses of the system is not without associated cost. Although the
ost of managing the

based part of the system is almost insignificant, the cost
associated with the functional part of the system provided by mobile telephony service
provider in order to transmit SMS remains a considerable factor that should be we
against the advantage provided by the system.



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