LAS VEGAS — Motorola this week announced the launch of the APX 09 integrated control head that is designed to save in-vehicle space and ease operation for users of its APX multiband mobile radio line.

Most public-safety vehicles today have separate controllers for radio, siren and lightbar use, said Steve Young, Motorola’s director of Astro subscriber products. With the APX 09, these functions can be accessed from a single control head, he said.

“This starts us on a path to integrating multiple controllers into a single control head,” Young said, noting Motorola’s desire to reduce the amount of equipment in its customers’ increasingly cramped response vehicles.

Developed for the APX 7500 mobile radio that is expected to ship later this year, the APX 09 control head is the result of some of the same industrial-design and high-velocity-human-factors research the company used for its new multiband radios, Young said.

The new control head incorporates intelligent lighting to automatically signify to the user the status of a dispatch, such as changing the color of the backlight when an emergency dispatch is communicated, Young said. By using programmable controls, several communications and warning functions are combined in an attempt to simplify operations, which is particularly important during stressful situations.

"Just as the APX 7500 mobile radio does the work of two radios and reduces the amount of equipment in a vehicle, the APX 09 control head also eliminates the need for other vehicle warning and communication system controls," Bob Schassler, Motorola senior vice president of the enterprise mobility solutions unit, said in a prepared statement. "Simplified operations mean officers can stay focused on the mission.