I'm currently weighing my options to build a semi-industrial outdoor device, which is aimed to do some signal processing from 4 inductive loops which have been laid in the ground to detect vehicle motion on them. The device (or a module within it) should also be capable of transmitting gathered data to a command and control and monitoring server over GPRS/EDGE/3G network. Volume of data is quite low, but always-on connectivity is crucial. I have good experience with GPRS modules from earlier projects.
I'm quite familiar with Linux, networking and C, C++ and Python software development, but new in RPi world. I have a colleague to take care of the electronics part.
Power is not an issue in this project, although it would be good to know that the device can run from battery-backed solar cells if time comes.
My question is how suited is RPi for this task, and what is the optimal road I should head into to get there the fastest.
I'm particularly interested in necessary peripherals, hardware design, reusable components, similar projects and helpful tips and resources.