Bringing A Wireless Network to The Outback One Toyota Land Cruiser at a Time - VideoPosted in News on May 12, 2016
Wireless communication may seem like it’s nearly everywhere. In reality it’s not, and in Australia, one of the least densely populated countries on earth, there are vast expanses of land that still lack cellular coverage. When traveling in the Outback, anything can happen, and communication in an emergency is vital to survival. Thanks to a senior lecturer from Flinders University, Gardner-Stephen, his idea of an emergency communication network using Toyota Land Cruisers could put an end to people being stuck in the Outback.
Gardner-Stephen has been working with Toyota and the creative firm Saatchi & Saatchi to install communication hotspots in Toyota Land Cruisers throughout the country. These hotspots would help stuck, injured, or lost travelers to connect via Wi-Fi to mobile Land Cruisers equipped with these emergency hotspots. Once Land Cruiser receives an emergency beacon, it will seek out other equipped Land Cruisers within 15 miles and pass along the beacon until it reached firs responders. While it may seem like a complicated idea, it’s similar to passing notes in class; only this time you can’t get in trouble.
It may seem odd that this program is only being implemented in Toyota Land Cruisers, we thought the same thing, but there are two good reasons for that. First, Toytota claims that the Land Cruiser has a 90 percent market share in some parts of the Outback and nearly 500,000 are in use in Australia currently. Second, Toyota wanted to reward the Land Cruiser Loyalist in Australia with a cool and rewarding program. This program is still in its infancy stages so we could see more widespread use in other vehicles throughout Australia and the world eventually.
The program is currently in use with 10 Land Cruisers in the Flinders Ranges Mountain Range in Southern Australia while they continue to develop and iron out technical problems. Even though the team has completed much of the core technology they still face an up hill battle of adapting older technology to different hardware and to be able to deliver messages across the UHF wireless spectrum.
The Land Cruiser Emergency Network has a long way to go before it can be implemented across the entire country of Australia. We’re curious to see where this program will lead and how effective it could be at rescuing people and saving lives.