Toyota Land Cruisers used to create ad-hoc emergency communication network
It has long been known that the Toyota Land Cruiser is an amazing vehicle that routinely saves lives around the World. It is the vehicle of choice in many hotspots throughout the World plagued with natural and man-made disasters.
The Toyota Land Cruiser is being used as a way to provide emergency response communication services in one of the most desolate places in the World.
Australia is a stunning, massive country with a huge amount of open space. So much so, that 70% of the Continent does not have cell phone coverage. This creates a big problem with life-changing consequences for those that live and travel through the Australia without cellular coverage.
Flinders University in Adelaide and the Australian subsidiary of media powerhouse Saatchi & Saatchi are working to address the lack of cell phone coverage in the Outback to save lives. Partnering with Toyota, a small device is being outfitted to Land Cruisers around the Country, creating a network for communication in case of emergencies.
The device uses a combination of tried and true communication technologies including Wi-Fi, UHF radio waves, and Delay Tolerant Networking (DTN) as a way to communicate between computers. The same technology is being tested to facilitate interplanetary communication.
In parts of Australia where the reliability of your vehicle is a matter of life and death, the Toyota Land Cruiser has up 90% market share. As a result, there is no shortage of potential ‘hot-spots’.
Every vehicle equipped with the electronic device has a communication range of 15 miles. Somebody close to a Land Cruiser equipped with the device could use the network created by the roaming vehicles with their own phone with the message jumping between vehicles until the message reached a fixed base station. Once the message has reached a cellular network, the message is forwarded to the appropriate first responders.
Toyota is currently testing the concept with a fleet of Land Cruisers over an area of 30,000 square miles in the Australian Outback. If the concept works, it would be deployed as an Emergency communication system in Rural Australia and in other parts of the World where vehicles are in abundance but communication is sparse.