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Toyota Tests Australian Emergency Mobile Hotspot Network

May 31, 2016

Toyota is trialing a device in a fleet of LandCruisers that will turn the vehicles into hotspots on an “emergency network.” The trial is collaboration between Toyota, advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi, and Paul Gardner-Stephen, Ph.D., of Flinders University, according to a report by MIS ASIA.

The device – which takes the form of a rugged yellow tube that can be stuck to the inside of a vehicle window – uses wi-fi, ultra high frequency, and delay tolerant networking to give the vehicles a 25km range. Vehicles fitted with the device form the so-called “LandCruiser Emergency Network,” according to the report.

“Distressed parties in the range of the roaming network can use their ordinary mobile phone to log a call or send a geo-tagged message,” said Gardner-Stephen, who pioneered Serval Mesh, an app that enables Android phones to perform infrastructure-free, peer-to-peer voice, text and data services, quoted in MIS ASIA report.

Around 65% of Australia is without mobile signal and in some remote places you are likely to be closer to a LandCruiser than a cell tower. Australia buys more LandCruisers per capita than anywhere else in the world, according to the report.

Following the trial, the company said it would be exploring the feasibility of a commercial rollout of the devices, according to the report.

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