Ever drive into a tunnel only to find that your GPS has completely stopped working? You’re not alone. When using GPS for navigation, the loss of satellite signal and map guidance can be troubling, especially when you don’t know your next move.
To put an end to our worries, engineer Gil Disatnik has developed a set of wireless transmitters, dubbed Waze Beacons, that can be installed in tunnels to send navigation signals directly to your smartphone or table via Bluetooth.
Disatnik, an engineer at the traffic app development company Waze Mobile, has vast expertise in radio frequency electronics and microcontrollers. He was inspired to develop the technology when he actually missed a turn himself, because of a dropped GPS signal when driving through a tunnel.
The Waze Beacons, which are claimed to be the world’s first expandable, cost-effective units that enable navigation signals in tunnels, are completely battery-powered, and can be described as microcontrollers that use Eddystone – a Bluetooth low-energy beacon system developed by Google – to send real-time navigation.
Disatnik and his Waze team began working with asset tracking solutions company, Bluvision, and has since built beacon hardware specifically for use with vehicles traveling in a tunnel environment.
The Waze system is free of charge, and can be beamed over Bluetooth so any GPS apps on any connected device can use the technology when navigating tunnels.
Notable features include live traffic updates and notifications on accidents within the tunnel being navigated. The Waze Beacons are currently available in a couple of tunnels in Pittsburgh, Illinois, and Haifa, Israel, with plans to launch in Paris and Rio de Janeiro in the near future.
Filed Under: M2M (machine to machine)