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Malaysia first SEA nation to get US underground navigation system

The GPS navigation software app is bringing an innovative piece of technology to Malaysian roads. Specifically, the country’s underground road systems.

The navigation app just announced that they’re working with the Malaysian government to implement Bluetooth beacons – which they are calling Waze Beacons – across the Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) highway and basement roads leading to car parks in the area.

The company will provide Bluetooth signals to improve navigation where GPS signals are limited, increase driver safety, and better visibility of real-time traffic events

The CEO of TRX City Sdn Bhd stated that Malaysia is pleased to be the first in Southeast Asia to put Waze Beacons to the test.

The nation’s underground roads are an ideal test ground as they lead out to key exits, and it is expected the technology will enhance TRX’s level of services. Ensuring seamless connectivity is critical to support TRX’s status as an international financial hub.

Meanwhile, the Head of the Waze Beacons Program stated that the firm’s team is pleased to bring the Waze Beacons Program to Malaysia, the first Southeast Asian country to adopt the technology.

Seamless navigation can be enjoyed in TRX when its underground roads are open to the public, but this is just the beginning and the aim is to expand into more areas nationwide across Malaysia soon.

No matter the navigation apps used, the beacon technology is open and free to use and will empower road users to outsmart traffic together.

The firm has promised that these beacons will not collect any data and it could aid other navigations apps to navigate drivers where there are usually none or weak signals.

These beacons have been launched in 2016 in countries like the U.S., Brazil, France, Italy, Australia, Norway, the Czech Republic, and covers about 260KM of tunnels and roadways worldwide.

Malaysia will serve as a pilot-test for the beacons and is the first country in Southeast Asia to try it out. The project will eventually scale to other parts of Malaysia’s capital, Kuala Lumpur.

Investing in smart traffic

Malaysia is working to push better traffic systems via technology.

According to another report, the Penang government is rolling out RM23.2 million worth of 5G demonstration projects in collaboration with seven telecommunications (telco) companies before fully rolling out 5G connectivity later this year.

The Chairman of the Public Works, Utilities And Flood Mitigation Committee stated that 19 projects are fully funded by the telco companies.

The purpose of the use cases is to ensure the applications are beneficial to various sectors, namely in smart city governance, manufacturing and tourism.

Among the projects were 5G live streaming at the Penang International Airport, ultra-high-speed internet access and virtual tourism experience at Penang Hill, smart facial recognition and smart production automation and monitoring in Hotayi, smart building in Komtar, smart safety and security, smart traffic light and smart parking around Komtar area and fixed wireless access at the ferry terminal.

These use cases were to prove the efficiency of the connectivity for commercial uses, such as an improvement in production in Hotayi.

The masterplan is expected to be completed by September 2020 and it will be a 10-year plan to roll out more infrastructure along with 5G connectivity to ensure coverage for everyone in the state.


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