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Tech breakthrough for world’s largest mobile black hole

In a world first, Saatchi & Saatchi has developed a way to deliver emergency communications to outback Australia via Toyota LandCruisers.

It’s a well-known fact that the Australian Outback is a vast, harsh and unforgiving place. 5 million square kilometres (over 65% of the country) receives no mobile signal.

In times of emergency the lack of reception can be incredibly dangerous. However, while you might be far from a cell phone tower in the Outback you’re never far from a Toyota LandCruiser.

LandCruiser’s legendary toughness and ability to go anywhere has made them Rural Australia’s most popular 4×4. And in many places they’re the only vehicles you’ll see.

That’s why Saatchi & Saatchi, in partnership with Flinders University, is pioneering a new device that can be fitted in Toyota LandCruisers, enabling them to create a pop-up emergency network that will bring communications to the most remote parts of the Outback.

The device has been engineered using a clever mix of WI-FI, UHF and Delay Tolerant Networking (DTN) technology, an area that lots of people are looking into – including NASA for interplanetary communications, to turn vehicles into communications hotspots each with up to a 25km range.

The technology is being piloted in a fleet of LandCruisers fitted with the device in the remote Flinders Ranges – one of the most harsh and dangerous parts of the Australian outback – where the Mars Society test their vehicles.

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