MARCH 4 — Crowd-sourcing map app, Waze, has announced a new initiative in Malaysia as part of a partnership with Kuala Lumpur’s Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) to help drivers in Malaysian capital to “move better” and “stay safe”. Bluetooth-enabled devices—known simply as Waze Beacons—will be installed across TRX’s basement roads that lead to car parks within the development.
These Beacons are battery-operated, low-energy transmitters that are installed on tunnel walls. Then, a wireless signal is transmitted that can be received by mobile devices that support Bluetooth (basically every device in today’s age). Interestingly, these Beacons aren’t just compatible with Waze. Other navigation services such as Google Maps can also benefit from the tech for free of charge.
Waze Beacons help you travel through GPS dead zones without losing your way. Installed in 13 cities around the world, the bluetooth-connected devices keep you connected to your turn-by-turn directions. pic.twitter.com/geniwJo94k— waze (@waze) January 28, 2019
Waze Beacons help you travel through GPS dead zones without losing your way. Installed in 13 cities around the world, the bluetooth-connected devices keep you connected to your turn-by-turn directions.
Essentially, drivers within TRX basement roads will be able to have better location services, along with visibility of real-time traffic updates with the implementation of the new system. This makes Malaysia the first country in Southeast Asia to see Waze Beacons, with Azmar Talib, CEO of TRX City Sdn Bhd explaining:
“We are thrilled to partner with Waze, to be the first in Southeast Asia to put Waze Beacons to the test. Our underground roads are an ideal test ground as they lead out to key exits, and we look forward to enhancing TRX’s level of services.”
These Bluetooth devices will work by emitting a signal to help navigation apps, which means that drivers can avoid the common signal loss problem when travelling through underground tunnels. This, in turn, will help to reduce “hesitation and confusion”, and ultimately help to reduce traffic congestion on Malaysian roads, according to Waze Malaysia Country Lead Kelvin Sim.
Wheels have already been set in motion, with Beacons installed in Basements 2 and 3 of TRX, which have up to 21 points that lead to parking spaces and connected roads. That said, we can expect to see the program being expanded across Kuala Lumpur—the current setup will serve as a pilot-scale project for the city.
Originally launched in 2016, Waze Beacons are already operational through around 260 km of tunnels and roadways around the globe—including countries such as the US, Brazil, Norway, Australia, Italy, and Czech Republic.
To find out more about Waze Beacons, click here. — Soyacincau