Can the Gold Coast mimic Porto and turn buses and taxis into portable Wi-Fi routers?
With the need for constant connectivity and the increasing desire from tourists, residents and businesses to always have internet available, Porto in Portugal has turned 600 buses and taxis into portable Wi-Fi routers making it easy to connect throughout the city. The routers provide create a free Wi-Fi network throughout the city and also send back data to central servers that capture information used for citywide planning.
Innovative thinking like this could be used on the Gold Coast to capture data while providing a service to residents. With the Porto trial absorbing between 50-80% of people off the cellular network, it’s a popular way of getting free Wi-Fi. On the Gold Coast, with such a transient population of tourists, the network could be used to ensure the city is shown as innovative and leading in the tech space. It can also provide Council with sensor data that sends back information on pot holes, traffic delays, speed traps and more.
As part of the Gold Coast Digital Strategy, transformative digital ideas that can be integrated into existing infrastructure should take priority. Local tech companies can provide these kind of tools and hardware and the benefits are far-reaching for the city and it’s residents.