It’s fair to say that the majority of the innovations we see on Springwise rely on internet connectivity — which usually means that if there’s no connection, the device is useless. In efforts to ease this problem we’ve already seen WiFi on tuk—tuks and even WiFi on donkeys — but now Portuguese start-up Veniam are offering a more sustainable, large scale solution to urban connectivity.
Veniam has recently installed its vehicular WiFi network on buses in the northern city of Porto, connecting over 600 vehicles and serving 60,000 unique monthly users. Their technology — consisting of a cloud based self-configuring network and onboard routers called NetRiders — can power large fleets of interconnected vehicles in urban cities and controlled spaces, such as sea ports and airports. Veniam is aiming to create a reliable, ubiquitous WiFi for on the move passengers and workers, reducing the reliance on cellular data, and creating truly smart city centres.
NetRiders can be installed in personal cars and taxis as well as large vehicles such as buses and trucks. The device is simple to install and equips the vehicles with multi-network capabilities — enabling it to connect to both other vehicles and wider infrastructures. Veniam manage the networks via the cloud, enabling them to continue updating and improving the software after it has been deployed.
Veniam see potential partnerships with other transport authorities, local governments and private companies who can gather information from the “big data” collected by in-built sensors, enabling them to monitor and improve services such as traffic and waste management. What other services could be aided by a vehicular WiFi network?