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Australia testing new emergency tracking system

Queensland, Australia: Ergon Energy announced that during testing process, a new GPS-based technology is tracking callers’ location with centimetre accuracy. This technology is being developed under Remote Observation Automated Modelling Economic Simulation (ROAMES) project in association with Google, the Queensland State Government, Queensland University of Technology, Seabird Aviation and the Co-operative Research Centre for Spatial Information.

When someone trapped in a disaster zone calls triple zero using their 3G-capable smartphone, their position or co-ordinates would be relayed back to the emergency services base to within centimetre accuracy.

The trial of the global positioning system, run in conjunction with the state Department of Environment Resource Management, was launched in Toowoomba earlier this year after the project was delayed by the devastating floods and Cyclone Yasi.

Ergon has held preliminary discussions with smartphone makers Nokia and Samsung to investigate the viability of embedding special location-based chips in their devices.

These mini-GPS stations will work within the state’s Continuously Operating Reference Stations network, which records, distributes and archives the satellite data. The Australian reported that the accuracy of the state’s land database, Cadastral, has to be fine-tuned before the smartphone GPS functionality is tested.

Source: The Australian