"GPS signal lost" is a common sentence to hear once you go through a tunnel or even an underground road or parking lot. Which is why Waze came up with the Waze Beacons Program; an affordable solution to power seamless navigation underground. Countries such as the US, Brazil, Norway, Australia, Italy, and even Czech Republic, have already participated in this program and now Malaysia will be joining the list too, a first for a SEA country.
Waze Beacons are bluetooth operated devices that are installed on tunnel walls that transmit a wireless signal that can be received on any phone or tablet with bluetooth enabled. This means that even if you are underground or in a tunnel, which usually lacks to a lost GPS signal, you can maintain navigation. Also important to note that despite being called Waze Beacons, it isn't owned by Waze and as such any navigational app will work with the device. You can find out more about the device here.
For now, the devices be installed within the basement roads of the Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) that leads to the car parks in the area. This would make it pretty useful for KL drivers as the road is linked to Jalan Tun Razak, Jalan Bukit Bintang, and Jalan Sultan Ismail. It's also within the vicinity of the Maju Expressway (MEX) and SMART Tunnel, and will also be accessible in the upcoming Setiawangsa-Pantai Expressway.
According to Azmar Talib, CEO of TRX City Sdn Bhd, "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."
Currently Waze Beacons have been installed in Basements 2 and 3 of TRX, which have up to 21 points that lead to parking spaces and connected roads. While there's no confirmation on this, we can definitely expect more of these devices to be installed in more underground and tunnel roads within the Klang Valley sometime in the future.