5G-controlled fire-fighting tank tops list of Australia’s $20m 5G innovation spend
The Australian government has announced nearly AUS$20 million in funding for 5G-based enterprise innovation projects in the country, including for a 5G-controlled fire-fighting tank. The new investments were originally slated in its 2020/21 budget, as part of its Job Maker Digital Business Plan to accelerate industrial change in the country and stimulate the job market.
The funding has now been allocated to 19 separate projects, including key sectors of the economy, including agriculture, construction, manufacturing, transport, and education and training. The government has billed 2021 as the ‘year of 5G’, as a major plank of its infrastructure investment to drive economic growth.
The full list of projects, available here, details a number of private 5G setups; the government highlighted funding for an autonomous fire-fighting tank that uses 5G for long-range remote control for traversing dangerous terrains during rescue, path clearing, and firefighting missions, as well as for the 5G powered drone deliveries of medicines in remote and unserviceable locations, and livestock counting running 4K machine vision.
Paul Fletcher, the government minister for communications, urban infrastructure, cities, and the arts, stated: “The projects being funded under the Initiative will use a range of complementary technologies to take the benefits of 5G further, such as Internet of Things devices, edge computing, artificial intelligence, and augmented and virtual reality.”
“The Initiative will help businesses take advantage of innovative digital technologies, creating jobs and supporting Australia’s economic recovery in the ‘Year of 5G’. This is a critical technology and these projects will help Australians realise the benefits of 5G sooner.”