Aug 11, 2021 - Technology

Verizon's 5G-equipped vehicle is built for disaster

Image of Verizon's communication and disaster response prototype vehicle called THOR

Verizon's Swiss Army Knife for communication and disaster response. Photo: Verizon

This is THOR, Verizon's Tactical Humanitarian Operations Response vehicle, which the communications giant calls a 5G-enabled Swiss Army Knife on wheels.

Why it matters: It's a prototype of a vehicle that the Verizon Response Team — which handles major emergencies — could send to a disaster zone like a wildfire or hurricane to establish communications when other networks are down. It enables emergency responders from multiple agencies to communicate more easily.

Details: Built on a modified Ford F650 chassis, THOR can provide its own mobile network, along with commercial satellite options and radio communications.

  • It can be operated remotely from a tablet and comes with a drone that can fly ahead to provide aerial views for situational awareness.

Fun fact: Verizon's Response Team has a menagerie of field equipment they call The Barnyard: COWs (Cell On Wheels), COLTs (Cell On Light Trucks), CROWs (Cellular Repeater On Wheels) and GOATs (Generator On A Trailer).

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