Venice Gondolas Go High-Tech With GPS Tracking
Widely described as one of the most romantic cities in the world, Venice is a destination spot for many honeymooners and couples in love. The main attraction of the Italian city is the gondola rides that transport couples throughout the city where roads are paved with water. With gondoliers serenading couples in love and kisses being shared under bridges, it is impossible not to see and feel the beauty of the city. Unfortunately, the popular tourist spot has seen a rapid rise in traffic on the waterways resulting in a variety of problems including accidents, one of which resulted in the death of European tourists recently. To unclog city waterways and provide an overall better experience for gondola riders, city officials in Venice have decided to move forward with the use of GPS tracking systems to monitor gondolas and other watercraft in the hope it will improve maritime safety.
A couple of months back in August while on the Grand Canal near the infamous historical site of the Rialto Bridge a man was killed due to what local investigators describe as negligence. The aftermath of the tragedy resulted in a couple of gondoliers and a few vaporetti pilots being investigated by law enforcement officials. The hope is that with better fleet management strategies through the use of GPS tracking systems that tragedies like the above-mentioned become a thing of the past. City officials believe that eliminating accidents and reducing near misses among water taxis and other vessels with the help of GPS trackers will only help the local economy and increase the visitor experience.
GPS Trackers Venice, Italy
What the new GPS tracking system policy will do is make it mandatory that approximately 5,000 different vessels be equipped with live GPS trackers. The GPS devices will determine the speed of water vessels, historical routes, and other locational data that will be accompanied by time stamps. This new tracking system is thought to be much more detailed and reliable than the previous method in which gondolas and other watercraft were monitored (identification numbers outside of the boats similar to license plates). Along with the use of GPS tracking devices, other measures will be taken to increase safety that include making it illegal for gondolas to line up alongside each other in rows to attract visiting tourists as well as removing some jetties that extend deep into the canals.
Traffic Problems In Venice
According to local reports the Venice waterways are frequently plagued with heavy traffic with over 2,000 boats, water taxis, and gondolas passing under the famous Rialto Bridge roughly every 10 hours. This is an uncomfortably dangerous number that spikes even higher during the summer months when tourists flock to the Italian city at a rate of 60,000 per day!
A city official working in Venice explained that the local economy is essentially built and sustained on tourism, but that it’s also important to preserve the natural beauty of the city that is often described as a museum. He said that balance was needed to improve safety, increase tourism, and protect the city from such significant traffic. Hopefully, the GPS tracking systems will help improve conditions so romance can continue to blossom in Venice for generations to come.
Matthew is a freelance writer who is passionate about technology, music, photography, and decentralized finance.