Together with Vodafone, we are testing technology that could alert drivers to an accident ahead moments after it has happened.
The system can also provide early warning that emergency vehicles are approaching – and which side of the road drivers should move towards to avoid being an obstruction.
The consequences of blocking emergency vehicles – and delaying their arrival at the scene of an accident – could prove fatal. In fact, experts believe that survival rates for road accident victims can be improved by as much as 40 per cent if they receive treatment just four minutes more quickly.
The system is designed to create an “emergency corridor” along which fire engines, ambulances and police vehicles can reach their destinations more quickly; and is being trialled as part of KoMoD (Kooperative Mobilität im digitalen Testfeld Düsseldorf) – a €15 million project testing new connected car technologies and automated driving.
Already, in the event of an accident, “eCall” functionality, which is available on the new Focus, can automatically call emergency services, and enables occupants to do so manually by pushing an SOS button inside the car.
Anticipating a future where all vehicles communicate with each other via mobile phone networks and embedded modems, “eCall Plus” might also inform other drivers that there is an accident ahead, across a range of up to 500 metres. Attending emergency vehicles would also issue the warning, using in-car displays to show the correct “emergency corridor” formation.