Ford is in development of new connected technology systems that can pre-warn drivers of an approaching emergency services vehicle, to try and shave valuable seconds off the emergency services’ travel time to incidents. Ford are also trialling another new system called Intersection Collision Warning, which allows drivers to know if any vehicles are approaching which may lead to a collision on a junction using vehicle-to-vehicle communication technology.
In 2015 alone, there were 475 road accidents which involved an emergency services vehicle. Ford’s new technology is hoping to reduce that figure and also decrease time taken to reach 999 calls.
It uses vehicle-to-vehicle communication technology to send a message from fire engines, police cars and ambulances to nearby passenger cars, and give the driver an early indication of the approaching vehicle’s position, via audio and visual alerts.
The idea is to make drivers aware of blue light vehicles sooner, and give them time to safely move out of the way. Ford said the system could advance to the point where it tells the driver how best to move out of the path of emergency vehicles.
“Everyone remembers a situation where we hear the siren of a vehicle, but we don’t know exactly where that vehicle is coming from,” said Christian Ress, supervisor, Automated Driving Europe, Ford Research and Advanced Engineering.
“Time is precious for emergency services and this technology could help to shave valuable seconds off their journeys by enabling drivers to avoid being an obstruction.”
Ford’s second piece of new technology which they are trialling is called Intersection Collision Warning system, which is designed to reduce accidents at junctions.
The technology broadcasts a car’s location to nearby vehicles fitted with the same systems. They are then able to sync up and calculate between themselves the risk of a crash. If likely, it will then issue a warning of a possible collision and tell both drivers to slow down or even stop.