Ford has developed technology that sends a signal from an emergency services vehicle directly to nearby drivers, so that they will know exactly where the siren is coming from, and how far away it is.
The technology could help police cars, ambulances and fire engines reach destinations more quickly.
In 2015, there were 475 road accidents involving emergency services vehicles.
“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,” said Christian Ress, supervisor, Automated Driving Europe, Ford Research and Advanced Engineering.
Ford will this week demonstrate its Emergency Vehicle Warning technology at the UK Autodrive event, a £20 million government-sponsored trial of connected cars supported by 16 technology and automotive businesses, local authorities and academic institutions.
Ford is also trialling technology that can alert drivers to potential accidents when they are approaching a crossroads. With Intersection Collision Warning, the car broadcasts its location to nearby vehicles which – if equipped with the same technology – then calculate the risk of a crash.