Fleet News

Ford trials connected technology to warn drivers of approaching emergency vehicles

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.

 

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Comments

  • Winston - 22/06/2017 16:38

    Whilst this would be very useful, it seems to me that drivers need more clear guidance on what action they should take when hearing, or seeing an emergency vehicle. I have seen drivers "freeze" and effectively block the path of the oncoming vehicle, or try to pull onto pavements, gateways etc. potentially causing further confusion. The Highway code (rule 219) offers guidance that probably needs more wider advertising. In essence, don't panic, do what you can to allow a clear path but don't break the law.

    • Stephen - 28/06/2017 11:56

      Agreed. Drivers should be widely trained to leave a sufficient gap from the car in front when in traffic (as taught in advanced driving, 'tyres and tarmac'). That would allow them to easily turn to the side and make a path for the emergency vehicle rather than wait for the line of traffic to move first. I like the idea in Germany when in heavy traffic on a motorway, they pull to the side allowing a large gap for them to hurry through. Although this problem is more in built up areas..

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