Prototype tech warns drivers of accidents

Together with Vodafone, Ford is testing connected vehicle technology that could alert drivers to an accident ahead moments after it has happened.

Furthermore, the system can provide early warning that emergency vehicles are approaching – and which side of the road they should move towards to avoid being an obstruction

The consequences of blocking the progress of 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% 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 €15m project for the practical testing of new connected car technologies and automated driving.

Anticipating a future where all vehicles communicate with each other via mobile phone networks and embedded modems, Ford and Vodafone are exploring how ‘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.

‘The digital revolution is bringing new forms of mobility which may help save lives on our roads,’ said Hannes Ametsreiter, CEO, Vodafone Germany. ‘When cars communicate with each other, our rescue teams get a clear path forwards, so they can provide the right help at the right time, in situations when every second counts.’