Car maker Ford has announced it is developing in-car technology that could stop drivers obstructing emergency vehicles in the wake of road accidents.
The consequences of blocking the progress of emergency vehicles â€“ and delaying their arrival at the scene of an accident â€“ could prove fatal. 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.
Ford is now working with mobile network Vodafone to test connected vehicle technology that could alert drivers to an accident ahead moments after it has happened and tell them which side of the road they should move towards to avoid being an obstruction.
The system is designed to create an â€œemergency corridorâ€ along which fire engines, ambulances and police vehicles can reach their destinations more quickly; and is being trialled as part of KoMoD (Kooperative MobilitÃ¤t im digitalen Testfeld DÃ¼sseldorf) â€“ a â‚¬15 million project testing connected car technologies.
Often, getting out of the way of emergency vehicles is a matter of common sense but Ford believes the system could be useful on roads where there could be confusion such as large motorways or near junctions.
The car-to-car communication would allow emergency vehicles to send the correct emergency corridor formation to in-vehicle displays, easing their progress through traffic.
The new technology complements emergency vehicle warning technology that Ford is also testing. This sends a signal from the ambulance, fire engine or police car directly to nearby drivers, so that they will know the exact location of the vehicle and how far away it is.â€
â€œThe digital revolution is bringing new forms of mobility which may help save lives on our roads,â€ said Hannes Ametsreiter, CEO, Vodafone Germany. â€œWhen 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.â€