The ambulance will contact the drivers through the car radio.


    Ambulance car in Gothenburg. Photo: Albin Olsson

    According to the rules of the road, when a vehicle approaches with a blue flashing light and a special sound signal, drivers must give way to ensure the unimpeded travel of the specified vehicle.

    In practice, emergency vehicles often encounter noise on the roads, because some drivers simply do not hear the siren and do not notice a flashing light, for example, if the radio is loud in the cabin. Students of the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm (Sweden) have developed an interesting technical solutionthis problem. They offered to broadcast a voice message on the FM car radio of nearby cars, drowning out music or any other sound source (USB, CD, DVD, etc.).

    According to the rules, the road should be given to vehicles that have special color-graphic schemes applied to the outer surfaces, with flashing blue and red flashing lights and a siren, as well as vehicles accompanied by them.

    It is useless to fine a driver who does not miss an emergency service car in such a situation, because the main thing is to catch an urgent call, save the patient’s life or put out the fire (for which there is a norm for using flashing lights in traffic regulations). So the main task is to increase the visibility of the "emergency" car. This is exactly the task that the new technical system performs.

    Ambulance cars in Sweden plan to equip emergency radio transmitters that operate in the standard Radio Data System(RDS). This is a multipurpose standard designed to transmit informational messages over FM broadcasting channels in the UHF band.

    The radio responds to RDS control signals automatically. Thus, the car receiver with RDS support will sound special messages in whatever mode it works at this moment - to play music files or broadcasting. In normal mode or through Bluetooth headphones, but the driver will hear the signal.

    Along with the audible special message, a text message will be transmitted to the car stereos. New technology called EVAM Systemand it is considered part of the inter-car communications technology package - V2V (vehicle to vehicle). To advance the technology at the Royal Institute of Technology Stockholm formed a startup H & E Solutions.

    Technology inventors say that it will also improve road safety, because recently the number of accidents due to the fact that drivers do not hear the sound of sirens has increased due to technical progress in sound insulation systems (helmets, closed headphones, cars). “Often, the driver has only a few seconds to react and give way to an emergency vehicle,” saysMikael Erneberg, one of three student authors of the development who study industrial engineering at university with fellow students. “The optimal warning time is between 10 and 15 seconds.” The new system will be activated in advance, so that the driver will have more time to prepare for the maneuver. The timing for turning on the alert is calculated taking into account the road traffic: on high-speed highways the alert operates in a larger radius than in a busy city.

    Tests of the new system in Stockholm will begin on a small number of ambulances in the I quarter. 2017

    Entrepreneurs from the EVAM System say that the RDS alert system can also be used to warn about accidents on the road. They estimate that such alerts will be heard by drivers of about 2/3 of cars on the road.

    Apparently, the car stereo in all modern cars necessarily support the RDS standard, so 66% is a fairly realistic estimate, which excludes from the sample only owners of old cars and those who drive off the radio tape recorder.

    Perhaps, in the future, the technology will be used outside Sweden, in other countries. And not only for ambulances, but also for other emergency services. For example, in the Russian Federation, special signals are allowed to usevehicles of fire protection, police, ambulance, military traffic police, emergency services, military police, national guard, Investigative Committee, FSB (207 cars), State courier service (60), Ministry of Internal Affairs (98), Prosecutor General's Office (30) , government (32), Kremlin administration (22), defense ministry (20), State Duma (8), Federation Council (5), Ministry of Foreign Affairs (4), Chamber of Accounts (1), Foreign Intelligence Service (1), General Directorate for Special Projects (1), the Office of Presidential Affairs (1), Rosfinmonitoring (1), the Russian Academy of Sciences (1) and the machines of the heads of the Federation's subjects.

    In principle, an attacker can use the RDS standard. Firstly, for driving along the road without obstacles, demanding from all the vehicles ahead to give way. Secondly, it is convenient to send spam and advertising messages through RDS without paying for airtime on FM radio stations (UPD: they already use it in Russia ).

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