Crashed cars to text message for help

日期:2019-03-03 09:14:01 作者:况茨茭 阅读:

By James Randerson There is no good place to have a car crash – but some places are worse than others. In a foreign country, for instance, trying to explain via cellphone that you are upside down in a ditch when you cannot speak the local language can fatally delay the arrival of the emergency services. If you are conscious at all, that is. But an answer may be at hand. Researchers funded by the European Commission are beginning tests in January of a system called E-merge that automatically senses when a car has crashed and sends a text message telling emergency services in the local language that the accident has taken place. The system was developed by ERTICO, a transport research organisation based in Brussels, Belgium. Cars are fitted with a cellphone-sized device attached to the underside of the dashboard which is activated by the same sensor that triggers the airbag in a crash. The device includes a cellphone circuit, a GPS positioning unit, and a microphone and loudspeaker. It registers the severity of the crash by reading the deceleration data from the airbag’s sensor. Using GPS information, it works out which country the car is in, and from this it determines in which language to compose an alert message detailing the precise location of the accident. The device then automatically makes a call to the local emergency services operator. If the car’s occupants are conscious, they can communicate with the operator via the speaker and microphone. E-merge also transmits the vehicle’s make, model, colour and licence number, and its heading when it crashed, which in turn indicates on which side of a multi-lane highway it ended up. This helps the emergency services find the vehicle as soon as they arrive on the scene. “We can waste a large amount of time searching for an incident,” says Jim Hammond, an expert in vehicle technology at the Association of Chief Police Officers in the UK. Tests begin later in January with police car fleets in the UK. Trials have already started in Germany, Sweden, Spain, the Netherlands and Italy. In-car systems that summon the emergency services after a crash have already been fitted in some premium cars, but these only work in one language and rely on dedicated call centres, which are expensive to run. ERTICO says that if EU states are willing to fund the necessary infrastructure, E-merge could be working by 2008. A study by French car maker Renault concluded that the system could save up to 6000 of the 40,000 lives lost each year on Europe’s roads, and prevent a similar number of serious injuries. The Renault study estimates that fitting E-merge to every car in Europe would eventually save around €150 billion per year in terms of reduced costs to health services and insurance companies, and fewer lost working days. More on these topics: