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GST RESCUE on the move
Creation date: 16 January 2006
The EC-supported GST subproject RESCUE is contributing to making Europe’s roads safer by developing applications that will ensure emergency services use the information provided by eCall in the most efficient way.
eCall – in-vehicle Emergency Call system – will automatically send crucial information to the necessary services in the event of an accident. RESCUE has played an important part in the development of this technology by contributing proposals and strategies to the eCall technical standardisation process. Additionally, RESCUE has developed specifications for telematics applications that ensure emergency services reach the incident scene as fast and safe as possible.
With the help of suppliers and vehicle manufactures, RESCUE has developed a strategy for an automatic triggering of eCall. The strategy, along with a proposal for the thresholds before an eCall is triggered, has been forwarded to the Driving Group eCall where the different stakeholders are evaluating it.
Currently, RESCUE is in the process of developing implementation references for the different components and applications based on specifications finalised in September 2005. In the ongoing phase, software development is the focus of efforts. The software will in turn be handed over to the developers at the different test-sites within the GST (Global System for Telematics) project for implementation. The components and applications developed in RESCUE will be implemented in these GST test-sites:
The UK test-site is the main site, dedicated to a full rescue chain implementation. All components and applications developed in RESCUE will be implemented there. The other test-sites will only implement smaller parts of the RESCUE components and applications.
RESCUE’s overriding objective is to look at how the information provided by eCall can be used within the emergency service vehicle itself so that it will reach the incident scene as fast and safe as possible. Focus has therefore been on the development of four different applications: two to be used by the emergency service vehicle when driving to the incident scene and two to be used when the emergency service vehicle has arrived at the incident scene.
The two most important facts for emergency service vehicle when driving to a scene of an incident are to know where to go and how to get there. Furthermore, it is essential to let other road users know that an emergency service vehicle is approaching their route. The requirements for a route guidance system for emergency service vehicles are higher than for a navigation system for a private vehicle. Issues like reliability, turn-by-turn speed and traffic conditions are very important. System development must also be adapted to the fact that only one person will be operating the emergency service vehicle. Another important consideration is that the environment in an emergency service vehicle is hostile due to noise from the radio and sirens.
The second application is a “virtual blue light” transmitted directly from the emergency service vehicle to road users on its route, warning them through their navigation system that an emergency service vehicle is approaching. This application will be particularly useful where two or more emergency service vehicles are travelling together. In such cases, the road is always safer for the vehicle in front. Road users usually see the first vehicle passing by and then start driving again before the second vehicle has had the chance to pass. The virtual blue wave will alleviate this problem by informing the road user of the number of vehicles approaching, prompting the driver to wait until all vehicles have passed.
The last two applications are being developed to secure the incident scene and thereby protect the emergency service personnel and allow them to communicate with either the dispatching centre or the hospital. Today the only security the emergency services have at an incident scene are flashing lights and orange cones placed on the road. Imagine that these cones are made “virtual” and displayed in the road users vehicle in the same way as the virtual blue wave. They would then be informed before they approach the incident scene and thereby already have reduced their speed.
The secure communication link between the emergency service personnel at the incident scene and a third trusted party would provide e.g. the hospital with more information about what happened in the incident. Moreover it will give the emergency service personnel the opportunity to report remotely to the dispatch centre, allowing them to take on a new assignment directly, without losing valuable time by driving back to the dispatching centre to file a report.
All components and applications developed in RESCUE have one goal - to provide the emergency services with detailed information so more lives can be saved. At the end of the day all that matters is that European roads are made safer and if incidents do happen that the right help can get there as fast and safe as possible.
So far, RESCUE has developed the specifications for components and telematics applications. Now, the focus is the development of software and components for the different GST test-sites. A three-month period has been set for this development and RESCUE expects that all components and telematics applications will be ready for testing in May 2006.
For any additional information please visit the GST RESCUE website.
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eSafety Support is a European Commission funded project coordinated by ERTICO - ITS Europe