Each year, there are an average of 60,000 traffic accidents involving emergency vehicles. In fact, firefighters are “more likely to die in a motor vehicle-related incident than during the course of a firefighting operation,” according to a 2014 FEMA study.
Distracted drivers, combined with consumer vehicles that are more insulated from outside sound, are a huge problem for emergency vehicles that need a clear path to navigate roadways safely and quickly.
The HAAS Alert team is currently operating in Chicago, Grand Rapids, Mich., Detroit and Palo Alto, Calif. Engagements have led to safer streets and smarter, more connected transportation networks, and we’re hoping to have pilot programs in 40 cities by the end of 2017.
Working closely with emergency response teams in these cities, we’ve engineered solutions that integrate with existing technologies. With the adoption of HAAS Alert, nearby motorists receive preemptive alerts when emergency response vehicles are approaching or at an emergency location. By enabling direct, V2V (vehicle-to-vehicle) communication, the company is utilizing the ubiquitous mobile networks to solve the first hurdle of smart, connected cities, getting alerts inside of vehicles.
Municipal police, fire and ambulance vehicles responding to emergencies are the first users of the HAAS Alert solution, with potential to expand to construction crews, utility workers, delivery trucks, tow trucks, or other groups that frequently obstruct road passing. The mobile V2V platform utilizes an innovative “safety cloud,” which is used by emergency services departments in each city along with proprietary emergency vehicle solutions to alert drivers of potential roadway hazards.
In addition to partnering with municipal first responders, more pilot programs have been initiated with ambulance service providers, utility companies, as well as with Ford Motor Company and traffic information company Inrix to enable preemptive safety notifications into more vehicles and more devices around the country.
Being a first responder is a risky job that puts lives on the line every day, so one additional safety measure can make all the difference during an emergency call. By placing alerts directly onto a person’s phone or a car’s mobile navigation, we aim to make drivers smarter. As more vehicles connect to the HAAS Alert Safety Cloud, our city streets become more connected.