Swedish ambulances testing car radio jamming 0

Swedish-ambulances-testing-car-radio-jammingAn innovative new idea is being tested currently in Sweden, where a system fitted to ambulances jams in-car audio systems to alert drivers that they need to get through.

The pioneering new system was designed by students at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. It uses an FM radio band to broadcast a voice warning that overrides the radios of the cars surrounding it. A text message also appears in the radio display with words to the same effect; the technology can also interrupt CDs and music connected via Bluetooth. The service will only be able to communicate with vehicles which have their audio equipment turned on however.

The way the system operates is by a radio transmission broadcast by the responding emergency vehicle, this is then picked up by nearby radio tuners that are equipped with RDS, a communications protocol for embedding small amounts of digital information in FM radio broadcasts – usually to display the station name or song title.

“Often drivers have only a few seconds to react and give way to emergency vehicles,” said Mikael Erneberg, a KTH student who worked on the system.

“The optimal warning time is at least 10 to 15 seconds.”

“We want to catch motorists’ attention at an early stage, and mitigate stress that impairs road safety,” said Mr Erneberg.

“It fulfils three functions: improving accessibility for first responders, improving road safety and make the working environment in transport better for vulnerable professions,” said Mr Erneberg.

Stockholm will begin trialling the system in a small amount of ambulances and fire engines; if successful, the technology will be rolled out across the country later in the year.

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