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German city uses V2X to give firefighters a green light

Ludwigsburg is using Cohda Wireless’s V2X technology to enable fire trucks and rescue service teams to get to accidents and emergencies faster, potentially saving more lives.

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The technology grants fire trucks a green light. Picture: City of Ludwigsburg
The technology grants fire trucks a green light. Picture: City of Ludwigsburg

Fire trucks and rescue service teams in the German city of Ludwigsburg, north of Stuttgart, are using Cohda Wireless’s vehicle-to-everything (V2X) technology to enable them to get to accidents and emergencies faster.

 

The initiative is being led by traffic technology group Swarco and sees all traffic lights and intersections in Ludwigsburg fitted with Cohda MK5 road-side units, which correspond with the equivalent MK5 on-board units in fire trucks and rescue vehicles to grant them green-light passage when on the way to emergencies.

 

Successful pilot

 

Following a successful pilot project in early 2019, Swarco has equipped 114 traffic lights in Ludwigsburg with Cohda’s technology which allows them to exchange information directly with approaching vehicles using DSRC (standardised radio).

 

The Actros control units of the traffic lights were equipped with the necessary programme, which automatically prioritises the fire engines as they pass through. The system works by sending messages relaying position and speed, several times per second, from emergency vehicles to a traffic light controller.

 

There, the signals are processed and compared with the scenarios stored in the programming. If the system detects an approaching emergency vehicle, the programmed signal sequence is started and the traffic light controller switches to the prioritisation programme.

 

Once the firefighters have passed the intersection, the traffic light controller switches back to normal as quickly as possible to minimise impact on road traffic and traffic disturbance.

 

Mayor Dr Matthias Knecht said the fire department prioritisation system is laying Ludwigsburg’s foundations for its future as a smart city.

 

“A primary goal of our mobility concept is to optimise the traffic flow. To achieve this, we also rely on intelligent traffic light systems,” said Dr Knecht. “Swarco’s technology for prioritising emergency vehicles of the fire brigade is an excellent example for this because in an emergency every second counts, of course.

“A primary goal of our mobility concept is to optimise the traffic flow. To achieve this, we also rely on intelligent traffic light systems”

“Together with the city of Ludwigsburg, Swarco has developed this innovative technology and brought it to the streets.”

 

Dr Paul Gray, CEO, Cohda Wireless, said the initiative demonstrates the versatility of the technology: “In this instance, it is being applied to support emergency services in responding to incidents and accidents that have already happened, thereby also saving lives.

 

“Ludwigsburg is setting an example that cities around the world can follow.”

 

Cohda Wireless’s technology has been applied in other similar ways to make roads safer. In Estonia and Finland, Cohda’s V2X hardware and software features in a smart pedestrian crosswalk solution which alerts pedestrians and other road-users to danger. In Norway, Cohda’s vehicle positioning system contributed to a successful trial carried out in the Bjørnegård tunnel in the municipality of Bærum.

 

The purpose of the trial was to demonstrate the efficacy of Cohda Wireless’s vehicle positioning solution, V2X-Locate, in the newly built 2.2km tunnel to improve vehicle safety in this tunnel and others like it around the world.

 

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