Connected technology enables ambulances and other emergency vehicles to score an uninterrupted run through traffic.
Ford is trialling a system that enables emergency vehicles to communicate with traffic signals, to provide a clearer path along busy streets during critical situations.
The technology can stop cross traffic and force a series of green lights along the ambulance or fire engine’s route, expediting the time to reach a patient and reducing the risk of collisions when driving against the traffic flow.
The technology can be further extended to support the smooth flow of traffic under regular conditions.
For the trial in Düsseldorf, Germany, Ford used a sequence of eight traffic lights and a further two stretches of road with three sets of lights. A Ford Escape PHEV equipped with the necessary communication hardware was able to trigger the lights to change to green, then return to a normal sequence once it had passed.
To simulate intelligent traffic control, the Escape was able to receive a signal from the traffic lights and adjust its speed so as to naturally manage a clean sequence of green lights.
The system which Ford refers to as C-V2X (Cellular Vehicle to Everything) is similar to the Car2X technology used by Mercedes-Benz and Tesla that are already on the market. These are limited to alerts based on physical road or weather conditions and do not yet offer two-way communication.