One method of assisting emergency responders to reach the scene of a vehicle crash quickly is through in-vehicle emergency call systems, also called post-crash notification. These systems can help occupants to summon assistance in an urgent situation.
Ford SYNC® has this capability, for instance. SYNC is Ford’s in-car connectivity system that provides a way for drivers to use cell phones and MP3 players through voice commands while keeping their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel. SYNC-equipped vehicles in the U.S., Europe and now China come with an occupant communications capability called SYNC 911 Assist (in the U.S.) or Emergency Assistance (in Europe and China). This is a non-subscription call-for-help system. In the event of a severe crash, the ability to directly contact the local emergency operator could be critical, for both the vehicle occupants and first responders. While any cell phone alone could be used in an emergency situation, SYNC can assist in placing a call to a local emergency operator – when a phone is properly paired, turned on and connected to SYNC and where the system and cell phone remain powered and undamaged – should a crash with an air bag deployment or fuel shutoff switch activation occur. SYNC gives the occupants a choice as to whether or not to make the emergency call, and places the call if the occupant does not respond after a short time. In Europe, Emergency Assistance alerts local emergency services operators in the correct language for the region. In 2012, Emergency Assistance was introduced in China on the all-new Ford Kuga, where it recognizes and responds in Mandarin. The introduction of the Mandarin version in China will help take Ford a step further toward our target of 13 million SYNC customers worldwide.
The SOS-Post Crash Alert System, which is standard equipment on most Ford and Lincoln vehicles, is another advance in post-crash safety technology. The SOS-Post Crash Alert System automatically activates the horn and emergency flashers in the event of an air bag deployment or safety belt pre-tensioner activation. The second-generation system – introduced in the 2011 model year – also is designed to automatically unlock vehicle doors subsequent to an air bag deployment or safety belt pretensioner activation, to aid in rescue. The system is designed to alert passersby and emergency services to the vehicle’s location.